Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clint Eastwood Cover Gallery: 1980s

In 1980, Eastwood directed and played the main attraction in a traveling Wild West Show in the comedy film, Bronco Billy. His children Kyle and Alison had small roles as orphans. Eastwood starred alongside Locke, Scatman Crothers, Sam Bottoms, Dan Vadis, Sierra Pecheur and Geoff Lewis. Filming commenced on October 1, 1979 in the Boise, Idaho area and was shot in five and a half weeks on a low budget of $5 million, two-four weeks before schedule. Eastwood has cited Bronco Billy  as being one of the most affable shoots of his entire career, and biographer Richard Schickel has argued that the character of Bronco Billy is his most self-referential work. The film was a commercial failure, but appreciated by critics with Kenneth Turan of New West saying, "it shows enough class to rank as the unexpected joy of the season". Janet Maslin of the New York Times  believed the film was "the best and funniest Clint Eastwood movie in quite a while", praising Eastwood's directing and the way he intricately juxtaposes the old West and the new.

Bronco Billy by Dennis E. Hackin [credited to Hackin & Neal Dobrofsky on cover] (New York, Warner Books, 1980)
Star 0352-30775-7, (Jun) 1980, 207pp, 95p.
——, [2nd imp./recover], 1980 [c.1982], 207pp, £1.35. [FC: Clint Eastwood]
Saints and sinners, losers and winners, they're all in Bronco Billy's Wild West Show!
__Wild west cowboy Bronco Billy McCoy got through plenty of assistants—some were dumb, all were pretty, and one got knifed. But he never figured on anyone as smart as Miss Antoinette Lily crossing his sights.
__When the roughest bunch of cowpokes in America teams up with the richest sharp-shooting society dame, they blaze a crazy trail across the States with an act that no one in his right mind would dare to follow.
Later in 1980, he reprised his role in the sequel to Every Which Way But Loose entitled Any Which Way You Can. The film received a number of bad reviews from critics, although Janet Maslin of the New York Times described it as, "funnier and even better than its predecessor". The film, however, became another box-office success and was among the top five highest-grossing films of the year.

Any Which Way You Can by Gerald Cole
Star 0352-31040-5, (Feb) 1982, 160pp, £1.25. [FC: Clint Eastwood]

In 1982, Eastwood directed and starred in Honkytonk Man, based on the novel by Clancy Carlile about an aspiring country music singer named Red Stovall, set during the Great Depression. The script was adapted slightly from the novel; the scene in the novel of where Red gives a reefer to his fourteen-year old son (played by real-life son Kyle) was not approved by Eastwood and altered and the ending was also changed to the playing on the radio of a song written by Red on his death bed, shortly before his burial. The film was shot in the summer of 1982 within six weeks. The first part of the movie was filmed in Bird's Landing, California, although the majority of this feature was filmed in and around Calaveras County, east of Stockton, California. Exterior scenes include Main Street, Mountain Ranch; Main Street, Sheepranch; and the Pioneer Hotel in Sheepranch. Extras were locally hired and many of the towns' residents are seen in the movie. The film received a mixed reception upon release, although it has a high score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Honkytonk Man by Clancy Carlile (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1980)
Sphere, 1982.

In 1982, Eastwood also directed, produced and starred in the Cold War-themed Firefox, based on a 1977 novel with the same name by British novelist Craig Thomas. Firefox is an espionage thriller, about a retired Air Force Special Forces Expert, recruited to steal a Soviet supersonic war plane from Moscow. Russian filming locations were not possible due to the Cold War, and much footage was shot at the Thule Air Base in Greenland and in Austria to simulate many of the Eurasian story locations. The film was actually shot before Honkeytonk Man but was released after it.

Firefox by Craig Thomas (London, Michael Joseph, 1977)
Sphere 07221-0567-3, 1978.
——, 2nd imp., 1978; 3rd imp., 1978; 4th imp., 1978; 5th imp., 1979; 6th imp., 1979; 7th imp., 1979; 8th imp., 1980; 9th imp., 1980; 10th imp., 1981.
——, 11th imp., 1982, 294pp, £1.95. [FC: Clint Eastwood]
——, 12th imp., 1982; 13th imp., 1982; 14th imp., 1982.
The Soviet Mig-31 is the deadliest warplane ever built. Codenamed Firefox by NATO, it can fly at over 4,000 m.p.h., is invulnerable to radar—and has a lethally sophisticated weapons system that its pilot can control by thought impulses.
__There's only one way for the West to fight the greatest threat since the Second World War—hijack the Firefox!.
The fourth Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact (1983), is widely considered to be the darkest, "dirtiest" and most violent film of the series. This would be the last time he starred in a film with frequent leading lady Sondra Locke. The script, written by Joseph Stinson, is about a woman (Locke) who avenges the rape of herself and her sister (now a vegetable) by a ruthless gang at a fairground. The woman systematically murders her rapists one by one, shooting them once in the genitals and once in the head. Pat Hingle and Bradford Dillman also starred alongside Eastwood and footage was shot in the spring and early summer of 1983. The line, "Go ahead, make my day", uttered by Eastwood during an earlier scene in which his regular morning cafe is threatened by robbers, is often cited as one of cinema's immortal lines and was famously referenced by President Ronald Reagan in his campaigns. The film was the highest earning of all the Dirty Harry films, earning $70 million and received rave reviews, with many critics praising the feminist aspects of the film through its explorations of the physical and psychological consequences of rape.

Sudden Impact by Joseph C. Stinson (New York, Warner Books, 1983)
New English Library 0450-05746-1, Feb 1984, 191pp, £1.50. [FC: Clint Eastwood]
Rape—and revenge!
There he was! She had never been able to forget his face. His face—and the leering, jeering gang who had been with him enjoying her pain and humiliation as each one took his turn. Well, he wouldn't get away. He deserved to die...
__This murder will be only the beginning. And Dirty Harry finds himself smack in the middle of revenge on a grand scale as he tracks the woman who is tracking the rape gang.
In 1984, Eastwood starred in the provocative thriller Tightrope, inspired by newspaper articles about an elusive Bay Area rapist. Set in New Orleans (to avoid confusion with the Dirty Harry films), Eastwood starred as a single-father cop in a mid-life crisis, lured by the promise of kinky sex. The film explored the way his character is drawn into the killer's tortured psychology and fascination for sadomasochism. Complicating matters are his struggle to single-handedly raise two young daughters (one of which was his real daughter Alison), a growing relationship with a tough rape prevention officer played by Geneviève Bujold, and the troubling thought that the killer shares his own sexual preferences (bondage, masochism, etc.). During filming, Eastwood had an affair with the first murder victim in the film, Jamie Rose. Pierre Rissient arranged for the film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, but failed to win any awards. It opened in 1535 theatres in the summer of 1984 and earned record takings in the first ten days, eventually earnings revenues of $70 million domestically. The film was also a critical success, with J. Hoberman in the Village Voice describing Clint as "one of the most masterful under-actors in American movies" and David Denby commenting that he has become a "very troubled movie icon". Others such as Jack Kroll of Newsweek noted the sexuality of the film and vulnerability of Eastwood's character, remarking, "He gets better as he gets older; he seems to be creating new nuances".

No novel or novelisation.

Eastwood next starred in the period comedy City Heat (1984) with Burt Reynolds. The film was initially running under the title, Kansas City Jazz under the directorship of Blake Edwards. The film is about a private eye and his partner mixed up with gangsters in the prohibition  era in the 1930s. During filming, Eastwood conflicted with Edwards and producer Tony Adams, stipulating "creative differences" as the reason, leading to Edward's replacement with Richard Benjamin. Principal photography began in May 1984 and the film was released in North America in December 1984, grossing around $50 million domestically.

City Heat
No novel or novelisation

In 1985, Eastwood made his only foray into TV direction to date with the Amazing Stories episode Vanessa In The Garden, starring Harvey Keitel and Sondra Locke; this was his first collaboration with writer/executive producer Steven Spielberg (Spielberg later produced Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima). Eastwood revisited the western genre, directing and starring in Pale Rider. The film is based on the classic Western Shane (1953); a preachers descends magically from the mists of the Sierras and takes the side of the placer miners amidst the California Gold Rush of 1850. The ending is also similar, but the story is told from the girl's viewpoint (Megan) and explores the psychosexual and psychospiritual bridge between childhood and womanhood as both mother and daughter compete for the preacher's affections. The film also bears similarities to Eastwood's previous Man with No Name character, and his 1973 western High Plains Drifter in its themes of morality and justice and exploration of the supernatural. The title is a reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as the rider of a pale horse is Death, cited in Revelations Chapter 6, Verse 8. It was primarily filmed in the Boulder Mountains and the SNRA in central Idaho, just north of Sun Valley in late 1984. The opening credits scene featured the jagged Sawtooth Mountains south of Stanley. Train-station scenes were filmed in Tuolumne County, California, near Jamestown. Scenes of a more established Gold Rush town (in which Eastwood's character picks up his pistol at a Wells Fargo office) were filmed in the real Gold Rush town of Columbia, also in Tuolumne County, California. The film also featured Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress, Christopher Penn, Richard Dysart, Sydney Penny, Richard Kiel, Doug McGrath and John Russell. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, but was not a success there, given that international critics believed the film to be too overtly commercial for the festival. Nevertheless, Pale Rider became one of Eastwood's most successful films to date in the eyes of critics, earning him the wide critical acclaim he had sought for so long. Jeffrey Lyons of Sneak Previews said, "Easily one of the best films of the year, and one of the best westerns in a long, long time". Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune said, "This year (1985) will go down in film history as the moment Clint Eastwood finally earned respect as an artist".

Pale Rider by Alan Dean Foster (New York, Warner Books, 1985)
Arrow 0725-51909-6, (Sep) 1985.

In 1986, Eastwood starred in the military drama Heartbreak Ridge, about the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada, West Indies, with a portion of the movie filmed on the island itself. It co-starred Marsha Mason. However, the title comes from the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge in the Korean War, based around Eastwood's character of Tom Highway, an ageing United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant and Korean War veteran, who was awarded the Medal of Honor  for his heroic actions there. Eastwood incorporated more scenes of action and comedy into the film than was initially intended by the original drafter, James Carabatsos, and worked hard with Megan Rose to revise it. Eastwood and producer Fritz Manes meanwhile, intent on making the film realistic, visited the Pentagon and various air bases to request assistance and approval. The U.S. army refused to help, due to Highway being portrayed as a hard drinker, divorced from his wife, and using unapproved motivational methods to his troops, an image the army did not want. They informed the production team that the characterisation lacked credibility and that Eastwood's character was an outdated stereotype and that he was too old for the role. They instead approached the United States Marine Corps, and Lieutenant Colonel Fred Peck was hired as a spokesman for the military during filming and to guide Eastwood's team to making the characters and scenes more realistic. The production and filming of Heartbreak Ridge was marred by internal disagreements, between Eastwood and long term friend Fritz Manes who was producing it and between Eastwood and the DOD who expressed contempt at the film. During the film, Peck came to head with Eastwood over a scene involving Eastwood offering a drink in a flask to the Sergeant Major; Peck stood his ground and insisted this scene was laughable. Eastwood eventually relented but the relationship between the producers continued to sour. Within months, Manes was fired and Eastwood had rid of his best friend and producing partner, replacing him with David Valdes. The film released in 1470 theatres, grossing a very respectable $70 million domestically.

Heartbreak Ridge by Joseph C. Stinson (New York, Warner Books, 1986)
Arrow Books 0099-51990-9, (Dec) 1986.

Eastwood's fifth and final Dirty Harry film, The Dead Pool was released in 1988. It co-starred Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson, and a young Jim Carrey. The Dead Pool, grossed $37,903,295, relatively low takings for a Dirty Harry film and was generally panned by critics.

The Dead Pool
No novel or novelisation.

Eastwood began working on smaller, more personal projects, marking a serious lull in his career between 1988 and 1992. He directed Bird (1988), a biopic starring Forest Whitaker as jazz musician Charlie "Bird" Parker, a genre of music that Eastwood has always been personally interested in. Filming commenced in late 1987 and was shot in the old districts of Los Angeles, Pasadena and the Sacremento Valley, with additional New York City scenes shot in Burbank. Bird was screened at Cannes and received a mixed reception. Spike Lee, a long term critic of Eastwood, the son of jazz bassist Bill Lee, and alto saxophonist Jackie McLean criticized the characterisation of Charlie Parker, remarking that it did not capture his true essence and sense of humor. Critic Pauline Kael published a scathing review, confessing to loathing the film and describing it as "a rat's nest of a movie", which looks as if Clint "hadn't paid his Con Ed Bill". Others, particularly jazz enthusiasts, however, praised the music of the film and Eastwood received two Golden Globes—the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his lifelong contribution and the Best Director award for Bird, which also earned him a Golden Palm nomination at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was not a major commercial success, earning just $11 million. Eastwood, who claimed he would have done the film biography even if the script was no good, was disappointed with the commercial reception of the film, later saying that, "We just didn't seem to have enough people in America who wanted to see the story of a black man who in the end betrays his genius. And we didn't get the support through black audiences that I'd hoped for. They really aren't into jazz now, you know. It's all this rap stuff. There aren't enough whites who are. either..."

No novel or novelisation

Carrey would later appear with Eastwood in the poorly received comedy Pink Cadillac (1989) alongside Bernadette Peters. The film is about a bounty hunter and a group of white supremacists chasing after an innocent woman who tries to outrun everyone in her husband's prized pink Cadillac. Pink Cadillac was shot in the fall of 1988 in the Rising River Ranch area and Sacramento. The film was a disaster, both critically and commercially, earning just $12,143,484 and marking the lowest point in Eastwood's career in years, causing concern at Warners that Clint had peaked and was now faltering at the box office after three unsuccessful films. Pink Cadillac received poor reviews. Caryn James wrote: "When it's time to look back on the strange sweep of Clint Eastwood's career, from his ambitious direction of Bird to his coarse, classic Dirty Harry character, Pink Cadillac  will probably settle comfortably near the bottom of the list. It is the laziest sort of action comedy, with lumbering chase scenes, a dull-witted script and the charmless pairing of Mr. Eastwood and Bernadette Peters." (New York Times, May 26, 1989.)

Pink Cadillac by Todd Strasser (New York, Signet, 1989)
Pan 0330-31245-6, (Nov) 1989.

Eastwood made one successful foray into elected politics, becoming the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California (population 4,000), a wealthy small town and artist community on the Monterey Peninsula, for one term in April 1986. Upon being elected, he was called by President Ronald Reagan asking "What's an actor who once appeared with a monkey in a movie doing in politics?", referring to Eastwood's role in Any Which Way But Loose and Reagan's Bedtime for Bonzo. During Eastwood's tenure, he completed Heartbreak Ridge and Bird.

(* The main body text for this column is from the Wikipedia article "Clint Eastwood in the 1980s", accessed 24 September 2010 (last modified 16 August 2010).Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.)

Philip Rock

Intrigued by the name Philip Rock, which I've not seen elsewhere, I thought I'd dig around and see what I could find out about the author of the first Dirty Harry novelisation.

It seems his full name was Phillip (sic) George Rock, born in Los Angeles on 30 July 1927, the son of Joe Rock (1893-1984) and his wife Louise Granville (1895-1968). Joe Rock, 5' 3" with protruding ears, was a comic actor in the silent movie days (1915-26), sometimes appearing as Joe Basil. He became better known as a writer, producer and director working with Stan Laurel in the mid-1920s. In 1933 he produced the documentary Krakatoa for his own MultiColor Productions, which won an Oscar for Best Short Subject. In the mid-1930s he was based in the UK at Rock Studios, Borehamwood, Herts., where Alfred Hitchcock filmed Crook's Tour and John Baxter directed Love on the Dole (both 1941). His Joe Rock Productions company also made a number of films in England in the 1930s. Rock-Price Productions later filmed the documentary Mau-Mau (1955).

Philip Rock came from a show business family, his mother an Australian-born actress and his uncle, Murray Rock, an assistant director on a number of Stan Laurel, Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin movies. His older sister Felippa Rock (1924- ), was an actress—her most famous role being 11th on the cast list of Curt Siodmak's Bride of the Gorilla—and married actor Michael Pate in 1951 (their son, Christopher Pate, also became an actor).

Phillip grew up in Beverly Hills and England, returning to America in 1940 and serving with the Navy towards the end of World War II. He then worked as a page at CBS and a bit-part actor and film editor while writing screenplays. His first on-screen credit—a story co-credit with his brother-in-law Michael Pate—was for Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), directed by John Sturges and starring William Holden and Eleanor Parker. The two also co-wrote the science fiction story The Steel Monster, which was filmed with a screenplay by Rock and James Leicester as Most Dangerous Man Alive (1961), directed by Allan Dwan and starring Ron Randell and Debra Paget.

Rock then concentrated on writing novels and, in 1967, published The Extraordinary Seaman, which was filmed by MGM in 1969, directed by John Frankenheimer and starring David Niven and Faye Dunaway from Rock's screenplay. The film was poorly received and Rock is said to have vowed never to have another of his books made into a movie.

Instead, Rock reversed the process and wrote a number of film novelisations for Popular Library and Bantam before turning again to writing novels. His Flickers was loosely based on his father's career and was set in 1920s Hollywood, where the seedy Earl P. Donovan rises to the top as a producer.

Rock then produced a trilogy of novels—The Passing Bells, Circles of Time and A Future Arrived—which followed the lives of the Stanmores of Abbingdo, an English family whose history Rock charted from the days of World War I to the Jazz era. The first novel was a Book of the Month Club alternate selection.

Rock died in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, on 3 April 2004, aged 76, of complications from cancer. He was survived by his son, Kevin, and two grandchildren.

The Extraordinary Seaman. New York, Meredith Press, Sep 1967; London, Souvenir Press, 1967.
The Dead in Guanajuato. New York, Meredith Press, Dec 1968.
Tick... Tick... Tick (novelisation of the movie). New York, Popular Library, Feb 1970.
The Cheyenne Social Club (novelisation of the movie). New York, Popular Library, Jul 1970.
Dirty Harry (novelisation of the movie). New York, Bantam, Dec 1971; London, Star, 1977.
A Gunfight (novelisation of the movie). New York, Bantam, Jun 1971; London, Corgi, Sep 1971.
Hickey and Boggs (novelisation of the movie). New York, Popular Library, Nov 1972.
High Plains Drifter (by Ernest Tidyman; novelisation of the movie). New York, Bantam, May 1973.
Flickers. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1977.
The Passing Bells. Seaview Books, 1978 [Mar 1979]; London, Hodder & Stoughton, Apr 1979.
Circles of Time. New York, Seaview Books, Jun 1981; London, Hodder & Stoughton, Mar 1982.
A Future Arrived. New York, Seaview Books, 1984 [Jan 1985]; London, Hodder & Stoughton, Apr 1985.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clint Eastwood Cover Gallery: 1970s part 2

After the filming of Breezy had finished, Warner Brothers announced that Eastwood had agreed to reprise his role as Detective Harry Callahan in a sequel to Dirty Harry, running under the title, Vigilance. Writer John Milius came up with a storyline in which a group of rogue young officers in the San Francisco Police Force systematically exterminate the city's worst criminals, portraying the idea that there are worse cops than Dirty Harry. David Soul, Tim Matheson, Robert Urich and Kip Niven were cast as the young vigilante cops. Milius was a gun aficionado and political conservative and the film would extensively feature gun shooting in practice, competition and on the job. Given this strong theme in the film, the title was soon changed to Magnum Force in deference to the .44 Magnum  that Harry liked to use. Milius thought it was important to remind the audiences of the original film by incorporating the line "Do ya feel lucky?" repeated in the opening credits and with Dirty Harry once again eating a hot dog but this time foiling an airplane hijacking at the airport. With Milius committed to filming Dillinger, Michael Cimino was later hired to revise the script, overlooked by Ted Post, who was to direct. Frank Stanley was hired as cinematographer and Lalo Schifrin once again conducted the score and filming commenced in late April 1973. During filming Eastwood encountered numerous disputes with Post over who was calling the shots in directing the film, and Eastwood failed to authorize two important scenes directed by Post in the film because of time and expenses, one of them was at the climax to the film with a long shot of Eastwood on his motorcycle and he confronts the rogue cops. Eastwood was intent, like with many of his films on shooting it as smoothly as possible, often refusing to do retakes over certain scenes insisted on by Post who later remarked, "A lot of the things he said were based on pure, selfish ignorance, and showed that he was the man who controlled the power. By Magnum Force Clint's ego began applying for statehood". Post remained bitter with Eastwood for many years and claims disagreements over the filming affected his career afterwards. According to director of photography Rexford Metz, "Eastwood would not take the time to perfect a situation. If you've got seventy percent of a shot worked out, that's sufficient for him, because he knows his audience will accept it." Although the film was a major success after release, grossing $58.1 million dollars in the United States alone, a new record for Eastwood, it was not a critical success. New York Times critics such as Nora Sayre criticised the often contradictory moral themes of the film and Frank Rich believed it "was the same old stuff". Pauline Kael, a harsh critic of Eastwood for many years mocked his performance as Dirty Harry, commenting that, "He isn't an actor, so one could hardly call him a bad actor. He'd have to do something before we could consider him bad at it. And acting isn't required of him in Magnum Force."
Magnum Force by Mel Valley
Warner Paperback Library/Wyndham 0352-76501-5, Feb 1974. *Distributed in UK. [FC: Clint Eastwood]
——, 2nd imp., Mar 1974; 3rd imp., Feb 1977
Wyndham 0352-30238-0, [?1978], 60p
Gangsters at their country estates. Pimps in their El Dorados. Drug czars ringed by bodyguards. A vigilante with a deadly aim is gunning them down. He's cleaning up San Francisco, and no one can say that his victims don't deserve to die.
__But who is this executioner? Who will be his next target? When will he stop killing? Dirty Harry's itching to track him down, and if no one gives him the job—he'll take it.

In 1974, Eastwood teamed with Jeff Bridges in the buddy action caper Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. The idea for the film was originally devised by Stan Kamen of the William Morris Agency, but was written by Michael Cimino who had previously written for Magnum Force, the previous year and would direct the picture. The film is a road movie about an ex Korean War  veteran turned bank robber Thunderbolt (Eastwood) who teams with a young con man drifter, Lightfoot (Bridges) who try to stay ahead of the vengeful ex-members of his gang (George Kennedy and Geoffrey Lewis) in the search for a cash deposit abandoned from an old heist. Given that for Eastwood this was an offbeat film, Franks Wells of Warner Brothers refused to back Malpaso in the production, leaving him to turn to United Artists and producer Bob Daley. Frank Stanley was brought in as photographer with Dee Barton scoring the film as he had previously done on many of Clint's films. Although Eastwood generally refused to spend much time in scouting for locations, particularly unfamiliar ones, Cimino and Daley travelled extensively around the Big Sky Country in Montana for thousands of miles and eventually decided on the Great Falls area and to shoot the film in the towns of Ulm, Hobson, Fort Benton, Augusta and Choteau and surrounding mountainous countryside. Filming for Thunderbolt and Lightfoot was shot between July and September 1973 and unusually for an Eastwood film, Cimino took a high number of retakes of scenes to perfect it. On release in spring 1974, the film was praised for its offbeat comedy mixed with high suspense and tragedy and Eastwood's acting performance was noted by critics to the extent that Clint himself believed it was Oscar worthy. Many critics widely believed that he was overshadowed by Jeff Bridges who stole the show in his performance as Lightfoot, and when he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Eastwood was reportedly fuming at his own lack of Academy Award recognition. Despite critical acclaim, the film was only a modest success at the box office, earning $32.4 million. Eastwood was unhappy with the way that United Artists had produced the film and swore "he would never work for United Artists again", and the scheduled two film deal between Malpaso and UA was cancelled.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot by Joe Millard (New York, Award Books,
Tandem 14621-2, 1974, 156pp.

The Eiger Sanction was based on a critically acclaimed spy novel by Trevanian. The rights to the film were bought by Universal as early as 1972, soon after the book was published, and was originally a Richard Zanuck and David Brown production. Paul Newman  was intended to the role of Jonathan Hemlock (Eastwood), an assassin turned college art professor who decides to return to his former profession for one last sanction in return for a rare Picasso painting; he must climb the Eiger face in Switzerland and perform the deed under perilous conditions. After reading the script, Newman declined, because he believed the film was too violent. With initial concerns over early scripts, in February 1974, Eastwood contacted novelist Warren Murphy (known for his The Destroyer assassin series) in Connecticut asking for assistance despite him having never read the book or having ever written for a film before. Murphy read the novel and agreed to write the script but was not happy with the tone of the novel which he believed was patronizing to its readers. A first draft created by Murphy emerged in late March and a revised script was completed a month later. George Kennedy, who had recently finished filming Thunderbolt and Lightfoot with Eastwood was cast as Big Ben Bowman, Hemlock's friend and secret adversary, Jack Cassidy cast as the Miles Mellough, and Thayer David as "Dragon," Hemlock's albinistic ex-Nazi boss, who is confined to semi-darkness and kept alive by blood transfusions. After a trip to Las Vegas, Vonetta McGee of Thomasine and Bushrod was cast as the African-American female spy Jemima Brown.

Mike Hoover, an Academy Award nominated professional mountaineer from Jackson, Wyoming was hired to serve as a mountaineering cinematographer and technical adviser during the shoot. He taught Eastwood how to climb over some weeks of preparation in the summer of 1974 in Yosemite, and filming commenced in Grindelwald, Switzerland on August 12, 1974 with an extensive team of professional climbing experts and advisers on board from America, England, Germany, Switzerland and Canada. The team were based at the Kleine Schneidegg Hotel for the entirety of the shoot. Although the Eiger is lower than many other mountains at 13,041 feet, it has been well documented for its treacherous climbing and means "ogre" in German and has earned its nickname "mörderwall" in German, literally meaning "killer wall". The decision by Eastwood to brave the mountain was strongly disapproved by Dougal Haston, the director of the International School of Mountaineering who warned him of the dangers and that he had lost climbers on the Eiger and even by cameraman Frank Stanley who thought that to climb one of the world's most perilous mountains just to shoot a film was unnecessary. According to camerman Rexford Metz it was a boyhood fantasy of Eastwood's to climb such a mountain and that he got off on displaying such heroic machoism. Despite Haston's warnings, the filming crew suffered a number of accidents. A 27-year old English climber David Knowles, who was acting as body double and photographer was tragically killed during filming, with Hoover narrowly escaping. The event was a devastating blow to the crew and Eastwood who almost pulled the plug on the project but proceeded because he didn't want to think Knowles had died in vain. Eastwood continued to insist on doing all his own climbing and stunts, despite potentially being just seconds from instant death. Cameraman Frank Stanley would later fall during the shoot but survived and was confined to a wheelchair for sometime and taken out of action. Stanley, who later managed to complete filming after a delay under pressure from an unsympathetic Eastwood, would later blame Eastwood for the accident due to a lack of preparation, describing him both as a director and an actor as "a very impatient man who doesn't really plan his pictures or do any homework. He figures he can go right in and sail through these things". Stanley was never hired by Eastwood or Malpaso Productions again. Several other accidents and events apparently took place during the filming which were protected from public knowledge by the producers.

Upon its release in May 1975, The Eiger Sanction was panned by most critics. A number of critics criticized Eastwood's performance as Hemlock, who fell short of the sophistication of the character portrayed in the book with Playboy describing the film as "a James Bond reject". Joy Gould Boyum of the Wall Street Journal remarked that, "the film situates villainy in homosexuals, and physically disabled men". Several critics failed to understand the plot and Pauline Kael of New York Magazine described the film as "a total travesty". The film was a commercial failure, receiving only $23.8 million at the box office, although the film has since become a cult classic among rock climbers. Once again Eastwood would blame the production company for the poor earnings and publicity of the film and departed from Universal Studios once again, forming a long-lasting agreement with Warner Brothers through Frank Wells that would transcend over 35 years of cinema and remain intact to this day.

The Eiger Sanction by Trevanian (London, William Heinemann, 1973)
Panther 0586-03981-3, (May) 1975.

The story to The Outlaw Josey Wales was inspired by a 1972 novel by an apparent Native Indian uneducated writer Forrest Carter, originally titled Gone to Texas and later retitled The Rebel Outlaw:Josey Wales. Later it would be revealed that Forrest Carter's identity was fake, and that the real author was Asa Carter, a onetime racist and supporter of Ku Klux Klan school of politics. The script was worked on by Sonia Chernus and producer Bob Daley at Malpaso and Eastwood himself paid some of the money to obtain the screen rights. It would be a Western, and the lead character, Josey Wales, is a rebel southerner who refuses to surrender his arms after the American Civil War and is chased across the old southwest by a group of enforcers. Michael Cimono and Philip Kaufman later overlooked the writing of the script, aiding Chernus. Kaufman wanted the film to stay as close to the story of the novel as possible and retained many of the mannerisms in Josey Wales's character which Eastwood would display on screen such as his distinctive lingo with words like "reckin", "hoss" (instead of "horse") and "ye" (instead of "you") and spitting tobacco juice on animals and victims. The characters of Wales, the Cherokee chief, Navajo squaw and the old settler woman and her daughter all appeared in the novel. Cinematographer Bruce Surtees, James Fargo and Fritz Manes scouted for locations and eventually found sites in Utah, Arizona and Wyoming even before they saw the final script. Kaufman cast Chief Dan George, who had been nominated for an Academy Award for Supporting Actor in Little Big Man as the old Cherokee Lone Watie. Sondra Locke, a previous Academy Award nominee, was cast by Eastwood against Kaufman's wishes, as the daughter of the old settler woman, Laura Lee. This marked the beginning of a close relationship between Eastwood and Locke that would last six films and the beginning of a raging romance that would last into the late 1980s. The film featured Eastwood's seven-year old son Kyle Eastwood. With Ferris Webster hired as editor and Jerry Fielding as musical composer.

Principal photography for The Outlaw Josey Wales began in mid-October 1975. A rift between Eastwood and Kaufman developed during the filming. Kaufman insisted on filming with a meticulous attention to detail which caused disagreements with Eastwood, not to mention the attraction the two shared towards Locke and apparent jealousy on Kaufman's part in regards to their emerging relationship. One evening Kaufman insisted on finding a beer can as a prop to be used in a scene but whilst he was absent, Eastwood ordered Surtees to quickly shoot the scene as light was fading and then drove away, leaving Kaufman even before he had returned. Soon after filming moved to Kanab, Utah on October 24, 1975, Kaufman was notoriously fired under Eastwood's command by producer Bob Daley. The sacking caused an outrage amongst the Directors Guild of America and other important Hollywood executives, since the director had completed all of the preproduction and had already worked hard on the film. Pressure mounted on Warner Brothers and Eastwood to back down, and refusal to do so resulted in a fine, reported to be around $60,000 for the violation. Symbolically, this resulted in the Director's Guild passing new legislation, known as 'the Clint Eastwood Rule' in which they reserved the right to impose a major fine on a producer for discharging a director and replacing him with himself. From then on the film was directed by Eastwood himself with Daley second in command, but with Kaufman's planning already in place, the team were able to finish making the film efficiently.

Upon release in August 1976, The Outlaw Josey Wales was widely acclaimed by critics. Many critics and viewers saw Eastwood's role as an iconic one, relating it with much of America's ancestral past and the destiny of the nation after the American Civil War. The film was pre-screened at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities in Idaho in a six-day conference entitled, Western Movies:Myths and Images. Some two hundred esteemed film critics, academics and directors including critics Jay Cocks and Arthur Knight and directors such as King Vidor, William Wyler and Howard Hawks were invited to the screening. The film would later appear in Time magazines Top 10 films of the year. Roger Ebert compared the nature and vulnerability of Eastwood's portrayal of Josey Wales with his Man With No Name character in his Dollars westerns and praised the atmosphere of the film. The film is seen by many as a Western masterpiece and has been awarded a 97% rating on the critical website Rotten Tomatoes.

The Outlaw Josey Wales by Forrest Carter (as The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales, Gantt, Ala., Whipporwill Publishers, 1973; as Gone to Texas, London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1975)
Futura 08600-7331-9 as Gone to Texas, 1976, viii+206pp.
——, 2nd imp., as The Outlaw Josey Wales, 1976, viii+206pp, 60p.
Few men came tougher than Josey Wales. He survived the raiders who massacred his family. He survived as a guerrilla soldier alongside Jesse James in the Missouri-Kansas border feuds. He lived through the Civil War as a Confederate rebel.
__When the war ended Josey Wales chose the hard road to Texas in search of a new life. Texas was more than 1,000 miles away. Behind him rode the Bluecoats. In front the way was barred by hostile Indians. And all around there were braggarts and bounty hunters ready to try their luck against the outlaw called Josey Wales.
After The Outlaw Josey Wales, Eastwood was offered the role of Benjamin L. Willard in Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now but declined as he did not want to spend weeks in the Philippines shooting it. He was offered the part of a platoon leader in Ted Post's Vietnam War film, Go Tell the Spartans. Eastwood refused the part and Burt Lancaster played the character instead. Eastwood was presented with a script called Moving Target which had potential but needed a major rewrite. In the end it was decided to make a third Dirty Harry film. The script, devised by Stirling Silliphant had Harry up against a San Francisco Bay area Symbionese Liberation Army  type group, which in real life had terrorized the area in 1974 with ruthless kidnappings and violence, and the film would end in a shoot out at the gang's hideout on Alcatraz island. Eastwood met Silliphant in a restaurant in Tiburon  and instantly took a liking to the script, particularly the shoot out and the idea of Callahan having a woman as a police partner, his worst nightmare, a relationship which would gradually blossom during the course of the film and provide a backbone to the film's structure as they encounter different situations, from initial hatred to a fondness of each other and Callahan's genuine sorrow on her being shot in the finale. Silliphant wrote the script throughout late 1975 and early 1976 and delivered his draft to Eastwood in February 1976. Whilst Eastwood approved, he believed there was just a little too much emphasis on relationship rather than action and was concerned the fans might not approve, so Dean Riesner revised the script, keeping the structure but reducing Callahan's lines and placing in more action and making the mayor as the subject of the gang's kidnapping. Kate Moore was originally proposed to play the part of the female cop, but in the end it went to Tyne Daly. Her casting was initially uncertain, given that she turned down the role three times. She objected to the way her character was treated in parts to the film and showed concern that two members of the police force falling in love on the job was problematic, given that they would be putting their lives in jeopardy by not reaching peak efficiency. Daly was permitted to read the drafts of the script developed by Riesner and had significant leeway in the development of her character, although after seeing the film at the premiere was horrified by the extent of the violence.

With James Fargo to direct, filming commenced in the San Francisco bay area in the summer of 1976. Eastwood was initially still dubious with the quantity of his lines and preferred a less talkative approach, something perhaps embedded in him by Sergio Leone. He encountered serious difficulties in the bar scene with Harry and Kate (Daly) and the scene had to be shot at least 6 times. The film ended up considerably shorter than the previous Dirty Harry films, and was cut to 95 minutes. Upon release in the fall of 1976, The Enforcer was a major commercial success and grossed a total of $100 million, $60 million in the United States and easily became Eastwood's best selling film to date, earning more than some of his previous films combined. Critically, Eastwood's performance was poorly received and was named "Worst Actor of the Year" by the Harvard Lampoon and the film was criticised for its level of violence. His performance in the third installment was overshadowed by positive reviews given to Daly in her convincing role as the strong-minded female cop. Feminist reviewers in particular gave Daly rave reviews, with Marjorie Rosen remarking that Malpaso "had invented a heroine of steel" and Jean Hoelscher of Hollywood Reporter praising Eastwood for abandoning his ego in casting such as strong female actress in his film.

The Enforcer by Wesley Morgan (New York, Warner Books, 1976)
Star 0352-30239-9, 1978.
——, 2nd imp., 1980, 189pp, £1.25.
San Francisco trembles when a group of terrorists lays siege to the city, planting bombs and demanding millions. Frightened officials start cracking down on suspected political militants—but Harry Callahan knows a heist when he sees one. These are hoods—and the only cause they're fighting for is the money. To end their power play, Harry will fight dirty as they do and make sure the blood they shed will be their own.
In 1977, Eastwood directed and starred in The Gauntlet, in which he played a down-and-out cop who falls in love with a prostitute whom he's assigned to escort from Las Vegas to Phoenix in order for her to testify against the mob. Written by Dennis Shryack and Michal Butler, Steve McQueen and Barbra Streisand were originally cast as the film's stars. Fighting between the two forced them to drop out of the project, with Eastwood and Locke replacing them. References to political corruption and organized crime  were depicted in the film. Although a moderate hit with the viewing public, critics were mixed about the film, with many believing it was overly violent. Eastwood's long time nemesis Pauline Kael called it "a tale varnished with foul language and garnished with violence". Roger Ebert, on the other hand, gave it three stars and called it "...classic Clint Eastwood: fast, furious, and funny." David Ansen of Newsweek wrote, "You don't believe a minute of it, but at the end of the quest, it's hard not to chuckle and cheer".

The Gauntlet by Michael Butler & Dennis Shryack (New York, Warner Books, 1977)
Star 0352-30159-7, 1977, 208pp, 60p.
——, 2nd imp., 1978; 3rd imp., 1979, 70p;
——, 4rd imp., 1980, 208pp, £1.25.
He was a cop who "got a job done."
__She was a hooker set up by both the law and the mob to have a job done on her.
__They were two people with nothing left to do but run...
In 1978, Eastwood starred in Every Which Way But Loose  an uncharacteristic, offbeat comedy role. Eastwood played Philo Beddoe, a trucker and brawler who roamed the American West, searching for a lost love, while accompanying his best brother/manager Orville and his pet orangutan, Clyde. The script, written by Jeremy Joe Kronsberg  had been turned down by many other big production companies in Hollywood and most of Eastwood's production team agents all though it was ill advised. Bob Hoyt  who Eastwood had contacts with through his Malpaso secretary Judy Hoyt and Eastwood's long term friend Fritz Manes thought it showed promise and eventually convinced Warner Brothers to buy it. An orangutan named Manis was brought in to play Clyde, Geoffrey Lewis as the dimwitted Orville, Beverly D'Angelo as his girlfriend and Sondra Locke as Lynn Halsey-Taylor, the country and western barroom singer. Songwriter Snuff Garrett  was hired to write songs for the film, including three for Locke's character, something which proved problematic as Locke was not a professional singer. Upon its release, the film was a surprising success and became Eastwood's most commercially successful film at the time and ranks high amongst those of his career to date, becoming the second-highest grossing film of the year. It was panned by the critics, with Variety  commenting that, "This film is so awful it's almost as if Eastwood is using it to find out how far he can go - how bad a film he can associate himself with". David Ansen of Newsweek described the film as, "plotless junk heap of moronic gags, sour romance and fatuous fisticuffs.

Every Which Way But Loose by Jeremy Joe Kronsberg (New York, Warner Books, 1980)
Robert Hale (h/c), 1980.
Star 0352-30795-1, (Dec)1980, 191pp, £1.25. [FC: Clint Eastwood]

In 1979, Eastwood starred in the fact-based movie Escape from Alcatraz, based on the true story of Frank Lee Morris, who, along with John and Clarence Anglin escaped from the notorious Alcatraz  prison in 1962. The inmates dug through the walls with their spoons, made papier-mache dummies as decoys and made a raft out of raincoats and escaped across San Francisco Bay, never to be seen again. The script to the film was written by Richard Tuggle, based on the 1963 non-fiction account by J. Campbell Bruce. Eastwood was drawn to the role as ringleader Frank Morris and agreed to star, providing Don Siegel directed under the Malpaso banner. Siegel inisted that it be a Don Siegel film and out-maneouvered Clint by purchasing the rights to the film for $100,000. This created a rift between the friends, causing Siegel to depart to Paramount, a rival studio. Although their disagreement was later patched up and Siegel agreed for it to be a Malpaso-Siegel production, Siegel would never direct an Eastwood picture again. As Siegel and Tuggle worked on the script, the producers paid $500,000 to restore the decaying prison and recreate the cold atmosphere, although some interiors had to be recreated within the studio. The film was a major success, earning $34 million in the states alone and was widely acclaimed by critics, marking the beginning of a newly found critical praise Eastwood began to receive in the early 1980s. Frank Rich of Time described the film as "cool, cinematic grace", whilst Stanley Kauffman of The New Republic called it "crystalline cinema".
Escape from Alcatraz by J. Campbell Bruce (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1963; London, Hammond, 1964; revised, Comstock, 1976)
Mayflower-Dell 2405, 1966, 221pp.
Futura 07088-1692-4, 1979, 218pp, 90p. [FC: film poster, Clint Eastwood]
Alcatraz. Throughout time, the stark, rainlashed rock had stood, an ominous scar on the face of San Francisco's scenic bay.
__By the twentieth century, riots, bloodshed, madness and murder filled the penitentiary that was built on its forbidding shore.
__Bugs Moran and Machine Gun Kelly passed silent years in its cold, damp cells. Al Capone did laundry for the Army by day and went insane by night. They never escaped. It was said no one ever could.
__But Frank Lee Morris disagreed.

(* The main body text for this column is from the Wikipedia article "Clint Eastwood in the 1970s", accessed 24 September 2010 (last modified 23 August 2010).Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.)

Dirty Harry: The Novels

Following the release of the third Dirty Harry movie, The Enforcer, in 1976, Clint Eastwood made it clear that he did not intend making any more. In 1981, Warner Books (the publishing arm of Warner Bros., who made the films) began publishing a number of men's adventure series, including one featuring further adventures for Harry Callahan. The books, written primarily by Richard S. (Ric) Meyers (1953- ) and Leslie Alan Horvitz (1948- ), appeared under the house name Dane Hartman. The series was brought to an end when Eastwood decided to direct, produce and star in a fourth Dirty Harry movie, Sudden Impact, which was released in December 1983.

Pictured below are the six (out of twelve) books in the series that were reprinted in the UK. There's a very good site here with more information on the American series as well as scans of all 12 Warner Books' covers, which the UK covers were adapted from. Also an interview with Ric Meyers talking about his time on the series.

Dirty Harry 1: Duel for Cannons by Dane Hartman [Ric Meyers] (New York, Warner Books, Sep 1981)
NEL 0450-05419-5, Jun 1982, 173pp, £1.25.
'Dirty Harry' Callahan is back. The Magnum maverick from Homicide. Who blows away the rules when the rules get in his way. And blows away the opposition like a .44 force in his own heavy calibre campaign of war on the most wanted.
__Dirty Harry's back, blasting his way from the mean streets of San Francisco to the blazing byways of San Antonio. His target—a crime boss who's got the whole town under his thumb, cops included.
__Harry's all alone now with nothing except his hand-held enforcer, a stash of dirty tricks up his sleeve and a deeply held belief that the best way to a man's heart is clean through the ribcage.
Dirty Harry 2: Death on the Docks by Dane Hartman [Leslie Horvitz] (New York, Warner Books, Sep 1981)
NEL 0450-05420-9, Jun 1982, 189pp, £1.25.
Dirty Harry's back and it's a labor of love when he busts a Labor racketeer. Especially when the Union boss is Matt Braxton, the biggest deal on the docks. Corrupt enough to be cosy with the Mob, rich enough to afford the price of friends in high places, ruthless enough to wipe out anyone who stands in his way.
__And starnding in his way right now is Dirty Harry. Who negotiates from strength and knows that any enemy will see the point when he's hit smack between the eyes.
Dirty Harry 3: The Long Death by Dane Hartman [Ric Meyers] (New York, Warner Books, Dec 1981)
NEL 0450-05510-8, Sep 1982, 172pp, £1.25.
There's trouble on campus. But these days the students at Berkeley, across the Bay from San Francisco, aren't protesting, rioting or dropping out. Instead they're being taken out. Vanishing. Not seeking the hippie dream but driven into white slavery. Drugged, beaten, tortured, Californian beauties turned into brutalised sex slaves. Killed if they resist.
__Dirty Harry's no academic. But he does know how to drive home a lesson and set up a final examination. With a bullet.
Dirty Harry 4: The Mexico Kill by Dane Hartman [Leslie Horvitz] (New York, Warner Books, Mar 1982)
NEL 0450-05511-6, Jan 1983, 191pp, £1.25.
Dirty Harry's all at sea: an ocean fishing trip on a millionaire's yacht down Mexico way. But the Big Game he hopes to net are heroin smuggling pirates and Harry's boat is the bait. Unlike their victims, they're hard to get hooked and harder still to land.
__Still, when Harry starts to shoot up he scores a lot of hits and terminates a lot of lifetime habits as the blue Pacific waters are bloodied red by a Force Ten storm of lead.
Dirty Harry 5: Family Skeletons by Dane Hartman [Ric Meyers] (New York, Warner Books, Apr 1982)
NEL 0450-05619-8, Sep 1983, 175pp, £1.25.
And this time he's on the East coast—for the first time in ten years. Visiting relations in Boston. But this is no quiet domestic reunion—not with a knife-wielding rapist cutting a swathe of bloody terror through the rain-sodden streets. Not with Dirty Harry dragged into the hunt and dispensing his own particular brand of instant justice.
Dirty Harry 6: City of Blood by Dane Hartman [Leslie Horvitz] (New York, Warner Books, Apr 1982)
NEL 0450-05650-3, Jan 1984, 192pp, £1.50.
Winos brutally slaughtered on San Francisco's skid row. Beautiful young women butchered in the act of sex by a perverted killer. Or killers? For this psychopathic rampage seems almost too much for one man to carry out. But one thing is sure, one man is going to find out. Dirty Harry. Who will chase and wade through the sexual sewers of the city's underworld, struggling through the depraved flotsam that drifts with night-time currents. For this is a manhunt that will leave only one survivor.
The series was continued by Warner Books for a further six titles which were not reprinted in the UK.

Dirty Harry 7: Massacre At Russian River [Leslie Horvitz]. New York, Warner Books, Jul 1982.
Dirty Harry 8: Hatchet Man [Ric Meyers]. New York, Warner Books, Aug 1982.
Dirty Harry 9: The Killing Connection [Ric Meyers]. New York, Warner Books, Oct 1982.
Dirty Harry 10: The Blood of Strangers [unknown, possibly Horvitz]. New York, Warner Books, Dec 1982.
Dirty Harry 11: Death in the Air [Ric Meyers]. New York, Warner Books, Feb 1983.
Dirty Harry 12: The Dealer of Death [Leslie Horvitz]. New York, Warner Books, Apr 1983.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Clint Eastwood Cover Gallery: 1970s part 1

In 1970, Eastwood starred in the western, Two Mules for Sister Sara with Shirley MacLaine. The film, directed by Siegel, is a story about an American mercenary who gets mixed up with a whore disguised as a nun and aid a group of Juarista rebels during the puppet reign of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico. The story was initially written by Budd Boetticher, who was later sacked and replaced with Albert Maltz to revise the script. The film saw Eastwood embody the tall mysterious stranger once more, unshaven, wearing a serape-like vest and smoking a cigar and the film score was composed by Morricone. Although the film had Leonesque dirty Hispanic villains, the film was considerably less crude and more sardonic than those of Leone. The role of Sister Sara was initially offered to Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of Where Eagles Dare  (Taylor then being the wife of Richard Burton) but had to turn down the role because she wanted to shoot in Spain where Burton was filming his latest movie. Although Sister Sara was supposed to be Mexican, they eventually cast Shirley MacLaine although they were initially unconvinced with her pale complexion.  Both Siegel and Eastwood felt intimidated by her onset, and Siegel described Clint's co-star as, "It's hard to feel any great warmth to her. She's too unfeminine and has too much balls. She's very, very hard." Two Mules for Sister Sara  marked the last time that Eastwood would receive second billing for a film and it would be 25 years until he risked being overshadowed by a leading lady again in The Bridges of Madison County (1995). The film, which took four months to shoot and cost around $4 million to make, received moderate reviews, and Roger Greenspun of the New York Times  reported, "I'm not sure it is a great movie, but it is very good and it stays and grows on the mind the way only movies of exceptional narrative intelligence do". Stanley Kauffman described the film as "an attempt to keep old Hollywood alive- a place where nuns can turn out to be disguised whores, where heroes can always have a stick of dynamite under their vests, where every story has not one but two cute finishes. Its kind of The African Queen gone west". The New York Times in its book, The New York Times Guide to the Best 1000 Movies Ever Made included Two Mules for Sister Sara in its top 1000 films of all time.

Two Mules for Sister Sara
No novel of novelisation.

Later in 1970 he appeared in the World War II movie, Kelly's Heroes with Donald Sutherland and Telly Savalas. The film, which stars Eastwood as one of a group of Americans who steal a fortune in bullion from the Nazis, combined tough-guy action with offbeat humor. It was the last non-Malpaso film that Clint agreed to appear in. The filming commenced in July 1969 and was shot on location in Yugoslavia and London. Directed by Brian G. Hutton, the film involved hundreds of extras and dangerous special effects. The climax to the film echoes that of his Dollars films when he advances in lockstep on a German tiger tank on the street of a small European town, with a Morricone-esque soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin. The film received mostly a positive reception and its anti-war sentiments were recognized. The film has a respectable 83% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Kelly's Heroes by Burt Hirschfeld (New York, Lancer, 1970)
Sphere 07221-4567-5, 1970, 142pp, 25p. [FC: Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Gavin MacLeod et al]
15 million in Nazi gold.
Kelly took a gold bar from the attache case and dropped it on the Crapgame's papers. The seamy little man stared at it, then picked up the phone and cranked.
__"Get me a quotation on the Paris gold market." His voice was crisp and business-like. He eyed Kelly. "How much more where this came from?"
__"Four thousand bars."
__"And where is all this gold?"
__"In a bank. In a bank behind enemy lines."
__A look of bliss came over Crapgame's face.
__"That," he said with quiet respect, "could be the perfect crime."
In the winter of 1969-70, Eastwood and Siegel began planning his next film, The Beguiled. Jennings Lang was inspired by the 1966 novel by Thomas Cullinan  and in passing the book to Eastwood he was engrossed throughout the night in reading the tale of a wounded Union soldier held captive by the sexually repressed matron of a southern girls' school. This was the first of several films where Eastwood has agreed to storylines where he is the centre of female attention, including minors. Albert Maltz, who had worked on Two Mules for Sister Sara was brought in to draft the script, but disagreements in the end led to a revision of the script by Claude Traverse, who although uncredited, led to Maltz being credited under a pseudonym. The film, according to Siegel, deals with the themes of sex, violence and vengeance and was based around, "the basic desire of women to castrate men". Jeanne Moreau  was considered for the role of the domineering headmistress Martha Farnsworth, but in the end the role went to acclaimed Broadway actress Geraldine Page, and actresses Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris, Darlene Carr, Mae Mercer and Pamelyn Ferdin were cast in supporting roles. The film received major recognition in France, and was proposed by Pierre Rissient to the Cannes Film Festival, and while agreed to by Eastwood and Siegel, the producers declined. It would be widely screened in France later and is considered one of Eastwood's finest works by the French. Although the film reached number two on Variety's chart of top grossing films, it was poorly marketed and in the end grossed less than $1 million, earning over four times less than Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song did at the same time and falling to below 50 in the charts within two weeks of release. According to Eastwood and Jennings Lang, the film, aside from being poorly publicized, flopped due to Clint being "emasculated in the film". Eastwood said of his role in The Beguiled,

    "Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino play losers very well. But my audience like to be in there vicariously with a winner. That isn't always popular with critics. My characters have sensitivity and vulnerabilities, but they're still winners. I don't pretend to understand losers. When I read a script about a loser I think of people in life who are losers and they seem to want it that way. It's a compulsive philosophy with them. Winners tell themselves, I'm as bright as the next person. I can do it. Nothing can stop me."

On July 21, 1970, Eastwood's father died of a heart attack, unexpectedly at the age of 64. It came as a shock to Eastwood as his grandfather had lived to 92 and had a profound impact on Eastwood's life, described by Fritz Manes as "the only bad thing that ever happened to him in his life". From this moment he viewed by others as less lazy than previously, and had a greater sense of urgency on set and retains this speed and efficiency onset to this day. Although Eastwood had always been into health and fitness, he became increasingly so after his father's death, refusing to drink hard liquor (although he still regularly drank cold beer and opened up a pub called the Hog Breath's Inn in Carmel in 1971) and adopting a rigorous health regime and seeking out remedies to stay looking youthful.

The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan (New York, Horizon Press, 1966)
Sphere 07221-2719-7, 1971, 416pp.

1971 proved to be a professional turning point in Eastwood's career. Before Irving Leonard had died, the last film they had discussed at Malpaso was to give Eastwood the artistic control that he desired and make his directorial debut in Play Misty for Me. The script was originally thought of by Jo Heims, a former model and dancer turned secretary and was polished off by Dean Riesner. Heim's story involves a jazz disc jockey named Dave (Eastwood) who has a casual affair with Evelyn (Jessica Walter), one of his listeners who had been calling the radio station repeatedly at night asking him to play her favourite song, Erroll Garner's Misty. When Dave ends their relationship the female fan becomes possessive and then violent, turning into a crazed murderess. The idea of another lover's interest with a level-headed girlfriend Tobie added to the plot was a suggestion by Sonia Chernus, an editor who had originally been there when Eastwood initially was spotted for Rawhide. The storyline was originally set in Los Angeles, but under Eastwood's insistence, the film was shot in the more comfortable surroundings of the Carmel area, where he could shoot scenes at the local radio station, bars and restaurants and at friends' houses. Filming commenced in Monterey in September 1970 and although this was Eastwood's debut, Siegel stood by and frequent collaborators of Siegel's, such as cinematographer Bruce Surtees, editor Carl Pingitoire and composer Dee Barton, made up part of the filming team. The rights to the song Misty were obtained after Eastwood saw Garner at the Concord Music Festival in 1970 and he later paid $2,000 for the use of the song The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack.

Meticulous planning and efficient directorship by Eastwood saw the film fall nearly $50,000 short of its $1 million budget and the film was completed four or five days ahead of schedule. Rissient successfully arranged for Play Misty for Me to premiere in October 1971 and for it to premiere at the San Francisco Film Festival and is was widely released in the November. The film was highly acclaimed by critics, with critics such as Jay Cocks in Time, Andrew Sarris in the Village Voice and Archer Winsten in the New York Post all praising Eastwood's directorial skills and the film, including his performance in the scenes with Walter.

Play Misty for Me by Paul J. Gillette (New York, Award Books, 1971)
Tandem, 1972
Star 0352-30273-9, 1978
——, 2nd imp., 1980, 152pp, 85p.
The trap is baited... A beautiful, lonely, possessive girl; a successful popular disc-jockey.
__The trap is set... A night of casual lust--no complications, no strings attached.
__The trap begins to close... Jealousy and revenge boil over in a nightmare of terror.
The script to Dirty Harry was originally written by Harry Julian and Rita M. Fink, a story about a hard-edged New York City police inspector Harry Callahan, determined to stop a psychotic killer by any means at his disposal. The script was presented to Eastwood by Jennings Lang and the rights to the film were bought by Warner Brothers. Irving Kershner was originally intended as director as was Frank Sinatra  to play the character but he had reportedly grown unhappy with the script, although withdrew officially because of a hand injury. While Play Misty for Me was attractive to Eastwood, "by the sadness of the character", he signed up for Dirty Harry and this was reported in the press in December 1970 that Malpaso would be producing the film in a joint venture with Warner Brothers. Many locations in the script were altered and moved to San Francisco. One evening Eastwood and Siegel had been watching the San Francisco 49ers in the Kezar Stadium in the last game of the season and thought the eerie Greek amphitheatre  like setting would be an excellent location for shooting one of the scenes where Callahan encounters the psychopathic killer Scorpio. A railway trestle crossing over Sir Francis Drake Boulevard would be used in the finale. Andrew Robinson, who Eastwood had seen in a play called Subject to Fits was cast as the killer Scorpio, whose unkept appearance fit the bill for a mentally ill hippie. Past collaborators Surtees, Pingitore and Schifrin were once again hired, with Schifrin composing many of the jazz tracks to the film. Glenn Wright, Eastwood's costume designer since Rawhide was responsible for creating Callahan's distinctive old-fashioned brown and yellow checked jacket to emphasise his strong values in pursuing crime. Filming for Dirty Harry began in April 1971 and involved some risky stunts, with much footage shot at night and filming the city of San Francisco aerially which the film series is renowned for. Dirty Harry is arguably Eastwood's most memorable character and the lines that Callahan utters when addressing a wounded bank robber are often cited amongst the most memorable in cinematic history:

"I know what you're thinking — 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But, being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

The film has been credited with inventing the "loose-cannon cop genre" that is imitated to this day. Eastwood's tough, no-nonsense portrayal of Dirty Harry touched a cultural nerve with many who were fed up with crime in the streets. The film was released at a time when throughout 1970 and 1971 there were prevalent reports of local and federal police committing atrocities and overstepping their authority by entrapment and obstruction of justice. America needed a hero, a winner at a time when the authorities were losing the battle against crime. After release in December 1971, Dirty Harry proved a phenomenal success which would be go on to become Siegel's highest grossing film and the start of a series of films which is arguably Eastwood's signature role, with fans demanding more. Although a number of critics such as Jay Cocks of Time praised his performance as Dirty Harry, describing him as "giving his best performance so far, tense, tough, full of implicit identification with his character", the film was widely criticized and accused of fascism through Eastwood's portrayal of the ruthless cop. Feminists in particular were outraged by the film and at the Oscars for 1971 protested outside holding up banners which read messages such as "Dirty Harry is a Rotten Pig". Many critics expressed concern with what they saw as bigotry, with Newsweek describing the film as "a right-wing fantasy", Variety as "a specious, phony glorification of the police and police brutality with a superhero whose antics become almost satire" and a raging review by Pauline Kael of The New Yorker who accused Eastwood of a "single-minded attack against liberal values". Several people accused him of racism in the decision to cast four African-Americans as the bank robbers. Eastwood dismissed the political outrage, claiming that Callahan was just obeying a higher moral authority, and said, "some people are so politically oriented, when they see cornflakes in a bowl, they get some complex interpretation out of it".

Dirty Harry by Philip Rock (New York, Bantam, 1971)
Star 0352-30099-X, 1977, 136pp, 60p.
——, 2nd imp., 1977; 3rd imp., 1978.
——, 4th imp., 1980, 136pp, 95p.
——, 5th imp., 1980, 95p; [6th?] imp., [c.1980], £1.25.
To the city of San Francisco.
__I will enjoy killing one person every day until you pay me $100,000. If you agree say so within 48 hours in personal column San Francisco Chronicle and I will set up meeting. If I do not hear from you it will be my next pleasure to kill a Catholic priest or a nigger.
An anonymous sniper who kills by the stars, and a ruthless cop determined to track him down before the streets of San Francisco run with blood. The city would erupt into an orgy of killings if Dirty Harry didn't find the marksman first.
Eastwood next starred in the loner Western Joe Kidd, released in 1972. He was given the script by Jennings Lang, written by novelist Elmore Leonard. Originally called The Sinola Courthouse Raid, it was about a character inspired by Reies Lopez Tijerina, an ardent supporter of Robert F. Kennedy, known for storming a courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico  in an incident in June 1967, taking hostages and demanding that the Hispanic people be granted their ancestral lands back to them. Leonard depicted Tijerina in his story, a man he named Luis Chama, as an egomaniac, a role which went to John Saxon. Robert Duvall  was cast as Frank Harlan, a ruthless land owner who hires Eastwood's character, a former frontier guide named Joe Kidd, to track down the culprits and scare them away. Don Stroud, who Eastwood had starred alongside in Coogan's Bluff, was cast as another sour villain who encounters Joe Kidd. Under the director's helm of John Sturges, who had directed acclaimed westerns such as The Magnificent Seven (1960), filming began in Old Tucson in November 1971, overlapping with another film production, John Huston's The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, which was just wrapping up shooting. Outdoor sequences to the film were shot near June Lake, east of the Yosemite National Park.

The actors were initially uncertain with the strength of the three main characters in the film and how the hero Joe Kidd would come across.

According to writer Leonard, the initial slow development between the three was probably because the cast were so initially awestruck by having Sturges direct that they surrendered authority to him. Eastwood was far from in perfect health during the film and suffered symptoms that relayed the possibility of a bronchial infection and suffered several panic attacks, falsely reported in the media as him having an allergy to horses. During production, the script for the finale was altered when producer Bob Daley jokingly said that a train should crash through the barroom in the climax and he was taken seriously by cast and crew and they thought it was a great idea. Joe Kidd received a mixed reception. For instance Roger Greenspun of The New York Times thought the film overall was nothing remarkable and had foolish symbolism and what he suspected was sloppy editing, but praised Eastwood's performance.

"I think it is a very good performance in context. Like so many Western heroes, Joe Kidd figures even in his own time as an anachronism — powerful through his instincts mainly, and through the ability of everybody else, whether in rage or gratitude, to recognize in him a quality that must be called virtue. The great value of Clint Eastwood in such a position is that he guards his virtue very cannily, and in the society of "Joe Kidd," where the men still manage to tip their hats to the ladies, but just barely, all the Eastwood effects and mannerisms suggest a carefully preserved authenticity." - Roger Greenspun, The New York Times, July 20, 1972

Eastwood had now starred in an astonishing ten films in a four-year period and a headline published in the Motion Picture Herald in 1972 read, 'Eastwood Topples John Wayne', who only had one release that year, The Cowboys.

Joe Kidd
No novel or novelisation.

1973 proved another benchmark to Eastwood when he directed his first western, High Plains Drifter. Under a joint production between Malpaso and Universal, the script was created by Ernest Tidyman, an acclaimed writer who had won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for The French Connection. Dean Riesner collaborated and came up with the final plot; a tall, mysterious stranger arrives in a brooding Western town where the people share a guilty secret. They hire the stranger to defend the town against three felons soon to be released but fail to recognise that they once killed this stranger in a brutal whipping and that his reappearance is supernatural. The ghostly stranger forces the people to paint the town red and names it "Hell" and seeks revenge. Holes in the plot were filled in with black humor and allegory, influenced by Sergio Leone. Henry Bumstead was brought in the design the eerie set, set on the shores of Mono Lake, Bruce Sartees as the cinematographer and Dee Barton composing the equally eerie score which ranged from typical Morricone type grandeur to horror-esque shrilling. High Plains Drifter would be the first of six movies Eastwood made with friend Geoffrey Lewis. The revisionist film received a mixed reception from critics but was a major box office success. A number of critics thought Eastwood's directing was as a derivative as it was expressive with Arthur Knight in Saturday Review remarking that Clint had "absorbed the approaches of Siegel and Leone and fused them with his own paranoid vision of society". Jon Landau of Rolling Stone concurred, remarking that it is his thematic shallowness and verbal archness which is where the film fell apart, yet he expressed approval of the dramatic scenery and cinematography.

High Plains Drifter by Ernest Tidyman (New York, Bantam, 1973)
Corgi 0552-09388-2, 1973, 151pp.

Elmore Leonard had proposed the idea of a film about an artichoke  farmer who refused to surrender to a criminal syndicate trying to squeeze his profits. Eastwood had read the twenty five pages outlined by Leonard and refused the offer, despite him setting the film around Castroville, near Carmel. Instead, Eastwood turned his attention towards a script written by Jo Heims about a love blossoming between a middle-aged man and a teenage girl, Breezy. Heims had originally intended Clint to play the starring role of the realtor Frank Harmon, a bitter divorced man who falls in love with the young Breezy. Whilst Eastwood confessed to "understanding the Frank Harmon character" he believed he was too young at that stage to play Harmon. That part would go to William Holden, twelve years Eastwood's senior and Clint decided to direct the picture. During casting for the film, Eastwood met Sondra Locke for the first time, an actress who would play a major role in many of his films for the next ten years and an important figure in his life. Locke, who was 26 at this time, was considered too old for the Breezy part and after much auditioning, a young dark-haired actress named Kay Lenz, who had recently appeared in American Graffiti, was cast. According to friends of Clint, he became infatuated with Lenz during this period. Filming for Breezy began in the November of 1972 in Los Angeles. With Surtees occupied elsewhere, Frank Stanley was brought in the shoot the picture, the first of four films he would shoot for Malpaso. The film was shot very quickly and efficiently and in the end went $1 million under budget and finished three days before schedule. The film was not a major success, it barely reached the Top 50 before disappearing and was only made available on video in 1998. Nor was it received particularly well by critics. Some critics, including Eastwood's biographer Richard Schnickel believed that the sexual content of the film and love scenes were too soft to be memorable for such a potentially scandalous relationship between Harmon and Breezy, commenting that, "it is not a sexy movie. Once again, Eastwood was too polite in his eroticism."

No novel or novelisation.

Tomorrow: The return of Dirty Harry!

(* The main body text for this column is from the Wikipedia article "Clint Eastwood in the 1970s", accessed 23 September 2010 (last modified 23 August 2010).Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.)

A few 'Spaghetti Westerns' more

The headline above isn't quite accurate but I'm using it to group together a batch of Westerns published by Tandem in the early 1970s around the same time that they were publishing the 'Dollar' series of movie spin-offs.

Although Clint Eastwood starred in only three Westerns for Sergio Leone, known as the Dollar Trilogy, Leone continued to make movies, travelling to America to shoot Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) for Paramount and Duck, You Sucker! for Euro International Film (1971). The latter, starring Rod Steiger and James Coburn, was to have been directed by Peter Bogdanovitch and produced by Leone. Bogdanovich departed before shooting began because he felt he was not in control of the movie; Leone took over as director. In the US Duck, You Sucker! was distributed by United Artists in a cut version in the summer of 1972 with little impact. They re-released the film with the now more familiar title, A Fistful of Dynamite, to take advantage of the popularity of A Fistful of Dollars (in some European territories it was released as Once Upon a Time... the Revolution, to take advantage of the popularity of Once Upon a Time in the West).

A Fistful of Dynamite by James Lewis (as Duck, You Sucker!, New York, Award Books, Aug 1971)
Tandem 04260-7157-3, 1972, 154pp.
Tandem 0426-15747-8, 1972 [?later recover?], 154pp. Cover by Achilleos

James Lewis also wrote The Consumers Fight-Back Book (1972) for Award.

Because of their tie-in with Award Books, Tandem had published a number of Westerns in their early years (e.g. Rio Chama by Bennett Garland, Gunlock by Sam Bowie) and followed Award into the publishing of movie tie-in Western novelisations with The Wild Bunch (1969) and The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1970). The former even promoted itself as being written by Brian Fox "author of A Dollar to Die For", linking the new movie to the best-selling book—the first of the Man With No Name spin-offs rather than a genuine movie novelisation. The later Macho Callahan was also credited to Joe Millard "author of For a Few Dollars More" to (presumably) give it a sales boost.

The Wild Bunch by Brian Fox (New York, Award Books, Jun 1969)
Tandem 04260-4407-X, (Sep) 1969, 156pp, 5/-.
----, 2nd imp., 1972, 156pp, 25p.

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys by Joe Millard (New York, Award Books, Nov 1969)
Tandem 04260-4650-1, (May) 1970, 158pp, 5/-.

The McMasters by Dean Owen (New York, Award Books, Jun 1970)
Tandem 04260-4861-X, (Aug) 1970, 126pp.

Valdez is Coming by Elmore Leonard (London, Robert Hale, 1969; Greenwich, CT, Fawcett Gold Medal, Sep 1970)
Tandem 04260-4909-8, (Sep) 1970, 188pp.

Macho Callahan by Joe Millard (New York, Award Books, Aug 1970)
Tandem 04260-5629-9, (May) 1971, 154pp.

Sabata by Brian Fox (New York, Award Books, (cy1969) Sep 1970)
Tandem 04260-5610-9, (May) 1971, 156pp.

Lawman by Grant Freeling (New York, Award Books, 1970)
Tandem 04260-5645-0, (Apr) 1971, 123pp.

Freeling (probably a pseudonym) was also responsible for another Award novelisation, Something Big (Award Books, Oct 1971).

The Hunting Party by Joe Millard (New York, Award Books, Aug 1971)
Tandem 04260-6103-9, 1971, 156pp.

The Valdez Horses by Lee Hoffman (Garden City, NY, Doubleday, 1967)
Tandem 04250-6752-5, (Aug) 1972, 158pp.

Chato's Land by Joe Millard (New York, Award Books, (cy1971) Nov 1972)
Tandem 04260-6840-8, (Aug) 1972, 160pp, 25p.
The posse rode out from Arillo on a vengeance hunt, hunting the Apache half-breed who had shot the sheriff.
__They rode into a savage, hostile land, where the sun burned down on them, coyote and vulture dogged their trail, waiting hopefully for man or horse to die, and Chato, at home in that land as they could never be, lured them deeper into the desert of canyons and salt flats, picking them off one by one as he liked.
__What had started out as a grand hunt soon lost its savour when the prey turned on the pack, for it takes more than a twelve-man posse to run down an Apache, and what Chato didn't destroy, Chato's land would.

Charles Bronson and Jack Palance star in the Michael Winner film "Chato's Land", co-starring Richard Basehart, James Whitmore and Simon Oakland. Produced and directed by Michael Winner. Written by Gerald Wilson. United Artists, Entertainment from Transamerica Corporation.
There were two more Sabata books published in the USA which I believe were not reprinted in the UK, but possibly distributed here. The Sabata series was filmed by P.E.A., the production company responsible for the Dollars trilogy, and starred Lee Van Cleef. The original Sabata movie, Ehi amico ... c'è Sabata, hai chiuso!, was released in Italy in 1969 and in the US in September 1970, accompanied by a novelisation by Brian Fox ("author of The Wild Bunch"), which can be seen above. P.E.A. wanted to make a sequel and wanted Lee Van Cleef to reprise his role as Sabata. Unfortunately for P.E.A., Van Cleef was filming another role at the time for The Magnificent Seven Ride, playing Marshal Chris Adams, a character played in the original Magnificent Seven movie by Yul Brynner. Instead, the Sabata sequel became Indio Black, sai che ti dico: Sei un gran figlio di... and featured a character called Indio Black, played ... by Yul Brynner!

But the original Sabata had proven popular, so Indio Black was released in the USA in 1971 as Adiós, Sabata. To confuse matters further, Van Cleef was available for the next movie, È tornato Sabata ... hai chiuso un'altra volta (1971), released in the US as The Return of Sabata, and the three films are often considered a trilogy.

An odd fact to end on: Willis Todhunter Ballard originally wanted to use the pseudonym Sam Bowie on the novelisation of Return of Sabata, a pen-name he had recently used on the Ace Books novelisation of Chisum—perhaps to give the book a sales boost as the John Wayne adaptation probably outsold Sabata. In any event, Award retained Brian Fox as the byline for the series.

Adiós, Sabata by Alice Denham (New York, Popular Library, (cy1970) Oct 1971)

The Return of Sabata by Brian Fox (New York, Award Books, (cy1971) Dec 1972)


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