Tuesday 31 May 2022

Happy Birthday Clint!

Happy Birthday Clint!

On behalf of all the fans, we would like to pass on our best wishes and birthday greetings to Clint who turns a remarkable 92 years-old today! We catch Clint whilst he is seemingly taking a short break. It’s unusual to report that Clint appears to have nothing in production, but that seems to be the current situation - and who can blame him? So I thought I’d post this fairly new (to me) photo of a youthful Clint, captured looking carefree and relaxed, and with the thought of turning 92 - probably a million miles away from his thoughts! 

Happy Birthday Clint, from us all. 

Monday 30 May 2022

MGM The Dollar Trilogy Home Entertainment Campaign 2000

MGM The Dollar Trilogy Home Entertainment Campaign 2000
Back in 2000, MGM Home Entertainment re-packaged the Man with no Name / Dollar trilogy for DVD release. They went on sale on 7th Feb, 2000 and were packaged in the all new matching ‘Wooden’ artwork, a style which didn’t exactly come off too well. The main problem occurred with the cover art for A Fistful of Dollars – and someone incorrectly giving the ‘all good’, thumbs up to use artwork based on a flipped (and much used) still from Hang ‘em High, Clint’s first U.S. western and nothing to do with the 3 Italian Leone movies. It was also the first time that The Good, the bad and the ugly was released for the first time in the UK with the 14 minutes of restored footage. 

There was a couple of pretty good pieces of advertising which appeared in several DVD and Video magazines, so I thought I would post them here. The first example (Clint’s close up profile) I had acquired at the time. However, it was only very recently I saw the 2nd piece of advertising which featured the famous Sad Hill shot. Nicely done in bold shades of Red and Orange respectively, MGM also added a couple of iconic quotes which still manage to remain cool and relevant, arguably more so today than they did back in the 60’s. 

Below: The 2 full page adverts and the seriously flawed A Fistful of Dollars DVD sleeve.
Below: The Hang ‘em high photo which was flipped and used for the A Fistful of Dollars DVD sleeve

Friday 27 May 2022

A Fistful of Dollars: Rare UK Teaser campaign in use

A Fistful of Dollars: Rare UK Teaser campaign in use

A lot of fans will no doubt be aware of the United Artists ‘panel’ teaser campaign for A Fistful of Dollars, a set of designs that focused on certain teasing elements such as the gun, the cigar, the poncho etc. While there have been examples of the panels on ad sheets and posters, it is rarely seen in the form of its intended purpose. At last I can now finally correct and provide that. Here are scans of the original pages from the magazine Kinematograph Weekly, April 15th 1967 issue, some 2 months before its UK release. The ads were designed to be used as sidebars over a number of consecutive pages. Typically, the full page artwork would then appear in the following week’s issue. A clever and somewhat enticing ‘dangling carrot’ design, the whole campaign obviously had the desired effect – and succeeded in working it’s magic. It’s just a shame there isn’t too many examples of it around.

Again, my kind thanks to Cinema Retro’s Dave Worrall for donating these wonderful original pages to the Archive.   

The Man with No Name arrives in the UK

The Man with No Name arrives in the UK

Here’s a super rare little article which appeared in Kinematograph Weekly, June 10th 1967. It covered Clint’s arrival in the UK when he came over to promote the release of A Fistful of Dollars. As fans will already know, a lot of photos were snapped on Thursday, June 1st 1967 when Clint arrived at Heathrow, in fact we have a whole page devoted to those shots and many others of Clint during his tour of the UK (HERE). The airport photos famously feature a great deal of shots with the U/A publicity girls, wearing Ponchos, hats and toy pistols. However, look closely at the picture used in this article and you may notice it contain 2 mystery gentleman, one either side of Clint. I was only when reading the caption that the mystery was revealed – and is actually the singing duo, The Dalys! Some may remember that The Dalys released the single A Fistful of Dollars / The Man with No Name (Fontana TF 841) in the previous month of May. I’ve always maintained that this was a whole part of the United Artist’s publicity campaign, and this photo provides even more evidence. Again, the whole story of this can be found elsewhere on the Archive (HERE). I have isolated a scan of this photo and will be adding it to both of the aforementioned pages as they are both relevant to each story. But for now, here is the whole 1967 article, which is in itself a fascinating little piece. 

I have to thank my long-time friend Dave Worrall of Cinema Retro magazine – who is not only a great advocate of the Archive, but is always generously donating a great deal of his own personal collection to me.  A kind, unselfish gesture which only serves in making the Archive a far richer place. Thank you Dave. 

Saturday 21 May 2022

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #24

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #24

‘Clint Eastwood presents “The Golden Bullet” award to his Thousandth victim’ Here is a great picture of Clint alongside British stuntman Joe Dunne. Clint was presenting Joe with a golden bullet. Why you may ask? Well this was to ‘celebrate’ Clint’s 1000th screen kill during the making of Kelly’s Heroes where Joe played a German soldier. For the full background story visit (HERE). 

We have long disputed the accuracy of this story – it was more likely a publicity story drummed up by MGM at the time, unless my maths are way off target. Not that I’ve counted of course – but a thousand screen victims by 1970? Anyway, this story of the bullet awarded to Joe had been around a long time. However, there was never an actual photo which backed up the story. But earlier this year our admin member Davy Triumph finally found one and sent it over to me. So it was great to at last see the proof. Joe Dunne was born on October 27, 1935 in Fylde, Lancashire, England. He enjoyed a long career in film and in that time regularly doubled for Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movies. Sadly Joe died earlier this year in California, USA, he was 86. 

Friday 20 May 2022

Rona Barrett's Gossip Magazine Article Circa 1974 Clint Eastwood: Champion of the Year

Rona Barrett's Gossip Magazine Article Circa 1974 Clint Eastwood: Champion of the Year
This magazine feature has always given me a bit of a problem. I am pretty sure it is from Rona Barrett's popular U.S. monthly magazine, ‘Gossip’. I’ve never had the cover, just the magazine feature. From all of the available clues, none of the pictures featured are beyond High Plains Drifter, and the latest film mentioned is Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, so I’m guessing this is circa 1974. I have made High Res scans of all pages, so each can be enlarged and made easy to read. As I am unsure from which month this article appeared, I have used the December 1974 cover simply an example of the magazine and because Clint appears on the cover of this particular issue. 

Clint Eastwood: Numero Uno! Cosmopolitan Magazine, Article from October 1975

Clint Eastwood: Numero Uno! Cosmopolitan Magazine: Article from October 1975
Here is a vintage article from Cosmopolitan Magazine which dates from October 1975. Clint’s latest movie, The Eiger Sanction was on general release at the time. I have scanned the article in High Res, so each page can be enlarged and made easy to read. My article does not include the cover photo, however, I have managed to source a pretty good image from the internet which both confirms and corresponds to the article. 

OUI Magazine: Clint Eastwood Interview, June 1978

OUI Magazine: Clint Eastwood Interview, June 1978

Whilst the current Eastwood scene is a little quiet, I thought it might be an idea to pull a few binders from the shelves and publish some retro magazine interviews, features and stories. I have still have hundreds of these that have never been scanned and uploaded to the Archive, and knowing the readership as I do – I think they will be welcomed. 
This first article is from the adult magazine OUI and dated from June 1978. Clint had completed his latest film, The Gauntlet, and taking a short break. I have scanned the original pages in high res, so each can be enlarged and made easy to read. I did not however have the cover page for this piece, but after a great deal of researching on the internet I finally tracked down a pretty good image which both confirms and corresponds with the article. 

Saturday 14 May 2022

Escape from Alcatraz star Fred Ward dies aged 79

Escape from Alcatraz star Fred Ward dies aged 79
We were all saddened to learn this week that Fred Ward, Clint’s co-star from Escape from Alcatraz had died at the age of 79. The Golden Globe-winner passed away on Sunday, 8 May and was described as "one of the greats". Fred’s death was confirmed to The New York Post in a statement from his family.

The Californian actor appeared in films including Southern Comfort, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, The Right Stuff, Tremors and Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Henry & June, The Player, Swing Shift and Short Cuts - the latter of which won the Special Ensemble Cast Golden Globe in 1993.

His acting career began in 1973, when he starred in an Italian television film while living in Rome, but before that he served in the US Air Force for three years. Fred’s first role in an American film was as a cowboy in Hearts of the West (1975). His first major role came in the Clint Eastwood vehicle Escape from Alcatraz (1979) as fellow escapee John Anglin. The star also played a violent National Guardsman in Southern Comfort (1981).

After roles in Swing Shift (1984) and Secret Admirer (1985) he played the title hero in the action movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, performing all his own stunts. In 1988, he played the father of Keanu Reeves’ character in The Prince of Pennsylvania, and in 2002, starred in Sweet Home Alabama, Enough and Abandon. Fred earnt a starring role in Birdseye and signed in for the TV pilot for the drama Georgetown with Helen Mirren, but the series was never made. 
After roles in The Last Ride, 10.5 and Coast to Coast in 2004, Fred took a short break from acting before returning as a guest in Grey's Anatomy and ER in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

His first marriage, to Carla Evonne Stewart in 1965, ended in divorce the following year, and his second marriage was to Silvia Ward, with whom he had a son, Django, before their split. Fred married Marie-France Boisselle in 1995 and she filed for divorce in August 2013, but the couple reconciled later that year.

Sunday 1 May 2022

Clint & Wayne in The Hostiles

Clint & Wayne in The Hostiles

Here on the Archive we’ve never really dipped into the rumbles and rumours associated with the relationship between Clint and John Wayne. There was of course chat associated with a possible teaming of the stars back in the early 70’s - but the project never came to be. So I thought it was about time to put a little piece together. 

So the story all began with B movie director Larry Cohen. Cohen was responsible for such low budget classics as The Stuff, Q: The Winged Serpent, It’s Alive, and God Told Me. According to Scott Etman’s book, John Wayne: The Life and Legend, Cohen had written a script called The Hostiles shortly after Eastwood released his classic western, High Plains Drifter.

The Hostiles told the story of a gambler who wins half of an estate of an older man. The gambler and the older man have to work together despite their obvious dislike for each other. Eastwood was apparently impressed by the story and optioned the screenplay with the intent of playing the gambler alongside John Wayne as the older man. 

Wayne with son Michael

So Eastwood forwarded a copy of The Hostiles to Wayne. Whilst Eastwood felt the script needed improvement he could still see it had potential. But sadly, Wayne appeared not to be interested. Eastwood pitched the film to Wayne for a second time and this time Wayne responded with a letter. Wayne’s letter complained about High Plains Drifter. Wayne was offended by Eastwood's film and its portrayal of the Old West as a cruel, violent place.

In Mary Lea Bandy and Kevin Stoehr’s book, Ride, boldly ride: The Evolution of the American Western, it cited that ‘It’s very easy to see High Plains Drifter as a critique of the American West’ - a sentiment apparently shared by Wayne. Furthermore, Wayne also criticised it as inaccurate.

Eastwood told Kenneth Turan “John Wayne once wrote me a letter saying he didn’t like High Plains Drifter. He said it wasn’t really about the people who pioneered the West. I realised that there’s two different generations, and he wouldn’t understand what I was doing. High Plains Drifter was meant to be a fable: it wasn’t meant to show the hours of pioneering drudgery. It wasn’t supposed to be anything about settling the West.” Apparently Clint didn’t respond to Wayne. 

Later, Wayne’s son Michael (as a producer) asked Cohen for a copy of the script to give to his dad. Cohen was excited about the prospect that the film might still get made with Wayne in a lead role. While on a boat, Mike gave the script to his father, who commented “This piece of shit again” and threw the script in the water. It was obvious that Wayne had a major dislike for the project., He was alleged to have said, “This kind of stuff is all they know how to write these days. The sheriff is the heavy; the townspeople are a bunch of jerks. Someone like me and Eastwood ride into town, know everything, act the big guys, and everyone else is a bunch of idiots.”

According to Michael Doyle’s book, Larry Cohen: The Stuff of Gods and Monsters, The Hostiles was eventually made into the television movie The Gambler, the Girl, and the Gunslinger in 2009. That film flew under the radar whereas a Wayne and Eastwood team up probably would have been a hit. Cohen said the film’s cast was terrible and the film’s director, Anne Wheeler, was inept. Wayne and Eastwood never worked together, however, they remain the two actors most associated with the Western genre.

It seems that Cohen always regretted that the project never took off, especially with Eastwood and Wayne. “It was one of the greatest disappointments of my career, The Hostiles falling apart with Eastwood and Wayne playing the leads. I mean, we already had Clint and, okay, suppose he didn’t do the picture with John Wayne: what if he did it with George C. Scott or Burt Lancaster or some other big actor? It could have still been great. But again, Clint did not want to do The Hostiles with anyone else except John Wayne.”

Ironically, John Wayne would make his final film in 1976, the western The Shootist - a film directed by Clint’s mentor Don Siegel and shot by his Cinematographer Bruce Surtees.

Below: John Wayne, Clint and Don Siegel on the set of The Shootist in 1976
Below: A rare 1974 Warner Bros press still promoting both John Wayne in McQ and Clint in Magnum Force