Saturday 18 December 2021

Happy Christmas and yearly review 2021

Happy Christmas and yearly review 2021

As always, I would like to begin by wishing Clint a very happy Christmas on behalf of all his fans and everyone connected with the Archive. I would also like to thank and wish a very happy Christmas to everyone who helps me to bring all of this material here and for the benefit of the fans.

To start with some positive news, this year we have averaged over one post per week, which is up on last year. On top of that, there have of course been hundreds of updates on many of the dedicated pages.

We began the year with reports of casting for Clint’s next project which was his adaptation of Cry Macho. We also posted a cracking photo opportunity which featured Clint judging a teen Miss Jersey contest at Palisades Amusement Park in 1962. Whilst in February we posted a couple of incredibly rare and seldom seen double crown posters for both Where Eagles Dare and Kelly’s Heroes.

In March and April we received further updates on Cry Macho including that the score would be composed by Mark Mancina and that the film would get an October 2021 release date. We also posted Where Eagles Dare: Snowballs at dawn, a selection of photos which captured both Clint and actor Darren Nesbitt taking on each other during the making of the movie.

In May we posted Clint Eastwood Dialogue with Richard Schickel, a wonderful audio interview from 1990, where Clint discusses his career with his old friend in front of a live audience. Lasting some 95 minutes, it’s a very enjoyable listen. Also at the end of the month we celebrated Clint’s 91st Birthday.

The summer got off to a very busy start. In June we began our 50th anniversary celebrations for Dirty Harry and a rather cracking photo of Clint that was new to a great many fans. We also featured an Exclusive Dirty Harry 50th Anniversary painting by our good friend, Graham Kennedy, and a vintage 1970 article on Two Mules for Sister Sara. As part of our Dirty Harry Anniversary we rounded off June with an exclusive interview with the lovely vocalist Sally Stevens who provided the film’s haunting vocal accompaniment to Lalo Schifrin’s incredible score.

In July I began the month by creating a Dirty Harry gallery using my own collection of stills. We also posted a couple of very rare Magnum Force posters. I also posted a couple of rare photos and a feature on Every which way but loose writer Jeremy Joe Kronsberg. The end of July saw our main Dirty Harry focal piece ‘Unearthing the roots of Dirty Harry’ - an original and lengthy article I wrote of how Harry came to the screen.

In August we saw the launch of Cry Macho’s advertising campaign. We also finally saw the release of the complete John Williams score for The Eiger Sanction released in a 2 CD set. And we published some very nice behind the scenes shots from Magnum Force as well as the lovely Japanese blu-ray release of Thunderbolt & Lightfoot.

September was a very busy month, I posted perhaps the most comprehensive collection of the famous Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood photos shot by Terry O’Neill - The Return of Butch Cassidy and the Kidd (see what I did there). We posted a whole host of Cry Macho material including some nice featurettes and the soundtrack release. As we were also celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beguiled I posted the rare complete set of French lobby stills. We also featured rare artwork from Honkytonk Man by Bill Gold, a rare contact sheet from Hang ‘em high, a rare internal Unforgiven memo from 1984, some great posters, rare flyers and a whole lot more!

In October we published some great French ads from 1964-1972, some rare Spanish EP releases, a lovely piece of Paint your wagon artwork and a pretty cracking make-up test shot from A Fistful of Dollars. By November / December we also ran our 50th Anniversary tribute to Play Misty for Me with an excellent original article, and a look back at the history of Roberta Flack’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Warner Brothers were also kind enough to supply the 40 film DVD collection for a competition we ran which proved to be very popular. We also unearthed a rather nice self-published book, On the Trail of Bronco Billy - which turned out to be something of a gem! We concluded our Misty celebration by posting the complete 12 stills which made up the original French Lobby set. 

In Memoriam:
Unfortunately, 2021 also saw the passing of far too many people from the Eastwood circle of friends - producer of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Alberto Grimaldi, Magnum Force star Hal Holbrook, Play Misty’s lovely Jessica Walter, Stuntmen Chuck Hicks and Buddy Van Horn,  Arlene Golonka, Gavin MacLeod, William Smith and author Patrick Agan who was not only a personal friend, but the greatest inspiration – all of whom made the Eastwood light shine so brightly and will be missed dearly.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support - please continue to stay safe throughout these testing times.  

Darren, The Clint Eastwood Archive

Play Misty for Me: The complete French Lobby set


Play Misty for Me: The complete French Lobby set
In concluding our mini celebration of Play Misty for Me and its 50th Anniversary, I thought I would post the full French Lobby set. These are not scans of my original set, instead just stock examples to be used simply as a reference guide. 

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Rare Dirty Harry candid shot

Rare Dirty Harry candid shot

Here’s a rather nice find by our U.S. correspondent Kevin Walsh. The picture shows Clint Eastwood (back, hands in pocket), stunt double Buddy Van Horn, (foreground in same suit) with director Don Siegel possibly to the right wearing hat, The film crew prepare to shoot a scene for DIRTY HARRY (the school bus jump) in Larkspur 1971. The final scenes were all shot here, at the railroad crossing and at the Hutchinson rock quarry and mill. 

Thanks for this gem Kevin.

Sunday 12 December 2021

On the Trail of Bronco Billy: A Book and a hidden gem.

On the Trail of Bronco Billy: A Book and a hidden gem.
Every now and then, something comes along which really catches by surprise. I have to admit, I had absolutely no idea of this beautifully self published book, how would I? As so often is the case, books such as this are simply denied the exposure and publicity to see it reaching a wider audience - and that’s not only a shame but also a terrible injustice. 

Clint Eastwood filmed Bronco Billy in Southwest Idaho in 1979. It was a big thing for Idahoans from the Treasure Valley to follow a Hollywood movie being filmed in front of them and many came out to watch and/or participate in the production. More than a thousand Idahoans were involved as extras or crew while hundreds more watched. They all have their stories and this is some of them. The book also includes insights about the shooting locations (over 20!) and newspaper articles keeping the locals apprised of the movie's progress. Author Sandy Kershner put this book together out of her love of her native state and the people who populate it, her respect for the actor/director who brought this film to Idaho, and for the character Clint Eastwood created, a frustrated 20th century man who creates his dream of being a cowboy by recapturing the past with a wild west show which he struggles to keep alive, along with his dream.
As a somewhat ‘serious’ collector, I have amassed literally 1000’s of cuttings and articles on Eastwood - a collection that stretches back as far as the 1960’s. I can fully appreciate how this might be looked upon as something of an oddity, a strange pastime - and I suppose to some extent that’s true. However, it is a fascinating area of interest, a record of certain events that would otherwise pass by and be forgotten - and as a result, reduced to just a vague memory. 
These snippets of a life and a career do however mature and become more poignant over time. Moreover,  with the passing of each decade, they provide a unique, historic and an invaluable resource, and this is exactly what Kershner has achieved here. It really is a project that should be respected and applauded. 

I’ve always hoped to put my collection to good use one day. Looking at this book has certainly provided an interesting and unique insight, and perhaps more importantly, an excellent example of how this can be realised. 

I had this book arrive as a complete surprise and as a gift from my very good friend and head of my admin team Davy Triumph. So I thank you sir, for both your kindness and your tireless help. 

Publisher ‏ : ‎ CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform,  Softback ‏ : ‎ 142 pages,  Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8 x 0.34 x 10 inches,  ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 152388309X, ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1523883097
On the trail of Bronco Billy is available on Amazon HERE


Tuesday 30 November 2021

Ennio Morricone – Sierra Torride Rare French 7” single

Ennio Morricone – Sierra Torride Rare French 7” single

As a collector of Eastwood related vinyl, it can sometimes take a great number of years to get the chance of filling certain gaps in the collection. The very rare French 7” vinyl single in its original picture sleeve has always been one of them. Released in 1970, and under the title of Sierra Torride, this Ennio Morricone single was released on the MCA Record label with the Cat Number MC/S 3710.

It’s great to finally own this piece and I have to thank my friend in France Anthony for securing this one for me.  

Magnum Force Rare Ads

 Magnum Force Rare Ads

Here are a couple of great and rarely seen original ads, both of which feature Magnum Force. The first is the Christmas Day opening of the film when shown at the Tower Theatre in Sacramento, California. The theatre had been closed for a few months while it was converted into three screens. I can’t think of a better way of re-opening. In the second ad, Magnum Force heads a fantastic triple bill show with support from The Enforcer and The Gauntlet. This action-packed triple feature was probably presented in 1978 and was shown at the Starlight Drive-in which was located in Watson to the north of Canberra, Australia. 

My kind thanks to our friend Richard DuVal for these.

Monday 22 November 2021

The subversive sexual politics of Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty for Me

The subversive sexual politics of Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty for Me by Adam Scovell

Compared to other films of the counterculture era, Eastwood’s directorial debut looks at the darker side of Free Love. It’s strange to consider now, but in the early 1970s American film studios were uncertain about the directing abilities of Clint Eastwood. Despite being such a prominent screen figure, Eastwood’s urge to get behind the camera was initially met with scepticism. Having cut his teeth learning from the directors he worked with, in particular Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, Eastwood was soon in a position to make that switch. On the evidence of his directorial debut, Play Misty for Me, critics and studio bosses needn’t have feared.

The film follows Eastwood’s freewheeling, womanising Californian DJ, Dave, who lives in the idyllic coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea and hosts the late-night blues and jazz shows for the local radio station. He takes callers’ requests and doesn’t notice that a regular listener always requests Errol Garner’s ‘Misty’. After his latest session, he pops into a bar where he believes he picks up Evelyn (Jessica Walter). In reality, Evelyn is the fan that rings every night to request the song; her obsession with Dave is already out of control.

Dave’s rekindling of his previous relationship with Tobie (Donna Mills) causes Evelyn to become increasingly manic in her attempts to possess the DJ. She stalks him, crashes interviews and work meetings, and even attempts suicide when it’s clear that she is unwelcome in Dave’s house. Just how far is Evelyn prepared to go in order to have Dave to herself?

Eastwood’s debut is a dark film. He harnesses some of the same paranoia seen in Siegel’s films (the director himself making a cameo as a bartender). Yet, for its period, Play Misty for Me is also refreshing in its approach to obsessive tendencies, celebrity infatuation, and even its concern over the removal of barriers in the name of Free Love. With all of these aspects, the film hides many writhing counter-culture horrors underneath its hazy Californian paradise.

Aside from its obvious visual qualities, there is also an unnerving authenticity to the film’s drama. This is especially true of Evelyn’s toxic tactics in getting Dave to seemingly commit to things he repeatedly suggests he doesn’t want. 

This authenticity stemmed from several real-life incidents. The character of Evelyn was inspired first by an anonymous DJ based in Mendocino County, who was stalked intensely by a fan, and an incident from Eastwood’s life when he was still finding his feet as an actor in the 1950s.

When Eastwood was 19, he met a 23-year-old woman who became infatuated with him. As he told one biographer, “There was a little misinterpretation about how serious the whole thing was.” This plays out note-for-note in Play Misty for Me’s early scenes, a misunderstanding quickly descending into something more uncomfortable. Much of the power of these – at times unbearably awkward – scenes comes from the superb Jessica Walter, who possesses a wild-eyed mania that puts her on a par with several of the era’s most unnerving screen villains.
Eastwood had further issues with the studio, who were unsure why the villain of the film should be a woman. “The studio people said, ‘Why do you want to do a movie where the woman has the best part?’” Eastwood recalled to another biographer. “My reaction was: ‘Why not?’ I figured, ‘Why should men have all the fun playing disturbed characters?’”
Walter relishes every moment on screen, her sickly positivity utterly chilling. A one-night stand quickly leads to Evelyn effectively moving in, sneakily having a key cut for the front door and generally veiling her manipulative nature behind pleasantries. 
It’s a believable scenario in which simple acts of kindness are weaponised, escalating until Evelyn resorts to the most extreme act of self-harm; a flash of violence hinting at even greater horrors to come.

The era of Play Misty for Me was a comedown. The accelerated years of the 1960s had restructured, questioned and destabilised just about every aspect of Western society, from its relationship to drugs to its received political norms. The clichéd vision is a mix of social and political revolutions, psychedelia and the popularised counter-culture. “We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave…” as Hunter S Thompson wrote in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, looking back after the wave had crashed.
As when Thompson was writing, the wave was violently receding by the time of Play Misty for Me’s production. Its residue remained, characterised by a different collection of clichés: Altamont, Charles Mansion, serial killers and drug causalities. The changes also brought about by the era’s sexual revolution and Free Love finally realised in full a proudly permissive society in the midst of these nihilistic elements.

The film’s refreshing tone comes as much from questioning the carefree, fun-loving image of the ’60s, reinstating a sense of consequence. The world that emerged from this period of apparent revolution was one of greater sexual education and access to contraception, but it was still ultimately drenched in misogyny. Free Love was a double-edged sword when unleashed within such an intensive period of patriarchy. New freedoms became abused, the system still rigged.

Eastwood’s gift in the film is to invert an already unacknowledged set of issues surrounding these collapsing social barriers and use celebrity culture to enable a switch in gender. While many films position the stalker-stalked relationship as being instigated by the man, the post-Beatlemania, new-celebrity world of the ’70s allows characters like Evelyn to feel more believable. It’s the same world that formed Manson Family members like Linda Kasabian, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel; Evelyn could easily have been another Family member had she dropped more acid.

Though based on events that happened well before such social shifts occurred, it’s difficult to see them happening in the same way as in the early ’70s. As such, it’s useful to compare Play Misty for Me to Vincente Minnelli’s The Sandpiper – not only do both films use the same locations (their opening title sequences are remarkably similar) but they also chart an amorous falling out. Only a few years separate the films and yet the societies they portray could be decades apart. The world of The Sandpiper is equally complicated but not necessarily one that would lead to the sort of demented, shocking finale of Play Misty. When looking at Las Vegas in the early ’70s, Hunter S Thompson wrote “…with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” 

He was referring to the revolutionary flare of the late ’60s and its inevitable burnout. Perhaps that same high-water mark hit the misty coasts of Big Sur, right along the cliffs of Carmel-by-the-Sea where the naivety and optimism of the age hit the same rocks as Evelyn’s body in her last fateful effort to violently grasp the new freedoms of the age with both hands. 

My kind thanks to both Adam Scovell and David Jenkns of Little White Lies

Wednesday 17 November 2021


To celebrate the release of Clint Eastwood’s latest theatrical release Cry Macho and the new digital documentary series, Clint Eastwood – A Cinematic Legacy, celebrating Eastwood’s 50 years of filmmaking at Warner Bros, we have 1 copy of the ‘Clint Eastwood – 40 Film Collection’ to giveaway.

Clint Eastwood once again directs/produces and acts in his latest feature Cry Macho. An uplifting and poignant drama, starring Eastwood as Mike Milo, a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1979, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home from Mexico. Forced to take the backroads on their way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman finds unexpected connections and his own sense of redemption. Cry Macho will be released nationwide on 12th November 2021 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

In addition, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Clint Eastwood – A Cinematic Legacy on digital platforms on 5th November 2021. This nine-episode documentary series explores Eastwood's 50 years of filmmaking at Warner Bros. 2021 marks the 50th year of his partnership with Warner Bros. (“Dirty Harry”).

· Episode 1 - “A Director's Vision”
· Episode 2 - “The Heart of a Hero”
· Episode 3 - “Witness to History”
· Episode 4 - “Reinventing the Western”
· Episode 5 - “An Actor’s Director”
· Episode 6 - “No Holds Barred”
· Episode 7 - “Fighting for Justice”
· Episode 8 - “Courage Under Fire”
· Episode 9 - “Triple Threat”

To enter simply answer the following question:
Clint starred as Dirty Harry in 5 movies, but what other two films from the 1980’s did he also play a cop? 
Please answer via a comment here, along with your name and address. Because of data protection, no details will be made public. One lucky winner will be randomly picked from the bag. 
The winner will be published here after the competition closes, and at the winner’s consent.
Competition is open to UK residents only.
Competition closes Midnight, Monday, 22nd November 2021.
Entrants must be aged 18 or over - GOOD LUCK! 
Thank you to everyone who entered, the competition was very popular. The answer was of course City Heat and Tightrope.
Our lucky winner was Susan in Scotland,Congratulations!

Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 

Play Misty for Me remains an impressive movie and for many reasons. Aside from an impressive directorial debut, excellent performances from a fine cast and of course a gripping story which remains effective some 50 years on, there was also a song that remained integral to the movie, and arguably more memorable than the film’s title track. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face originally began life as a 1957 folk song written by British political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger. The track went on to be covered several times – but it will no doubt always be most associated with Roberta Flack’s haunting version used for the love scene during Play Misty for Me. The following is a brief history of how Flack’s version blossomed from a minor album track into a worldwide modern classic. 
While Clint was filming his directorial debut, Play Misty for Me, he approached Flack and asked for permission to use “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for the movie’s love scene between himself and Donna Mills. In a 2012 interview with The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Flack recounted the story of getting the call from Eastwood at her Alexandria, Virginia home. He’d heard her version on his car radio while driving down a Los Angeles Freeway. 

Flack recalled: “Eastwood said, I’d like to use your song in this movie…about a disc jockey, with a lot of music in it. I’d use it in the only part of the movie where there’s absolute love.’ I said okay. We discussed the money. [Eastwood would pay $2000 for use of the song.] He said: ‘Anything else?’ And I said: ‘I want to do it over again. It’s too slow.’ He said: “No, it’s not.'”

Flack remembered that while recording “The First Time” for her album (First Take, 1969), her producer Joel Dorn suggested that she speed up the tempo to make it more commercial. Flack refused, which prompted Dorn to say, “Okay, you don’t care if it’s a hit or not?” Flack responded that she didn’t care. Flack would later say of Dorn, ” Of course he was right for three years, until Clint got it.”

Flack’s version of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” which first surfaced on her debut album in 1969, didn’t become a sensation until the November 1971 release of “Play Misty for Me.” Atlantic Records decided to release the track as an official single in February 1972, with a minute trimmed off. The rest is history.
In 2015, Flack told The Daily Telegraph of her first hit single, “It’s a perfect song. Second only to ‘Amazing Grace,’ I think… It’s the kind of song that has two unique and distinct qualities: it tells a story and it has lyrics that mean something. …The song can be interpreted by a lot of people in a lot of different ways: the love of a mother for a child, for example, or [that of] two lovers. I wish more songs I had chosen had moved me the way that one did. I’ve loved [most] every song I’ve recorded, but that one was pretty special.”
The track stayed at No. 1 for six weeks on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts in the spring of 1972, with a peak at No. 4 on the R&B chart. The song was played as the wake-up music for astronauts aboard Apollo 17, on their final day in Lunar orbit (Friday, 12/15/1972) before returning to earth. Flack is the only solo artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year on two consecutive years: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won at the 1973 Grammys and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” won at the 1974 Grammys.
Below: The Love scene from Play Misty for Me

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Clint and Maggie dine out Tahitian style!

Clint and Maggie dine out Tahitian style!

Here’s a nice vintage newspaper cutting that captures Clint and Maggie while dining out at the Tahitian Restaurant, Studio City, California. Whilst we can’t be sure of the exact date, it has to be circa 1959-60. 

The February 21st, 1959 Los Angeles Times stated that “Don Avalier and Bill Dove’s place, called The Tahitian, opened last night with a press preview party at 12010 Ventura Blvd., Studio City.  Even the bartenders were imported from Hawaii, the proprietors say.”  

Many thanks to Kevin Walsh. 

Sunday 14 November 2021

Celebrating Misty at Fifty!

Celebrating Misty at Fifty

This month marks the 50th Anniversary release of Play Misty for Me (1971). I’ll be posting a couple of pieces here to mark the occasion of Clint’s directorial debut. But firstly, I wanted to post this magazine feature / interview which is rarely seen today. It took place, and appeared in a U.S. periodical (Movies Now, Vol. 1 No 1) which went on sale in theatre foyers during the Summer of 1971. Clint had just completed work on Play Misty for Me, and talks about his career, working with Don Siegel, and about directing his first feature.