September 8, 1968: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly released in UK cinemas

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 epic Spaghetti Western film, an international co-production between Italy, Spain, West Germany and the United States.

The film is known for Leone’s use of long shots and close-up cinematography, as well as his distinctive use of violence, tension, and stylistic gunfights. The plot revolves around three gunslingers competing to find fortune in a buried cache of Confederate gold amid the violent chaos of the American Civil War (specifically the New Mexico Campaign in 1862), while participating in many battles and duels along the way. The film was the third collaboration between director Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood, and the second with Lee Van Cleef.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was marketed as the third and final instalment in the Dollars Trilogy, following A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More. The film was a financial success, grossing over $25 million at the box office, and is credited with catapulting Eastwood into stardom. Due to general disapproval of the Spaghetti Western genre at the time, critical reception of the film following its release was mixed, but it gained critical acclaim in later years. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is now seen as one of the greatest and most influential Western movies.

First…”A Fistful of Dollars” Then…”For a Few Dollars More”

THIS TIME THE JACKPOT’S A COOL $200,000

…Five of the West’s fastest guns say come and get it!

Three different men of three different tempers and tastes get involved in a long and full-of-adventure battle in order to find a fortune in gold. While the first man who is an ex-bounty hunter and a forgiving person knows the name of the cemetery which the gold is buried in, the second who is a fast-tempered greedy man knows the name on the grave. But the third person, a cruel cold-blooded murderer, knows none; so he has to reach the gold in his own way of finding something. [IMDb]

Notable cast & crew

  • Clint Eastwood, “Blondie” (aka The Man With No Name), The Good
  • Eli Wallach, “Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírez” (aka “The Rat” according to Blondie), The Ugly
  • Lee Van Cleef, “Angel Eyes”, The Bad
  • Sergio Leone, director, co-writer
  • Ennio Morricone, music

Soundtrack

Originally released December 29, 1967, it was re-released onto CD October 25, 1990. The enhance and extended score provided below was released in 2004.

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September 8, 1968: The Big Match first airs on ITV

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The Big Match (1968-1992)

The Big Match was a British football television programme, screened on ITV between 1968 and 1992.

The Big Match originally launched on London Weekend Television, screening highlights of Football League matches. Other ITV regions had their own shows, but would show The Big Match if they were not covering their own match – particularly often in the case of Southern and HTV. The programme was set up in part as a response to the increased demand in televised football following the 1966 FIFA World Cup and partly as an alternative to the BBC‘s own football programme, Match of the Day. The Big Match launched the media career of Jimmy Hill, who appeared on the programme as an analyst, and made Brian Moore one of the country’s leading football commentators.

The Big Match originally screened match highlights on Sunday afternoons while Match of the Day screened them on Saturday evenings. But in 1978, Michael Grade at London Weekend Television audaciously won exclusive rights to all league football coverage for ITV in a move termed “Snatch of the Day”. Although the Office of Fair Trading blocked the move, the BBC were forced to allow ITV to take over the Saturday night slot in alternating seasons. This new arrangement began with the 1980-81 season.

ITV’s regional-based coverage of football ended in 1983, with The Big Match becoming the sole football highlights programme on ITV. ITV’s football coverage expanded throughout the 1980s, particularly after ITV won exclusive league rights in 1988, after which The Big Match was renamed simply The Match.

After ITV lost rights to the new Premier League to British Sky Broadcasting and the BBC in 1992, the programme was axed by the network.

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September 8, 1968: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In debuts on BBC2

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Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968-1973)

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In is an American sketch comedy television program that ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968, to March 12, 1973, on the NBC television network. It was hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. Laugh-In originally aired as a one-time special on September 9, 1967, and was such a success that it was brought back as a series, replacing The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on Mondays at 8 pm (ET).

The title of the show was a play on the “love-ins” or “be-ins” of the 1960s hippie culture, terms that were, in turn, derived from “sit-ins”, common in protests associated with civil rights and antiwar demonstrations of the time.

Laugh-In had its roots in the humour of vaudeville and burlesque, but its most direct influences were Olsen and Johnson’s comedy (such as the free-form Broadway revue Hellzapoppin’), the innovative television works of Ernie Kovacs, and the topical satire of That Was The Week That Was. The show was characterised by a rapid-fire series of gags and sketches, many of which conveyed sexual innuendo or were politically charged. The co-hosts continued the exasperated straight man (Rowan) and “dumb” guy (Martin) act, which they had established as nightclub comics.

It featured, at various times, actress Goldie Hawn, comic actor Richard Pryor, actress Lily Tomlin, and English writer & actor Jeremy Lloyd.  Guest stars included Jack Benny, Sammy Davis Jr, Zsa Zsa Gabor and John Wayne.  A full list can be found on Wikipedia.

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Dan Rowan & Dick Martin

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September, 1978: Terry Nation’s Dalek Annual 1979 in all good bookshops

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Terry Nation’s Dalek Annual 1979

Terry Nation’s Annual 1979 was the 4th Dalek annual published by World Distributors, released in September 1978, and the last of seven (first three published by Souvenir Press, 1964-1966).

It contained five stories, and a number of features.

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