Thursday, 7 December 2017

Clint’s Where Eagles Dare MP40 is handed into police under gun amnesty

A man walks into a Bridgwater Police Station and hands in a prop sub-machine gun and says it was used by Clint Eastwood in a movie while disguised as a Nazi…

It sounds like the opening line to a joke, right? Except, it happens to be all true.

Police holding a weapons amnesty was stunned after a man handed in Clint Eastwood's MP40 machine gun he used in the film 'Where Eagles Dare'. Avon and Somerset Police say the prop German sub-machine gun was dropped at Bridgwater Police Station by an unnamed man who worked in the film industry. He told officers the MP40 sub-machine gun was used by Eastwood in the movie while he was disguised as a Nazi. Richard Vise evidential property and stores manager, said: 'A man walked into the station claiming to work in the film industry. 'He said the machine gun was used by Clint Eastwood in Where Eagles Dare. He said it was a prop which we have since confirmed. It could be valuable.'
Mr Vise added that the majority of guns will be destroyed. More interesting items including the Eastwood gun will go to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. Twelve WWII handguns - including a Colt.45, Walther P38 and Russian semi-automatic Tokarev - were also collected by Avon and Somerset police. The force received 220 weapons in the amnesty, which started on November 13 and ended on November 26
My thanks to our friend Alwyn for sending this story to me.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Wand'rin' Star / I Talk to the Trees Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood’s chart topping hit

Aside from the Morricone Dollar single releases, Wand'rin' Star / I Talk to the Trees is arguably the most successful vinyl release among Eastwood related records. "Wand'rin' Star" was a number one single in the UK and Ireland for Lee Marvin for three weeks in March 1970. Although rather strangely, the 7” UK record release was one of the very few not to feature a full picture sleeve cover? A huge amount of releases from around the world all seemed to benefit from a different picture sleeve, apart from the generic Paramount sleeve that UK record buyers had to settle for. It’s always puzzled me as to why. I thought I would take this opportunity to present some of the many designs for this single release. I have spent some time in digitally restoring these sleeves, in order to display them at their best and as they would of appeared back in their day. First, a little history and background on the tracks.
Wand'rin' Star was originally written by Alan J. Lerner (lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) for the stage musical in 1951. When the film of the musical was made in 1969, Lee Marvin took the role of prospector Ben Rumson. Not a natural singer, Marvin nevertheless sang all of his songs in the film, rejecting the idea of miming to another singer's voice. Despite the film being a box office flop, the soundtrack became a success. Orchestrated and arranged by Nelson Riddle, Marvin's version of the song "Wand'rin Star" became a number-one single in Ireland and the UK and earned him a Gold Record. It also kept The Beatles at number two in the UK with their single "Let It Be". Marvin never released a follow-up single which resulted in him being recognised as a one-hit wonder.
In most instances, Clint Eastwood’s I talk to the trees was featured on the B side; however, this did vary on a couple of releases.

Below: The UK single release which did not come in a picture sleeve.
Wand'rin' Star Denmark picture sleeve single
Wand'rin' Star French picture sleeve single 1
Wand'rin' Star French picture sleeve single 2
Wand'rin' Star French picture sleeve single 3
Wand'rin' Star French picture sleeve single 4 1981 re-issue MCA
Wand'rin' Star German picture sleeve single
Wand'rin' Star Indian picture sleeve single
Wand'rin' Star Israel picture sleeve single
Wand'rin' Star Italy picture sleeve single
Wand'rin' Star Japan picture sleeve single
Wand'rin' Star Netherlands picture sleeve
Wand'rin' Star Norway picture sleeve single
Wand'rin' Star Portugal picture sleeve single EP
Wand'rin' Star Spanish picture sleeve single
Wand'rin' Star Sweden picture sleeve single

Monday, 4 December 2017

Where Eagles Dare German Lobby set

I was watching these over the weekend. It’s a fascinating, and almost complete set of original German lobby cards for Where Eagles Dare dating from 1969. There were originally 43 cards in the mammoth set, this particular lot consisted of 42 cards with No 38 missing from the collection. The German lobby set are of the colour ‘tinted’ variety, which for me are not the most appealing on the eye, but nevertheless makes for an impressively large set. The winning price of £284.31 certainly proves that Where Eagles Dare is still an incredibly popular title and a firm favourite among the fans. 

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Flashback: November 11th 1985, Clint’s dance with Princess Diana

It’s hard to believe that 32 years ago this month, Clint attended a gala dinner at the White House and danced with a beautiful 24-year-old Diana. The dinner attended by Diana and Charles was part of a trip to the U.S. - and is also remembered for President Ronald Reagan forgetting the Princess of Wales's name in an after-dinner speech (Princess David). Nevertheless, the princess looked radiant, if a little nervous on her first trip to the United States. Fortunately, White House photographer Pete Souza captured and immortalised the event with a couple of photos that were finally seen in 2013.

The event was also immortalised by cartoonist Charles Griffin (left) in the British press, when his caricature featuring John Travolta, Princess Diana and Clint appeared in The Daily Mirror on Tuesday, November 12th and still remains a memorable piece. 

Clint Photographed by Terry Fincher

Here' are a couple of great photographs that have recently surfaced of Clint. Photographed by Terry Fincher, they were shot in London in 1969.

Terry Fincher (8 July 1931 – 6 October 2008) was an award-winning British photojournalist. His career took off in 1956 when he accompanied British forces that invaded Egypt during the Suez Crisis. He later did five tours of Vietnam covering the war there for the Daily Express, as well as reporting extensively from trouble spots in the Middle East and Africa. He was British press photographer of the year for 1957, 1959, 1964, and 1967. 

Monday, 20 November 2017

University of Granada’s Eastwood season posters

The Madraza Centre of Contemporary Culture is the University of Granada’s centre of cultural programs for the UGR. Its broad programming includes activities related to artistic, music and film.
I recently discovered these series of posters for some of their film seasons. It appears that Clint continues to be a very popular choice of subject.
Below: October 2014 saw a short season showing- Fistful of Dollars, The Beguiled and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Below: Eastwood was the subject of the UGR’s Masters of Contemporary Cinema series which was spread over November and December of 2015. The November program consisted of – Play Misty for Me, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Honkytonk Man, Pale Rider, Pale Rider and Bird. December program consisted of Unforgiven, A Perfect World, The Bridges of Madison County and Absolute Power. 
Below: Two posters for the March 2017 season which included Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Space Cowboys, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby.

Mel Tillis Country Music Hall of Famer Dies at 85

Mel Tillis in 1978
Unfortunately, I have to report another sad piece of news from the 'which way' family this morning after the death was announced of country legend Mel Tillis. He was 85.
According to the Tennessean, Tillis died early Sunday morning at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla. after almost two years of ill health stemming from a bout of diverticulitis, for which he received surgery. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure.
Tillis began recording in the late 1950s and continued to perform through 2015, but remained best known for a string of No. 1 country hits in the late ’70s, along with a succession of appearances in Hollywood movies alongside Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood that helped make him a household name even outside the country music sphere.
His song Coca Cola Cowboy was of course featured in Every which way but loose in 1978. However, the version that appeared on the soundtrack was a slightly edited version with a different arrangement, as it actually makes reference to both Clint and Robert Redford. Having 'Eastwood' mentioned in an 'Eastwood' film would perhaps seem a little out of place, so the lyric 'Eastwood smile' is replaced with 'Sexy smile.’

So I thought I would post the original Coca Cola Cowboy here today as a tribute.
RIP sir

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Clint with Weaver Arms Nighthawk 9mm Carbine

Here's a picture that has myself  and a great deal of friends a little confused. Taken in 1984, a couple of us first thought the gun looked a little like the classic Tommy gun of the U.S. prohibition period, which lead us to conclude that it was perhaps a pre-production picture for City Heat. However, I'm no gun expert, so I did a little research on the gun, which revealed that it was actually manufactured in 1984, and pretty much ruled out the City Heat scenario. The only information surrounding this photo reads: 'Clint Eastwood with a 'Weaver Arms Nighthawk 9mm Carbine' 1984 Photo taken in the editorial offices of International Combat Arms Magazine.' I have also since learnt that this magazine is no longer in publication. As one friend also suggested, perhaps it was just a simple case that Clint knew some people or had some friends who were connected with the publication and he was simply visiting or had the chance to try out the new model at a range? I can't seem to find any type of publicity campaign behind the gun that Clint was involved with, so it's a real puzzler. Nevertheless, it's a photo that I felt was worthy of a mention, and of course, worth preserving here on the Archive.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Rare Outlaw Josey Wales soundtrack Test Pressing LP 1976

I thought I would post a little something about this Josey Wales test pressing album which fortunately came my way last month. Whilst I still have my original Warner Bros LP (left) featuring Jerry Fielding’s superb score, I am always looking out for Eastwood vinyl rarities. These are often in the form of Japanese records with superb alternative artwork, booklets within gatefold sleeves etc. But it's very rare that something rather special comes along in the shape of a promo or test pressing. Test pressings are often the rarest form of vinyl. For those unfamiliar the Wikipedia page defines them as:

'Test pressings, usually with test pressing written on the label, with catalogue number, artist and recording time or date, are the first vinyl discs made at the factory. They are produced in small quantities (usually fewer than five copies) to evaluate the quality of the disc before mass production begins.'

I have only previously been fortunate enough to obtain one other Eastwood related test pressing or ‘white label' copy, which was Lalo Schifrin’s Kelly’s Heroes soundtrack and there was an incredible story behind that find which can be read on the Kelly’s Heroes page of this site. I didn’t honestly think I would ever come across another. But that all changed last month when I discovered this wonderful item. Thankfully, the vinyl is stunning and comes in its original DJ style sleeve with the original job sheet stuck to the outside. It’s a lovely collectable piece and something that you just don’t see very often. 

Hopefully, one day we will all see the eventual release of the full score on CD – it’s hard to believe it has not been picked up by the likes of Intrada. We can only live in hope. 

Where Eagles Dare 10x8 b/w Photo Gallery No 2 101-139

Besides being a big favourite among Eastwood fans, we are all constantly surprised at how many photos from this classic war movie continue to surface. A few of us were only discussing this again a couple of weeks ago. It had me thinking, and thought it would be a good idea to create a dedicated gallery of Where Eagles Dare b/w press stills. This is the second Gallery, taking us beyond the first 100. Most of the UK stills were marked with an ‘ED’ number, both on the front and on the reverse as part of the printed (usually purple-ish) legend (information). The stills will not only be direct scenes from the film, but will also include publicity and behind the scenes stills that officially tied in with the movie. These will just be b/w. Colour lobby stills and colour photos can be found on the dedicated Where Eagles Dare page from the drop down menu on the right. I hope to eventually make this the most complete archive of Where Eagles Dare stills on the web. Each and every photo has been cleaned up, repaired and re-touched in order to present them in the best possible quality. Thanks to Kevin Wilkinson and Neil Thomson for their continued help. There are still more to come so I will continue to update this second Gallery (and the count in the post heading) as more come to me.