CLINT EASTWOOD AMERICAN ICON COLLECTION Studio: Universal PLAY MISTY FOR ME Original Release: 1971 Length: 1 hour 43 mins Genre: Romantic Drama/Thriller Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Color/B&W: Color Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Subtitles: English SDH Rating: R (Nudity, Violence) Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch, James McKeachin and Don Siegel Screenplay by: Jo Heims and Dean Reisner (from a story by Jo Heims) Directed by: Clint Eastwood THE EIGER SANCTION Original Release: 1975 Length: 2 hours 9 mins Genre: Thriller/Suspense Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Color/B&W: Color Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Subtitles: English SDH Rating: R (Violence) Starring: Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy, Vonetta McGee, Jack Cassidy Screenplay by: Hal Dresner, Warren B. Murphy and Rod Whitaker Based Upon the Novel by Trevanian Directed by: Clint Eastwood COOGAN’S BLUFF Original Release: 1968 Length: 1 hour 35 mins Genre: Thriller/Suspense Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Color/B&W: Color Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono FrenchDolby Digital 2.0 Mono Subtitles: English SDH Rating: R (Violence) Starring: Clint Eastwood, Susan Clark, Don Stroud, Tisha Sterling, Betta Field and Lee J. Cobb Screenplay by: Herman Miller, Dean Reisner and Howard Rodman Produced and Directed by: Don Siegel THE BEGUILED Original Release: 1971 Length: 1 hour 45 mins Genre: Civil War Drama/Thriller/Southern Gothic Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Color/B&W: Color Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Subtitles: English Rating: R (Violence, Sexuality) Starring: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris, Darleen Carr, Mae Mercer, Pamelyn Ferdin, Melody Thomas, Peggy Drier, Patty Mattick Screenplay by: John B. Sherry and Charles Grice Based on the Novel by Thomas Cullinan Produced and Directed by: Don Siegel Release Date: February 10, 2009 Rating: 3 Starring: Clint Eastwood and multiple casts Written by: Various Directed by: Clint Eastwood or Don Siegel Clint Eastwood: American Icon Collection is a compilation of films made for Universal with Clint Eastwood in the lead role between 1968 and 1975. There are 4 films in the set, all of which have been previously available on DVD: Play Misty for Me, The Eiger Sanction, Coogan’s Bluff and The Beguiled. In prior releases, all have been available domestically in anamorphic widescreen except for The Eiger Sanction. (I make no claims about R2 or other releases) For this compilation, all 4 films are presented in anamorphic widescreen, and according to the packaging, they’ve all been digitally remastered. All are presented with the same English and French 2.0 Mono audio mixes from the earlier releases. There are some interesting choices here: Eastwood’s first directorial outing and a mid-seventies action thriller directed by him, along with the iconic Coogan’s Bluff and the more challenging gothic period thriller The Beguiled, both of the latter choices directed by Don Siegel. The collection here is clearly intended to capitalize on the timing of the imminent release of Eastwood’s 2008 period drama Changeling, but this will be a nice opportunity for Eastwood fans to pick up these vintage gems for a good price. Looking at this collection, Play Misty for Me looks identical in its presentation to the 2001 release, including all the special features of that release. The other three films are presented without much fuss in anamorphic transfers but no extras aside from early DVD “Production Notes” and trailers on The Eiger Sanction and The Beguiled. VIDEO QUALITY: 3/5 Clint Eastwood: American Icon Collection presents its films in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers, except for The Eiger Sanction, which receives a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The films look fine here, although their age is certainly showing. Some grain and dirt can be seen here and there – you can see it right off the bat in Coogan’s Bluff. But these are also satisfyingly colorful transfers, particularly Play Misty for Me and The Eiger Sanction. The latter film in particular has some lovingly rich hues on display during the various conversations/confrontations with “the Albino”. I didn’t see anything outrageous in either direction here – just a nice collection of transfers of early 70’s Eastwood material. AUDIO QUALITY: 3/5 Clint Eastwood: American Icon Collection is presented in 2.0 English and French Mono mixes. The mixes all present the dialogue in a clear fashion, along with the appropriate music and effects. There’s nothing wrong with these mixes, but there’s nothing particularly exciting about them either. SPECIAL FEATURES: 2 ½/5 ½ Clint Eastwood: American Icon Collection gets 2 stars for retaining the special features from the 2001 edition of Play Misty for Me and an additional ½ star collectively for the other three, since that consists only of the aforementioned “Production Notes” and distressed trailers for The Eiger Sanction and The Beguiled. On Play Misty for Me, we find the identical features from the 2001 release: Which is to say, there is -Laurent Bouzereau’s excellent non-anamorphic documentary Play It Again: A Look Back at Play Misty for Me -The Beguiled, Misty, Don and Clint: a brief additional featurette from Bouzereau about Eastwood and Siegel and these two films -Clint Eastwood on DVD, a brief but fun discussion with Clint around 2001 about DVD releases and supplements -Photograph Montage – a brief collection of photos of Eastwood and others during the making of Play Misty for Me -Clint Eastwood Directs and Acts - another collection of photos of Eastwood on the set of Play Misty for Me -The Evolution of a Poster - Here is a collection of posed photographs and then the advertising posters that resulted for the film. Some of the posters have the film’s original (and unfortunate) title The Slasher. -Theatrical Trailer - A non-anamorphic copy of the original trailer is included here, complete with the inexplicably bad music that literally caused me to blurt out “What the...” before it was finished. -Production Notes Of the other films, both The Eiger Sanction and The Beguiled contain the theatrical trailers and production notes available on their prior releases. Coogan’s Bluff is presented without any special features. Subtitles are available in English for the films, as well as for the special features on Play Misty for Me. Standard chapter menus are included for quick reference. IN THE END... Clint Eastwood: American Icon Collection revisits previously released DVDs of Eastwood’s early 1970’s Universal films at what will hopefully be an attractive price for fans of his. The only thing new for American consumers will be the anamorphic transfer on The Eiger Sanction, but for those who haven’t seen these films, there’s some gold to be mined here. Kevin Koster February 13, 2009.