Wednesday 20 September 2023

Extremely Rare FIREFOX insert poster

Extremely Rare FIREFOX insert poster

I’m really happy to bring this one to the Archive. It was one of our admin staff, Davy Triumph who managed to secure this very rare insert poster today. It’s a really intriguing piece that has created a great deal of conversation. Whist it is the same size as a standard U.S. insert (14" X 36") and on card stock, it is believed this is possibly a rejected proof or printer’s demo for the studio. There are several possible reasons for this, the first being the red ink overlap on the bottom white border which would not be out of place if this was simply a sample. Secondly, there is the lack of finished colour artwork on the main image of Eastwood, again, this could simply be because this is a proof – focusing more on the layout and design. Lastly, (and perhaps most intriguingly), is that great tagline, ‘1982… We are behind… We have no choice…’ – for both Davy and myself, we have never seen this tagline used before – on any form of publicity for Firefox. Making an educated guess, I believe that it’s that tagline which got this design rejected. Firstly, the date of 1982 will always date the film and may hamper its appeal to future generations. Plus ‘we are behind’ is not exactly the finest piece of propaganda in contrast to Russia and its technical warfare capabilities? Did Warner Brother’s really want to push the fact that the Russians were seemingly more advanced than the Americans? I think it’s possibly something like that which got this design rejected. Of course, this is all guess work – but it does contain some sort of logic in its argument. In the early 80’s Cold War tensions between America and Russia were still at a high. NATO deployed a new generation of intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe, and Soviet negotiators walked out of arms control talks in Geneva. So, the suggestion that Russia may have the upper hand and America was ‘behind’ in any way, probably didn’t send out a positive message. 

Whatever the reasons may be, one thing is certain, the rarity of this poster. Both Davy and myself have only ever seen this poster in auction once before, and by one of the largest auction houses. And it wasn’t just another copy of this poster, but the exact same one, as tiny imperfections are uniquely evident – which confirms that this is the one (and only) copy that we have ever seen. I’m personally pleased that one of our own admin members secured it.    

Sunday 17 September 2023

Flashback: Christmas season 1980

Flashback: Christmas season 1980

I though I’d make good use of this Columbia – EMI – Warner in-house magazine (called Leader) for their Winter 1980 season. The cover featured Clint in his sequel Any which way you Can (1980) which received its United States premiere on December 17, 1980 and its United Kingdom premiere a day later on December 18, 1980. The cover also features 2 other big releases of the day, The Blue Lagoon (also released 18 December 1980 in the UK) and the big screen, Dino De Laurentiis version of Flash Gordon – released in the UK 10 December 1980. The inside page also features some brief news about their releases during the holiday season. Leader magazine was not available to buy and was just an industry publication. 

Monday 11 September 2023

Mystery Album from the Eastwood Archives

Mystery Album from the Eastwood Archives
Here is something I’ve had buried deep within the Archive files for too many years. I was hoping to eventually unearth some details of this, but sometimes ‘a man’s got to know his limitations’, right?
This elusive album seems to be a Korean pressing – so it’s a possibility that this may even be a bootleg pressing? Its title translates as ‘Today's 21st pop song album’ suggesting it may be a budget album of poorly made covers from back in the day. Does anyone remember those UK Top of the Pops albums? 

I had to post this nevertheless – simply because I love the artwork concept. Yes, it’s crudely put together from what looks like hand tinted cuttings, laid out and simply photographed – but it arguably adds to its overall charm. So, what else can we unravel from this sleeve? Well, it’s pretty obvious that 3 of the 4 images come from Hang ‘em high (1968). The film was released in pretty much most regions later in the same year. The 4th (and partially obscured) image is actually lifted from A Fistful of Dollars. 

The theme to Hang ‘em high was actually quite popular at the time, it was released and covered in many different countries as a ‘pop’ track. Countries such as Singapore released it on a ‘Top Hits Vol. 2’ 7” EP in 1968 by another obscure outfit - The White Cloud Orchestra? No, I really don’t have any idea… But there were a lot of cover versions about – the most popular version of these was probably from Hugo Montenegro and His Orchestra and it was appearing in several different forms, both in Europe and in Asia. 
It's also interesting that White Room appears on the cover, a song recorded by the hugely popular UK rock group Cream, and coincidently was also released as a single (in the U.S.) in September 1968. Suggesting that if this was a bootleg compilation of the time, Cream’s White Room certainly wouldn’t be out of place and would fit perfectly within the timeline.  

Today, there is simply no reference (that I can find) to this LP, anywhere. Even Discogs has nothing, regardless of a catalogue number (AL 2030) which is clearly visible on the front cover. After resurrecting this image, which I probably saved over 15 years ago, I thought I’d take advantage of today’s advanced technology and carry out an image search. Yet again, an image search returned absolutely nothing. 

A valuable lesson: I’m guessing that the probability of this image appearing elsewhere on the internet is pretty slim these days or perhaps even long lost. If anything, I guess the moral of this tale is never pass anything by or take for granted that it is always going to be around. I’m glad I saved this when I did, and by the use of modern technology, managed to upscale and resurrect that original image in order to bring it here today. A good lesson – think before you hit that delete button. 

Rare Japanese LP featuring Magnum Force cover

Rare Japanese LP featuring Magnum Force cover
Here’s a lovely vinyl LP I’ve been wanting to post here for a while. To be quite honest, when it comes to Japanese albums that feature Clint on the cover, the marketplace is a complete minefield. A great deal of the LP’s were re-released, and then re-released again! It’s a nightmare trying to navigate! 
This great example (unfortunately) does not sit in my collection. However, it is certainly a rare release as it features a very familiar shot from Magnum Force (1973). A great deal of these compilations, which were often inferior covers of the original recordings, tended to feature Clint from any of the ‘Dollar’ films. Naturally these would often be Western compilations. When it came to general film themes from a particular era such as the 70’s it would not be unusual to find covers featuring either Steve McQueen, Bruce Lee or Charles Bronson – the iconic, big hitting stars of the day, and particularly popular in Japan. In fact, I have an LP from this same (CBS/Sony) series, one that is dedicated to Charles Bronson movies, featuring a great cover shot from The Mechanic (1972) and attached inside the gatefold sleeve is a 12” x 12” multi-page, well-illustrated booklet. One thing is certain, whilst the music was often regarded as lower grade versions, there was nothing lower grade when it came to Japanese packaging.
I’m not sure if this featured LP came as gracefully packaged, as the images and information I have is rather limited. There doesn’t seem to be a date listed for this release either – although looking at the tracks included, I would hesitate a guess that it’s from around 1974. As mentioned above, these LPs are unfortunately pretty rare and hard to find outside of their domestic shores, and because of that, they often demand high prices. Add to that your cost of postage, your VAT charges and you’re soon looking at a minor fortune. 
Despite all the negative factors, they’re still a thing of beauty and deserve a place here where they can at least be seen. Details: Ensemble Petit & Screenland Orchestra – Screen Music Best Hits, CBS/Sony – YDSC-30, Stereo, Japan. 
Track details:  
Side A) 1. Fist of Fury – J. Koo 2. Free as The Wind – J. Goldsmith 3. Theme From 'Magnum Force’ – L. Schifrin 4. The Big Boss – J. Koo / W. Ling 5. Fifth Movement (Tubular Bells) - M. Oldfield

Side B) 1. The Entertainer – S. Joplin 2. The Day of The Dolphin – G. Delerue 3. Theme From 'Mr. Majestyk' – C. Bernstein 4. La Lecon D'Amour – Y. Spanos 5. The Way We Were – A Bergman / M. Bergman / M. Hamlisch

Saturday 9 September 2023

Review: Clint Eastwood: The Iconic Filmmaker and his Work, by Ian Nathan

Review: Clint Eastwood: The Iconic Filmmaker and his Work, by Ian Nathan

Clint Eastwood, one of the original stars to emerge from the ‘cool’ era of the Sixties, continues to demand the status of cultural icon on a worldwide basis. From the lone man with no name in the ‘Dollar’ movies to Inspector Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry franchise, bare knuckle fighter Philo Beddoe to an ageing Korean War veteran in Gran Torino and The Mule - his roles exemplified an undeniable screen magnetism and a masculine sense of command. 

Eastwood was born in 1930 at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. An introverted child (by his own admission), a personality trait that probably surfaced due to an unsettled childhood which saw him constantly travelling wherever his father’s work would take him. He was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War where he became a lifeguard at Fort Ord. On his return he made a few appearances and given minor roles by director Jack Arnold in B pictures such as Revenge of the Creature and Tarantula. His big break came as Rowdy Yates in the TV Saga Rawhide, an hour-long western series which ran for over 7 years. It was during Rawhide that Eastwood accepted an offer to travel to a remote region of Spain in order to make a low key western for a relatively unknown director, Sergio Leone. It turned out to be a smart move on Eastwood’s part and one that would catapult him to one of the leading lights of Hollywood.
Author and Film Critic Ian Nathan’s new book, Clint Eastwood, The Iconic Filmmaker and his work (part of the Iconic Filmmakers Series) (ISBN-13‏: ‎978-0711283657), explores, in detail, Eastwood’s phenomenal Hollywood career as actor, director, producer and composer. As a leading actor in some of the biggest and most respected films to hit the cinema screens, Nathan breaks his book down into several linier chapters which makes for an easy-to-read timeline of events. But the author has also been smart enough to include other important departures such as his tenure as Mayor of Carmel and his move into directing. The transcendence from major box office sensation of the Seventies into more personal film projects of the Eighties and Nineties is smooth and seamless and never misses a beat. The book charts his maturity, examining certain myths and more challenging subjects as a film maker. The book explores Eastwood as he gradually moved more behind the camera as opposed to in front of it while maintaining a healthy respect from both fans and his peers. 
I also like Nathan’s footer timeline. Appearing at the bottom of certain pages, it works well as a nice guide which keeps you on track during certain periods of his career. Of course, Eastwood’s career is long and distinguished, often making editing a real nightmare of a task. There’s a fine line between examining too deeply or not examining deep enough – especially in a career spanning nearly 70 years (and counting). But Nathan gets the balance just about right here. It covers all the important aspects of a very rich and varied career, and with just the right weight in terms of detail. I doubt if seasoned fans will find anything particularly new within its 176 pages, but they’ll certainly want to add it to their collection, regardless. For anyone wishing to examine Eastwood’s career, perhaps for the first time in book form, couldn’t really go far wrong with this as an entry point. It’s also lavishly packaged. A solid hardback edition which is also housed within a matching hardshell slipcase matching that of the book’s cover is as appealing as they come – and a particularly nice touch - as well as serving as a great form of protection.   
Published by White Lion Publishing and released on 7th September, 2023 – this book also contains a wealth of impressive images, from rare posters, production shots and a wonderful collection of stills ranging from the early Universal years right up to Eastwood’s latest release, Cry Macho. Overall.  it’s a lavishly detailed publication which I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending. It’s a book in which everyone involved should feel a genuine sense of pride and accomplishment. 
To order from Amazon UK, click HERE
To order from Amazon U.S. click HERE 

Thursday 7 September 2023

Dirty Harry: The Independent Film Journal Review, December 23rd 1971

Dirty Harry: The Independent Film Journal Review, December 23rd 1971
Here’s a rather nice original review from The Independent Film Journal trade magazine. The magazine at this period did not feature any cover picture for illustration, just the same generic design for each issue. Although inside was a different matter, as it was lush with full page advertisements, quite often featuring early concepts and designs. 
The December issue had a rather good review on Dirty Harry which praised its director and cast for their work and the film’s overall technical aspects. There was also a hint of caution in respect of its violence, something that would ignite many a fire in a few critical bellies! But this staff writer (name unknown) tended to take a more impartial view and was quite prepared to accept Dirty Harry on its finer merits, including its harsh realism. 
Kindest thanks to my colleagues at Cinema Retro for unearthing this rare little piece of cinema history.

Tuesday 5 September 2023

Clint and Joanne – All American Screen Favourites for 1971

Clint and Joanne – named All American Screen Favourites for 1971

I came across this trade Magazine, today, ‘Boxoffice’ dated February 7th, 1972. It was good to see both Clint and the lovely Joanne Woodward gracing the front cover after being announced as the top male and female stars of 1971. It was a great year for Clint of course with smash hits like Dirty Harry, and shortly thereafter Clint was making his directorial debut with Play Misty for Me. 

For Woodward, who is just a few months older than Clint (and pleased to say is still with us) - she had starred alongside George C. Scott in the film They Might Be Giants and with her husband Paul Newman in the drama, WUSA (released across the United States in the June of 1971). This was Woodward’s third year as Top Female star and Clint’s very first. 

He would go on to do rather well throughout the rest of the decade!   

How Donna Mills landed the role in Play Misty for Me

How Donna Mills landed the role in Play Misty for Me

I recently found this very interesting article on the internet about actress Donna Mills where she spoke about her experiences while working with Clint on Play Misty for Me.  We don’t tend to find too much about Misty, so I thought I’d use the relevant excerpt and post it here. I thought it made for excellent reading. 

Donna Mills got her lucky break with Clint Eastwood, thanks to another Hollywood heartthrob.
Before finding fame in "Knot’s Landing," the actress worked alongside Burt Reynolds in 1970's "Dan August." The "Smokey and the Bandit" star was so impressed by his co-star, he recommended her to his friend Eastwood for his directorial debut.

"I worked with Clint Eastwood because of working with Burt Reynolds," the 82-year-old told Fox News Digital. "I had come out here to California. I was living in New York at the time where I was doing a soap opera. About a month or so later after doing ‘Dan August,’ I was getting ready to leave the soap. I had already given them my notice. All of a sudden, I got a call. I was told I got this new movie with Clint Eastwood. My instant reaction was ‘What? How did I even do that if I’ve never met Clint?' I didn’t audition for it or anything."
"It turned out he ran into Burt Reynolds at a bar one night, and he was saying, ‘I can’t find a girl I like to play my girlfriend in this movie I want to do,'" she shared. "Burt said, ‘Well, I just worked with this girl from New York. Maybe you’d like her. I thought she was great.'… Clint hired me from that!"
Mills played Eastwood’s love interest in the 1971 cult film "Play Misty for Me." The thriller, which also starred Jessica Walter, chronicles the life of a disc jockey whose world is turned upside down after a romantic encounter with a crazed fan.
For the role, Mills was required to share a passionate smooch with "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" star. It was far from ugly. Mills insisted Eastwood, 92, is a very good kisser. "I would give him a triple A!" the star gushed.
She also revealed that Eastwood was "a really sweet man" on set. She described how Eastwood was willing to omit a love scene from the film out of respect for her. "Here I was, coming from a soap opera in New York," she explained. "I’ve never done a major motion picture out in California, let alone with one of the biggest stars in the world. It was mind-boggling. And yet, while we were shooting, he was so laid back and so nice to me. He was very generous. He actually did something that I’ve never had anybody else do. There’s a scene in the film that’s a montage scene where we’re in a pond naked together. I think there’s a waterfall. What I do remember is that it was very cold. He played me a song he wanted to do this scene to because that wasn’t in the original script that I got. He said, ‘You know, we’re gonna have to be naked together in this.’ I went, ‘Oh, my parents aren’t going to like that!'"
"He said, ‘I know it might be difficult for you,’" she continued. "’But we’ll shoot it and then I’ll show it to you. If you don’t like it, if you think it’s lascivious or anything at all, I won’t put it in the film.’ He honoured that. I saw it and it was just beautiful. He shot everything so carefully and out of respect. It came out so incredibly beautiful and worked so well for the storyline. There wasn’t anything lascivious about it at all. So of course, I said, ‘Yes, put it in the film.’ But that’s just a very kind, considerate and generous thing to do."

Fox Nation runs a Weekend of Clint and 2 New Documentaries?

Fox Nation runs a Weekend of Clint and 2 New Documentaries? 
I only just found out that in August Fox Nation ran a special weekend of Clint showing six of his movies, including Dirty Harry, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, Pale Rider, Heartbreak Ridge and The Dead Pool. What is also interesting about this mini retrospective, named ‘American Outlaw’ is the mention of 2 new documentaries. I’ve not heard anything regarding these documentaries or have any idea of their lengths or how extensive they are. It would be interesting to find out more. Here’s an advertisement for the retrospective and some clips I managed to find with some details. 
Below: I came across this trailer for Fox Nation's screening of The Outlaw Josey Wales - although it was not shown as part of the retrospective, I thought it should be included here.

Friday 1 September 2023

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #41

Clint Eastwood Photo Opportunity #41

This month’s Photo opportunity is a great picture of Clint taken at Brands Hatch racetrack during the filming of Where Eagles Dare.  As part of his deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Clint apparently took delivery of a Norton P11 motorcycle which he wanted to take for a test run – something producer, Eliot Kastner had forbidden. Accompanied by co-star Ingrid Pitt, she would later explain, ‘it was something that he had been forbidden from doing by Kastner for insurance purposes in case of injury or worse. He had found out that you could test drive bikes there on Wednesday and he wanted to try out the new Norton he had acquired. I didn’t know that he had been expressly forbidden to ride the bike by the producer, Eliot Kastner. The insurance wouldn’t cover the picture if Clint had injured himself. So, there was I sitting on the pillion seat being whirled around the Kent race track when Eliot stormed up to the barriers and waved us in. He blamed me for leading the poor boy astray! I should have made Clint pay for letting me take the flak.’