Thursday, June 26, 2008

Clint Eastwood in Cardiff

In 1967 Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood was briefly in Cardiff. He was in the city to promote his first major film, A Fistful of Dollars, directed by Sergio Leone. Although the now famous spaghetti western had been shot in 1964 it took a full three years before it was released in America and Britain.

At the time of his Welsh visit Eastwood had yet to achieve significant success as a screen actor. In fact, back then, he was best known for his role as Rowdy Yates in television programme Rawhide. The popularity of A Fistful of Dollars would soon change all of that.

When Eastwood arrived at the press screening at the Capitol Theatre there really wasn't that much media interest. Local paper, the South Wales Echo, did get a shot of a bequiffed Eastwood, and his then wife Maggie Johnson, in the back of a car but that was about it. With his DA hairstyle and sober suit he looks like a throwback to the 1950s.

The Welsh newspaper media clearly had no inkling of what a mega-star he was about to turn into, otherwise they might have made more of an effort to, at least, get an interview with 'the man with no name'.

UPDATE: I'm grateful to Gari Melville from Swansea for pointing out that whilst the print media may have been slow off the mark in getting an interview with Clint - TWW were not.

A ridiculously boyish-looking John Humphrys quizzed Eastwood at Television Wales and the West's studios in Pontcanna, Cardiff. You can actually see the interview at ITV Wales's excellent programme archive here. Check it out - it's surreal.