Saturday 13 April 2024

The Japanese 4k Dollar trilogy screenings

The Japanese 4k Dollar trilogy screenings
I thought I’d put something together here to cover the recent 4K screening of the Dollar trilogy in Japan. The season started in February and is still running in selected theatres through April. The publicity campaign has really been impressive – Japan have completely embraced the 60 years since A Fistful of Dollars was made. 
Below is a specially produced trailer promoting the screenings in Japan.
The posters produced for its publicity campaign have been widely seen around a great deal of major cities. 
Below: A typical Lobby display 
There’s also been some nice official merchandise – such as the Dollar trilogy Tote bag carrying the official logo. I’m not too sure on the availability outside of Japan, but I’m pretty sure they will appear on certain auction sites such as Ebay over time. There was also a special film program - "Ennio Morricone's Complete Films Special Edition: The Dollar Trilogy" Edited and authored in Tokyo by the Ennio Morricone Institute A4 size 68 pages.
There is also a very nice Chirashi produced to celebrate the screening, opening out and double sided, it measures 7.17 inch x 10.12 inch
Visitor first-come, first-served gift
One of the three types of newspaper advertising postcards for the Dollar Trilogy will be presented on a first-come, first-served basis at the theatre. The distribution method differs from theatre to theatre, so please contact each theatre. The free gift consists of a set of three postcards, each with a reproduction of an original newspaper ad for each movie – these are only available whist stock last. 
The official advertising features some very cool shots of Clint taken from For a Few Dollars More 
There is also an official site where screening dates can be checked, the site is of course in Japanese so will need to be translated HERE
My thanks to a friend of the Archive Paul Rowlands – who lives in Japan and was lucky enough to see all 3 movies, and in one sitting! Respect where it's due, I think!  

Thursday 11 April 2024

Mexican Eastwood Vinyl

Mexican Eastwood Vinyl
I had the very good fortune recently to secure these three vary rare 7” vinyl singles from Mexico. Mexican singles are among the hardest to find – and I’m very grateful to a Spanish collector who kindly sold me these beauties. 

Mexican singles are typically packaged much like the Japanese singles, with a wrap around insert rather than a sleeve – the vinyl comes in a generic inner sleeve with the insert wrapped around. They are not as well produced or lavishly presented as the Japanese inserts – the main difference being that the inside of the inserts are blank, rather than pictures and / or lyrics etc. 

Two of these titles, carry both the United Artists and Paramount labels as well as Gamma – which is the Mexican label run by Gamma, S.A., the Mexican affiliate of the Spanish Hispavox, S.A., managed by Tomás Muñoz (later Spanish CBS founder in 1970). 

The Leroy Holmes EP (United Artists / Gamma GX 07 – 511) features his arrangements of Cara A: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / For a few Dollars More and on Cara B: A Fistful of Dollars / Tara’s theme from Gone with the Wind. The final selection might seem like an unusual choice, but this has been featured on other variations of this same EP. The picture sleeve carries the exceptionally nice artwork which was also used on a U.S. Leroy Holmes LP of the same period. 

The Paint Your Wagon EP (Paramount / Gamma GX 07 – 713) features 4 tracks from the original soundtrack on Cara A: I’m on my way (cast) / and Clint’s I Talk to the Trees. Cara B: features Lee Marvin’s Wand’rin Star / Whoop-Ti-Ay! (cast). The picture insert features the artwork from the U.S. one sheet poster.

The third single is the Hugo Montenegro EP (MKE – 1044) on the Mexican RCA Victor (Orange RCA Victor 1968). The insert carries the LP artwork which has rarely been used on 7” versions. It contains on Cara A: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / For a Few Dollars More, whist on Cara B: The Ecstasy of Gold / The Vice of Killing. 

All very nice editions. I have also added these to our main guide to collecting Eastwood 7” vinyl found here 

Thursday 4 April 2024

New Morricone For A Fistful Of Westerns LP

New Morricone For A Fistful Of Westerns LP 
I wanted to let fans know about this new release, but held it back for a while until I could try and establish the facts behind these two variations. Sometimes information, especially by retailers is a little hard to nail down, a great many (unfortunately) have very little idea and more interested in trying to make a sale of the LP that they actually hold – asking anything outside of that is often like trying to get blood out of a stone…
Anyway, this rather smart looking LP was released back on February 12th. For A Fistful Of Westerns carries a Cat Number of Vinyl Magic – VMLP255, – VMLP255 and is pressed in Clear Orange vinyl. This album is an Italian release and can be picked up (around £30) from several retail outlets and auction sites. 
A bit of background regarding the 2 catalogue numbers: When Vinyl Magic ceased as the original partnership in 1998, the label was rebranded as VM 2000 sometime during 1999. At this time all Vinyl Magic brands, stock and licenses got gradually taken over by BTF srl, who later also set up the new label Though the name is different, the aim is a continuation of the past activities, focusing mainly on reissues of Italian prog classics as well as newer releases. The label is also at times associated in collaborative releases with other "sister labels" from the company.
When I first heard about this LP, there seemed to be some conflicting information – in general the more popular and more readily available version is the clear orange vinyl edition. However, I also became aware of a seemingly rarer pressing which is a ‘Desert Sand’ coloured vinyl. This edition carries the Cat No – 8016158025552. Whilst both of these albums are categorised as Limited Editions, it appears that the Desert sand version is a great deal harder to find.
That’s about the best I can come up with in regards to this release, except that it looks very good – using the Eastwood ‘man with no name’ image to the front and back, and of course a great collection of Morricone music.   

Monday 1 April 2024

Photo Opportunity #48

Photo Opportunity #48
For April’s Photo Opportunity I thought we would travel back to 1995 and a great rare shot of Clint alongside actress Meryl Streep. The photo was of course taken during the filming of The Bridges of Madison County. It’s hard to believe that next year marks its 30th Anniversary. The film earned $182 million worldwide and received widespread critical acclaim upon release, with high praise directed towards Streep's performance, earning her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress at the 67th Academy Awards.
Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment bought the film rights to Waller's novel for $25,000 in late 1991, before its publication, by the time of the film's release, the novel sold 9.5 million copies worldwide. Spielberg first asked Sydney Pollack to direct, who got Kurt Luedtke to draft the first version of the adaptation but then bowed out; Ronald Bass was brought in by Kathleen Kennedy and Spielberg to work on the script, but they were unsatisfied with the results. But a third draft by Richard LaGravenese was liked by Eastwood, who quite early had been cast for the male lead, and by Spielberg, who liked LaGravenese's version enough to consider making Bridges his next film after Schindler's List (1993), which was in post-production at the time. Both men liked that LaGravenese's script presented the story from Francesca's point of view; Spielberg then had LaGravenese introduce the framing device of having Francesca's adult children discover and read her diaries. When Spielberg decided not to direct, he then brought in Bruce Beresford, who got Alfred Uhry to draft another version of the script; when Warner Bros, Spielberg, and Eastwood all preferred LaGravenese's draft, Beresford dropped out.

Catherine Deneuve and Isabella Rossellini did screen tests to play Francesca. But despite Spielberg's initial reluctance, Eastwood had advocated Meryl Streep for the role from the beginning. 
This great shot of Clint and Meryl was taken during location shooting in Madison County, Iowa and finds them both in relaxed mood. 

Thursday 28 March 2024

Toby Roan talks about The Gauntlet and his new book

Toby Roan talks about The Gauntlet and his new book

Author and friend of the Archive Toby Roan recently appeared on the Forgotten Filmcast to discuss his latest book and his admiration for The Gauntlet. It’s an entertaining hour or so, taking in the cast, the music, the action sequences and the general change of direction for an Eastwood character role. Roan also talks about how the film came to Eastwood, it’s box office and how it became a forerunner for the modern action film genre that we know today. 
Well worth a listen HERE  

Mal Baker: A Personal Collection

Mal Baker: A Personal Collection
Friendship is an enduring bonus among Eastwood fans, solid bonds have formed over a great many decades. It’s often built around a shared sense of respect and loyalty. Mal Baker is one such friend. Mal, like a great deal of us, became an Eastwood fan from a very early age. Mal (originally from the West Midlands) formed part of a very special group of people including Dave Turner and Dave Worrall, all of which formed and worked behind the scenes on the much-loved British fan club, The C.E.A.S. (The Clint Eastwood Appreciation Society) – a whole section of which can be found HERE on the Archive. 

I’m happy to say, these special guys still remain close friends. Mal, along with his lovely wife (and personal secretary) Jayne. contacted me recently to inform me that they had moved – and in the process of that stressful task, Mal took the opportunity to gather some of his collection together. I know that likeminded fans and collectors enjoy these little snapshots which often reflect and capture a lifetime worth of dedication and commitment. So, it’s great to share this short video and some photos here.

*It's not the first time that Mal has had some of his collection seen. Several years ago, Mal appeared on the ITV show Dickinson's Real Deal, when Mal took along a couple of spare posters to see what interest there was. It always made me smile, as the opposing dealer was slightly critical that the poster’s text wasn’t in English! 
My thanks to Mal and Jayne 
Below: Some of Mal's excellent collection
Below: Mal goes Nationwide with a couple of his spare posters

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Rare Memorabilia: Kelly’s ‘Helte’ Danish Movie Program

Rare Memorabilia: Kelly’s ‘Helte’ Danish Movie Program

Danish Movie Programs are quite small and compact in size. If you go back some 30 years, these could often be found in dealers’ boxes that sat on top of their tables at film fairs – and could be picked up fairly cheaply. Today is a different story, they have become a great deal harder to find and a great deal more expensive to buy. 

These were typically about 15.5 x 12 cm in size and contained about a dozen pages on thin paper stock. I’ve chosen Kelly’s Heroes as an example – A) it is one I still don’t have, and B) it is one that you don’t generally see too much. Back in the day, you would probably pay £2-3 for one of these, however, these days you can expect to pay more like £20, and often more if it was any of the more collectable ‘dollar’ titles from Leone’s trilogy of films.