Friday 14 April 2023

Top Trumps, original 1983 advertisement

Top Trumps, original 1983 advertisement

Here’s a little something for the weekend, courtesy of my friend Graham Rye (who is the publisher of 007 MAGAZINE publications Graham recently spotted this original advert for the  Top Trumps card game that was popular throughout the 70’s and 80’s. This poster dates from 1983 and features illustration artwork by Frank Langford. Featured among the biggest plane, the fastest train, a host of prehistoric creatures and Dracula is an image of Clint as Josey Wales. 

Launched in 1976/77, Top Trumps was popular with adults and children in the United Kingdom, especially among boys, for whom it was a popular playground pastime. The topics tended to reflect this, and included military hardware, modes of transport and racing cars. The packs were also priced so that children could collect new packs by saving pocket money for a few weeks. The original Top Trumps was launched with eleven different packs selling at 50p each, published by a company named Dubreq. Dubreq was also known for the Stylophone. Dubreq was taken over by Waddingtons in 1982, and they continued manufacturing packs until the early 1990s. The packs from this period are now highly collectable. 

If you are wondering what Clint is doing on this poster, there were several packs released under the subject of Entertainment which featured Smash Hits Pop Stars and another on Movie Stars! 

A nice little find indeed. My thanks to Graham.  

Below: Clint's Top Trump card from a later 2019 set

Tuesday 11 April 2023

New Documentary: Clint Eastwood, la dernière légende (2022)

New Documentary: Clint Eastwood, la dernière légende (2022)
I’ve noticed this documentary beginning to surface a little bit more lately on the IMDB and other places on the internet. Clint Eastwood, la dernière légende is a French documentary written and directed by Clélia Cohen who has previously made documentaries on the Emmanuelle franchise (Emmanuelle: Queen of French Erotic Cinema) (2021) and John Travolta (John Travolta: Rückkehr nach Hollywood) (2015). 
The portrait of the last cowboy Hollywood legend dives into the 65 years of an extraordinary career in Hollywood, highlighted iconic films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as well as Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River and Gran Torino all the way to Cry Macho in 2021. It is no small task to cover more than 60 years of cinema history, especially when it is trying to surveyed with such breadth and diversity: TV star, international star, controversial icon, contested director, filmmaker with a capital F, Eastwood has been through it all, experienced it all, and it is first of all this romantic trajectory, this true American pastoral that the documentary wants to tell with all the passion it possibly can.
The Documentary, also known as ‘Clint Eastwood: The Last Legend’ was apparently broadcast on November 20th 2022 in France and has a running time of 78 minutes. I did manage to find a preview of this documentary (below) which seems to use excerpts from the BBC documentary Clint Eastwood, The Man with No Name (1977). 
I’d be really keen to see this documentary, and not sure if it will find its way onto DVD or Blu-ray, but it’s certainly worth looking out for. Please feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment if anyone should have any information. 

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Blast from the Past: Target Magazine, May 1972

Blast from the Past: Target Magazine, May 1972

Here's a nice little comic book / Magazine which may stir a few childhood memories, especially to the Generation X boomers of the 70's. Here is the May 13th (according to the editor's letter) 1972 issue of the UK publication, Target. Published on a weekly basis, this particular issue featured a nice 2 page colour spread on Clint in the Dollar trilogy as well as a cracking, if familiar, cover shot of Clint from Hang 'em high. The cover image was used quite a lot in the 70's and in artwork form, appearing on things such as Birthday and greeting cards. This issue is an early entry (No 4) and is not seen too often, so I am grateful to a seller who kindly offered me it. Sadly it didn't come with its original free sci-fi creature poster - but I guess that went up on some young boy's bedroom wall over 50 years ago. Nevertheless, I am certainly glad to add it to the collection.

Saturday 1 April 2023

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #36

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #36

Kicking off the month of April is this great Photo Opportunity shot featuring Clint, Eric Fleming and the man in the middle, Rawhide creator and writer Charles Marquis Warren. It occurred to me that we have not really covered Warren a great deal here on the Archive, so a little information to support this photo. Charles Marquis Warren was a novelist and film scenarist whose fascination with frontier lore helped bring such Westerns as “Gunsmoke,” “Rawhide” and “The Virginian” to television screens. 

Born in Baltimore, Warren was a vigorous and hardy youth who participated in athletics at McDonogh School and Baltimore City College, where he also began writing musical plays. 

A producer and director who as a writer considered himself the author of dramatic histories rather than a teller of Western tales, Warren’s talents spanned the entire range of things theatrical. He sold more than 250 articles of pulp fiction and became a regular contributor to the Saturday Evening Post. Three of his Post serials, “Only the Valiant,” “Bugles Are for Soldiers” and “Valley of the Shadow,” became best-selling novels. “Valiant,” which tells of a cavalry officer’s battles in the Indian wars, was made into a 1950 film starring Gregory Peck.

When World War II broke out, Warren joined the Navy, where he served in the Photo Science Laboratory, filming amphibious landings. He was wounded by a Japanese grenade in the South Pacific in 1944, and received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and five battle stars and was recuperating in a hospital on Guadalcanal when he learned that Warner Brothers had purchased the rights to “Only the Valiant.”

Warren rose to the rank of commander and after the war returned to Hollywood as a writer and, eventually, director. His credits included “Beyond Glory,” “Streets of Laredo,” “Springfield Rifle,” “Pony Express,” “Seven Angry Men,” “Flight to Tangier,” “Trooper Hook” and “Arrowhead.”

Steeped in the tradition of the West, Warren was asked to craft the pilot production of “Gunsmoke” for CBS, and in 1955 he began to produce the classic TV series based on the radio programs that had starred William Conrad. He cast James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon and hired Milburn Stone as Galen (Doc) Adams, Amanda Blake as Kitty Russell and Dennis Weaver as Chester Goode. Warren directed 26 episodes that first year while also writing five of the original teleplays, but he opted in 1956 to return to films.

In 1959, he came back to CBS to create “Rawhide,” finding an unknown actor named Clint Eastwood to portray Rowdy Yates in those tales of sprawling cattle drives. Three years later, he began what became the nine-year saga of “The Virginian,” which starred James Drury as the mysterious man who forced his version of law and order on a Wyoming Territory community in the 1890s.

He also wrote for “Playhouse 90” and was producer, director and writer for the “Iron Horse” television series about the travails of a railroad moving west. It starred Dale Robertson.

His last motion picture was Elvis Presley’s “Charro” in 1969. Warren said he came to celebrate his journeys between print, film and television, saying he had gained from each. Warren died on August 11th 1990 at Humana Hospital West Hills at age 77 after undergoing surgery for an aneurysm.