Sorry that I haven’t been posting much lately, but the second quarter of this year has been a bit busy. A couple of writing projects I had undertaken at the outset of the year needed finishing and since then, more have materialised. And I’ve been on holiday to Polperro in Cornwall.
I’ve been continuing to contribute features to film magazine ‘Cinema Retro’. The January edition, Issue 25, includes ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’, a new series of articles on Oakmont’s WWII productions in the 1960s. Part One discusses ‘Attack on the Iron Coast’, starring two Lloyds – Lloyd Bridges and Sue Lloyd. The issue also includes Robert Sellers’ article on wild man Oliver Reed, the Restoration of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and an in-depth feature on Hammer horror, including interesting ‘then and now’ locations. It can be ordered here:
In the latest issue of ‘Cinema Retro’ (Volume 9: No. 26), Part Two of the Oakmont Story looks at the making of ‘Mosquito Squadron’ (1970) – a film notorious for its reuse of stock footage from ‘633 Squadron’. The issue includes new interviews with stars David McCallum and Nicky Henson, and many colour posters and stills, including behind the scenes special effects shots of Les Bowie’s team at work. The issue also includes Mike Siegel’s 12-page retrospective in Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Straw Dogs’ and Lee Pfeiffer’s interview with Mel Brooks.
Issue 26 also contains my 9-page feature on Don Taylor’s Hollywood-backed spaghetti western, ‘The Five Man Army’ (1969), starring Peter Graves, Bud Spencer and Tetsuro Tamba. I’ve researched the background to the making of this entertaining western, set during the Mexican Revolution and there’s extensive notes on the film’s locations, stars and Ennio Morricone’s score. It’s available to order here:
This one has been released by the Warner Archive on DVD in an uncut version and is well worth a look. It’s available on Amazon UK and US.
I’ve a new series of e-books on cinema launching, more of which soon, and also after taking part in the writing and researching of ‘The James Bond Archives’ last year, I’ve been invited to work on another exciting project with publishers Taschen, that I’ll be posting about in the future. My 2008 book on westerns, ‘Stagecoach to Tombstone’, is being reprinted in a second edition by I.B. Tauris. This is simply a reprint of the original book, though I may look at updating future reprints if the opportunity arises, to include such recent westerns as the remakes of ‘3:10 to Yuma’ and ‘True Grit’, and Brad Pitt’s Jesse James movie. The book focuses on the making of 27 great westerns: Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, High Noon, Shane, Johnny Guitar, Vera Cruz, The Man from Laramie, The Searchers, Gunfight at the OK Corral, Forty Guns, Ride Lonesome, Rio Bravo, The Magnificent Seven, One-Eyed Jacks, Ride the High Country, The Sons of Katie Elder, Once Upon a Time in the West, Support Your Local Sheriff, The Wild Bunch, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, McCabe & Mrs Miller, Ulzana’s Raid, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven and Tombstone.
Arrow Films has also released the Django movie ‘Django, Prepare a Coffin’ (1968) on blu-ray this week, which includes an alternative version of the booklet I wrote for the DVD edition in January, with a different layout but the same essay, ‘The Dead are in their Graves’. Over on Arrow’s Video Deck blog, I’ve guest-written a post with a run-down of my top 10+1 spaghetti westerns.