Tuesday 31 January 2023

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #34

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #34
Here’s a wonderful Photo Opportunity to begin the month of February. It’s a great shot taken during the making of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and a rather poignant and important scene. Tuco has of course fled again, trying to escape Blondie and being the first to reach Sad Hill cemetery. Meanwhile, Blondie discovers a young Rebel officer who has been fatally wounded. Instead of immediately giving chase to keep up with Tuco, Blondie decides to hold back and gives the dying man his coat to warm him, and the last few puffs of his cigar to comfort him. It’s poignant of course as this is also the scene where Eastwood’s character first picks up the nearby poncho and wears it for the first time and confirms the running order of the trilogy begins with this movie. 
What is also interesting about this photo, is that this is likely to be a rehearsal as Clint is just wearing a shirt and not the sheepskin vest that he is wearing in the actual filmed scene. The dying soldier was played by actor Axel Darna. 
The actor didn’t go on to have a major career in movies, and very little is known of him. He went on to appear in 1 episode of the TV series La familia Colón (1967), Las 4 bodas de Marisol (1967), Operación Mata Hari (1968) and was second billed as Miguel in the film No le busques tres pies… (1968). 
From here, Axel Darna seemed to just disappear into obscurity? The film business can be a funny game… 

Wednesday 25 January 2023

The Gauntlet unseen

The Gauntlet unseen
Every once in a while, fans often send in some photos or images that really take my breath away. They might not often be of the greatest quality, but the content occasionally delivers the ‘wow’ factor - such as these shots from The Gauntlet proved. As mentioned, sometimes these images are in pretty poor shape, some of these candid shots were in fact in colour, however, the colour was so badly faded and contained a terribly heavy blue tint, I had to strip them right back in  order to show them at their best and in the clearest detail. Infact, converting them to monochrome produced far better results in terms of clarity and for their preservation. 
What can’t be denied is their content, some incredible on location shots, in Arizona which feature Clint with cast and crew group shots, and a cracking shot of Clint and Sondra during the biker gang scene. But perhaps strangest of all, there are two very unusual shots which appear to show Clint engraving (or etching) his autograph or perhaps something else, into the hood of a vehicle! We can only guess what was going on here? Perhaps it was by request from one of the locals or one of the extras who turned up on that particular day? I suppose we can only guess. But they are certainly fascinating. I will of course be adding these to the dedicated The Gauntlet page, but I could not pass up the opportunity of presenting them without a new post of their own. Just fabulous stuff.  
Below: Would you mind signing here Mr Eastwood?

Monday 23 January 2023

NATO American Movie Awards Rare 1980 Advertisements

NATO American Movie Awards Rare 1980 Advertisements

Here are a couple of very rare full page adverts from an unconfirmed trade publication, in 1980. Stylishly designed, the ads featured images from Joe Kidd (1972) and Magnum Force (1973). It was a bit difficult trying to pin down the details of this event, but luckily a very small cutting in my collection ended up being the small clue that would ultimately lead to what information we have here. The event took place on February 11th 1980 and was also televised as a 2 hour broadcast by NBC in the U.S. 

As it turned out, 1980 was the year that NATO initiated the American Movie Awards, and is also confirmed by the ads tagline ‘first recipient’ of the distinguished career award. The event was held at the Wilshire Theater, Beverly Hills, California, with the winners selected based on voting by theatre patrons. However, the awards were quite short lived, as various legal difficulties prevented the awards from being presented in 1981, and the event was discontinued completely after the 1982 awards due to competition from other awards shows.
The award wasn’t exactly subtle in appearance, some have actually described it as ‘ugly’ in its appearance, resembling something like a bulky and poorly detailed skyscraper - with a cherry on top! Infact, on the 23rd Sept 2016, actress Jane Fonda sold off her 1982 award for best supporting actress in On Golden Pond. The final hammer price of $2,240 (£1,836), a relatively low price for an original award belonging to a major film actress, perhaps reflected both its importance and its aesthetic appeal.
Below:These 2 advertisements were taken out by Eastwood’s representatives, The William Morris Agency (WMA) who were a Hollywood-based talent agency. The agency represented some of the best known 20th-century entertainers in film, television, and music. During its 109-year tenure it came to be regarded as the "first great talent agency in show business". 
I've still been unable to confirm who actually presented Eastwood with his award. Although I did manage to find a selection of photos which feature both Eastwood with his long time actor friend William Holden, so it would be nice to think it was the legendary actor who presented. Should anyone be able to confirm who presented Eastwood with his award, please comment as I would be very grateful for the information. I have approached NATO (who have been very helpful to us in the past) with the question - but unfortunately, up until this time, I have yet to receive any confirmation. I have also been unable to find any existing footage from the NBC broadcast.
Below: The small trade press cutting that confirmed the date of NATO event in 1980
Asking William Holden would have made perfect sense - as both actors clearly had a healthy respect for each other. Eastwood once said in regards to Breezy (1973): "William Holden was technically very astute as an actor and understood the role completely. Kay Lenz was very young so I had to work a bit more with her. Holden was very, very gentle with her, even during the screening test." Eastwood's third film as director was a low-key drama about the May-December romance between 19-year-old free spirit Breezy (Lenz) and crusty middle-aged real estate agent Frank Harmon (Holden). Eastwood had originally been mooted for the main role but decided he was at the time too young. Lenz would go on to earn a Golden Globe nomination as best female newcomer. 
Below: A selection of photos from the 1980 NATO awards featuring Clint with William Holden
Below: Clint pictured with actress Susan Anton

Friday 20 January 2023

Pale Rider: Rare Japanese Poster

Pale Rider Rare Japanese Poster
After posting a couple of beautiful Japanese posters for The Gauntlet yesterday, I was reminded of this excellent and rarely seen poster I have had on file. The poster needed some digital restoration, but I am pleased with the final result. The poster for Clint’s Pale Rider (1985) is in fact so rare, that details about it are just as hard to find. Because of its landscape format it is quite possibly a ‘Japanese transit poster’, also known as the Japanese Nakazuri size (B3) approx 14.0" X 20.0"). These transit posters were designed and displayed on various forms of transport such as trains, subways and buses. The artwork again differs considerably from the more regular designs, which featured either the painting of Clint drawing his gun or the close-up facial design, both of which were set against a golden sun baked background. This one is more of a profile drawing, with Clint seemingly staring straight out of the poster. With its gritty, leather looking background it makes for a striking design. It’s certainly unique, and we think it’s a corker. Another great example of Japanese marketing. 

Thursday 19 January 2023

The Gauntlet: Rare Japanese Poster Artwork

The Gauntlet: Rare Japanese Poster Artwork
There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to publicity material for an Eastwood movie - the Japanese market was always up there as some of the very best. A great deal of fans still find this stuff pretty hard to beat. For some reason, Japan always seemed to come up with something entirely different in their concept designs, something that was completely different to the U.S. market. A good example is The Gauntlet (1977), a big favourite among Eastwood fans. The Japanese market had already released some 3 different regular designs, only one of which featured that famous Frank Frazetta artwork. These 3 designs are featured on the dedicated Gauntlet page (here). However, it is only very recently that a couple of other very rare Japanese designs have surfaced, two posters in particular that had certainly escaped my attention - as well as many other fans. One was discovered purely by accident, which led me to a bit of deeper research and resulted in yet another extremely rare poster. I wanted to make sure these were genuine, and as far as I can find out, these were both official releases.

The first of these is an extremely unusual format design for the Japanese market - a 60” x 40” portrait design. The most common Japanese format is the portrait B2 poster (approx 28.5" x 20") - so this larger size was arguably used for some special events or special screenings of the movie. But again, it’s an incredibly striking design, and one that rarely surfaces on the various markets. 

The second recently discovered poster is the landscape format designed ‘Japanese transit poster’, also known as the Japanese Nakazuri size (B3 approx 14.0" X 20.0"). These transit posters were designed and displayed on various forms of transport such as trains, subways and buses. Again, these are not very common and very rarely appear on the open markets.
I thought these two posters deserved a post of their own, although I will be also adding them to the Gauntlet’s dedicated page. They are certainly very special, and again demonstrates just how good Japan were at marketing films back in the 1970’s. 
Below: The Landscape design B3 poster
Below: The portrait 60" x 40" design

Wednesday 11 January 2023

Clint Eastwood Region 1 DVD collections 2003

Clint Eastwood Region 1 DVD collections 2003

Here’s a rare full page advertisement I thought I’d pull out and scan - as it’s 20 years old already! The 4 sets were released by Warner Home Video and broken down into themes under the titles of Cop (featuring Dirty Harry, Magnum Force and Tightrope), Adventurer (featuring Firefox, Space Cowboys and White Hunter, Black Heart), Westerner (featuring The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider and Unforgiven) and Hero (featuring Absolute Power, Heartbreak Ridge and A Perfect World). 12 good movies in total, but of course a bit of a mixed and far from complete bag. Of course, these have been superseded since with much larger collections, and on blu-ray formats. But these have become fairly collectable over the passing years and still seem to demand quite high prices. Like most fans, many have upgraded their collections over the years to the blu-ray format, but I couldn’t part with the DVDs - as they form such an important part of the history of Eastwood on home entertainment - they still hold a special memory. The individually packed films (something that is becoming a rarity in similar bulk collectives these days) came in the ‘snapper’ case designs which were made of card and opened out usually to reveal a chapter section to the left with an image. The UK also released similar versions, an example of the UK Dirty Harry DVD release is shown below, and all of the titles came with the same generic tan designed packaging to form some form of unity. Other missing titles, including The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, City Heat, Kelly’s Heroes, Every which way but loose, Any which way you can, Bronco Billy (which would have made a perfect triple set), Honkytonk man, and The Rookie for example were also all released with the same generic packaging design.  

Below: A typical example showing the inside design of the snapper case DVD
Below: The Four sets of 2003 DVDs 

Friday 6 January 2023

Any which way you can: Rare one day ad

Any which way you can: Rare one day ad

Here’s a very nice, large one day ad which appeared in Variety on Wednesday, December 31st 1980. The ad announced the first 12 days return on Any which way you can, Clint’s follow up sequel to Every which way but loose (1978). The box office takings showed an increase over the original movie, and while still an enjoyable movie, failed to impress a great deal of critics. Then again, neither did Every which way but loose - but nevertheless it became a huge box office hit, second only to Superman (1978). Any which way you can went on to achieve North American returns of 70.7 million USD. 

As this is a large format, full page advert, I had to scan it in two sections, then rejoin them before restoring the colour balance etc. Hopefully this is not too distracting or obvious. 

Thursday 5 January 2023

Flashback: The Gauntlet U.S. Release and Response

Flashback: The Gauntlet U.S. Release and Response
The Gauntlet still remains a firm favourite among Eastwood fans. Released in the U.S. on Wednesday, December 21st 1977, the action packed thriller proved to be a box-office success. So today I thought I’d dig out and scan a few pieces including some large U.S. broadsheet ads and a few responses and reviews. Because of the newspaper column layouts, in some instances I have had to break them down into separate scans and readable sections, the large ads also had to be scanned in two separate passes and then rejoined, hopefully these are not too distracting or obvious. The reviews are hi-res scans and can be opened larger for easier reading. 
Below: A couple of large 'advance' newspaper ads, the top is on tinted paper stock
Below: Some original responses and reviews
Below: This following review is split into 4 sections

Wednesday 4 January 2023

Escape from Alcatraz Rare For Your Consideration Ads

Escape from Alcatraz Rare For Your Consideration Ads
Sorting through a large A3 bag of material yesterday, I came across these two very rare full page For Your Consideration ads for Escape from Alcatraz (1979). I had honestly forgotten I had these and believe they were sent to me by a longtime friend in the United States many years ago. These ads are always wonderful, and I really would love to own more. A great selection still appear on auction sites, but unfortunately the cost of having them sent from the United States has become very expensive, and unfortunately they rarely show up from UK based sellers. These ads would appear in trade papers such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. These particular two are probably the key ones to have if forming a ‘wish list’ - as they are for Eastwood as actor and Don Siegel as director. They’re unusual in design, almost 3D in their appearance with a dull, gritty colour tone which was probably designed to reflect the harsh, bleak atmosphere created in the movie. They are quite something though, and they rarely show up these days. 
*I have also added these to our dedicated For Your Consideration page we have here on the Archive, but thought they rightfully deserved a place here as a new post too. 

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Flashback: Clint Eastwood Venice Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

Flashback: Clint Eastwood Venice Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

I was revisiting a large A3 envelope this morning, I don’t think I had delved into it for some 15 years or more! It’s frightening sometimes when you rediscover material that you don’t even remember having… But of course, it’s always a pleasant surprise. 

I was sifting through the bits and pieces, some of which date back to the 1970’s - and came across this full page advertisement which I believe came from The Hollywood Reporter and was congratulating Clint on his recent lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival in August 2000. The ad was taken out by former Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Terry Semel and his wife Jane. 

I thought I would post it here as these sort of ads only appear for one day only and rarely surface thereafter. I have also included the original BBC News report which covered the event. 

Clint's career toasted in Venice: Dateline Thursday, 31 August, 2000

Screen legend Clint Eastwood has been presented with a lifetime achievement award by Hollywood siren Sharon Stone - in the country where his 54-film career began. The 70-year-old actor received the coveted Golden Lion Career Achievement trophy on the first day of the 57th annual Venice Film Festival.

Eastwood's glittering four-decade career is being fêted throughout this year's 10-day event with a selection of his most memorable performances being shown. They will include some of the classic spaghetti Westerns from the late Italian director Sergio Leone - the man who catapulted Eastwood to international fame.

Above: Former Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Terry Semel and his wife Jane

Accepting his award, Eastwood acknowledged his debt of gratitude to his host country and the director of movies such as A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

"Many years have passed since I first came to Italy as a young actor to work with an equally young director named Sergio Leone," Eastwood recalled. He added: "This country has always had a special place in my heart. Grazie mi Sergio, for this Leone. I have always been very proud of the fact that I started my career in Italy."

Basic Instinct star Stone was equally full of praise - for Eastwood himself. She described being asked to present him with the award as a "humbling and uplifting experience".

She added: "This award so appropriately goes to a man that we in our industry think of as the king of the jungle. When we learn our craft, we learn from watching the work of people like him."

The ceremony was followed by the first European screening of Eastwood's latest project Space Cowboys. The movie has already received rave reviews and enjoyed box office success in the States, grossing more than $57m (£39m).