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CLIN T A Retrospective

RICHARD SCHICKEL

Introduction by CLINT

EASTWOOD


STERLING and the distinctive Sterling logo are registered trademarks of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016 Design and layout © 2010 Palazzo Editions Ltd Text © 2010 Lorac Productions Inc Please see picture credits on p. 288 for image copyright information Distributed in Canada by Sterling Publishing c/o Canadian Manda Group, 165 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6K 3H6 Distributed in the United Kingdom by GMC Distribution Services Castle Place, 166 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England BN7 1XU Distributed in Australia by Capricorn Link (Australia) Pty. Ltd. P.O. Box 704, Windsor, NSW 2756, Australia Created and produced by PALAZZO EDITIONS LTD 2 Wood Street Bath, BA1 2JQ, United Kingdom www.palazzoeditions.com

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Clint in one of his best-loved roles, “Dirty Harry” Callaghan.


Contents Introduction by Clint Eastwood . . . . . . . . . . 7

Magnum Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

1990s

Clint: The Whole Ride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

White Hunter Black Heart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194

From Revenge of the Creature to

The Eiger Sanction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

The Rookie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198

The Outlaw Josey Wales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

Unforgiven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202

The Enforcer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

In the Line of Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210

The Gauntlet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

A Perfect World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214

A Fistful of Dollars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Every Which Way But Loose . . . . . . . . . . . . 136

The Bridges of Madison County . . . . 218

For a Few Dollars More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Escape from Alcatraz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

Absolute Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222

Rawhide, 1955–59 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

1960s The Witches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Midnight in the Garden of

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly . . . . . . 54

1980s

Hang ’em High . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Bronco Billy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144

Coogan’s Bluff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Any Which Way You Can . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148

Where Eagles Dare. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Firefox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152

2000s

Paint Your Wagon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Honkytonk Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156

Space Cowboys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234

Sudden Impact. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160

Blood Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240

Tightrope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

Mystic River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244

Kelly’s Heroes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

City Heat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

Million Dollar Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250

Two Mules for Sister Sara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Pale Rider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172

Flags of Our Fathers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258

The Beguiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Heartbreak Ridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176

Letters from Iwo Jima . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262

Play Misty for Me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Bird . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

The Changeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268

Dirty Harry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

The Dead Pool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186

Gran Torino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272

Joe Kidd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Pink Cadillac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190

Invictus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278

1970s

Good and Evil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 True Crime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230

High Plains Drifter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Breezy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

Filmography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283 Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288


Clint: The Whole Ride

1. I like seeing Clint enter a restaurant. Or wait—let me refine that

Clint accepts his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America in 2006.

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statement—I like not seeing him enter a restaurant. He takes a certain pride in the fact that he knows the back way into every banquet room in Los Angeles—you know, enter the service door, proceed through the kitchen, mount the back stairs, find your way to the green room, there to amiably await presentation of whatever award is about to be bestowed on you. It’s the same way with eateries; he seems to know all the side doors in town. So here he is—smiling pleasantly—ready to settle down to his fish, pasta, or chicken, with maybe a beer or a glass of white wine, and an agreeable, often lengthy, always agenda-free conversation. The reason for these coolly evasive tactics is simple—to avoid the paparazzi and the shoal of fans who generally gather with them. It seems slightly to puzzle him that, as he approaches eighty, he remains the object of their attention. Haven’t they had enough of him by this time? I’ve been with him when, despite his best efforts, they surround him. Generally, he’s pleasant with them—he knows most of them by sight—signing autographs, politely rejecting their gifts (things like old Rawhide comic books, in which he has no interest), staying on the move until he breaks free. On the other hand, I’ve occasionally seen him get angry with them: “Listen, you sonovabitch, this is the third time I’ve seen you today. Enough.” Sometimes he becomes proactive. One time we were doing a Q&A at UCLA and they caught him in the parking lot after our appearance. He edged toward his old, impeccably maintained Mercedes, gave me a nod (we were going to join a friend for lunch), and took off, the photographers in hot pursuit. That’s something he sometimes enjoys, speeding through the streets, up alleys, through parking lots, losing the tailing mob. He arrived at lunch with an amused account of his shrewdly improvised evasive tactics. Clint’s taste for just sort of popping up, unannounced and unexplained, has occasionally been reflected in movies like High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider, in which he played apparitional figures, very likely ghosts (although he has always avoided a forthright admission of that identification). But no matter what the film, he has never been a big fan of back stories, especially for his own character. He always says audiences like movies that are open-ended. A mystery solved is a mystery forgotten; a mystery not fully resolved has the potential to haunt you for a long time. His air of good-natured mystery is, of course, a way of maintaining privacy, although, in Clint’s case, it also helps if you’re six feet three inches, widely (if erroneously) suspected of packing a .44 Magnum, and are armed with a lifetime’s wiliness when it comes to dodging semi-psychotic admirers. But that’s quintessential Clint. On any occasion short of the Oscars, he drives himself everywhere, sans security. And this may be why he has so many homes—six of them last time I counted—all (save Los Angeles) in communities that take a benignly protective interest in defending his right of free passage. In Carmel, his main residence, he goes to the movies with his wife and kids just like regular folks. 5


THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY 1966

It was long. It was brutal. It was often quite

funny. It was expensive, for this time Sergio Leone was backed by a major American company, United Artists. It was also going to be Clint’s farewell to the spaghetti western; his costar, Eli Wallach, was convinced of that before a single camera turned on the production. He had, by now, gotten everything he needed out of this quirky little (now not-so -little) genre.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is everything-but-the-kitchen-sink filmmaking. It features, among other set pieces, a gigantic Civil War battle for a bridge; a lengthy passage in an Auschwitz-type prison camp, where the band is ordered to play loudly in order to cover the cries of the tortured; a gunfight with one protagonist firing from his bathtub. The “Good” is nominally Clint’s Blondie. The “Bad” is Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes, a particularly sadistic Confederate officer. The “Ugly” is Wallach’s energetically amoral Tuco, cheerfully stealing the picture under Clint’s flintily amused gaze. The picture has a subtext—whatever cruelties men do to one another in pursuit of their petty goals, it is nothing compared to the large-scale viciousness of war—but really its three protagonists are in search of, yes, buried treasure. But that’s no more than a pretext for its far-flung, highflown, virtually nonstop action, all of which is well staged by Leone, who finally has the wherewithal to indulge his desire for spectacle. The director may sometimes have looked like “Yosemite Sam” to Clint, a chubby little man excitedly miming activities for his actors to imitate, but he was also Clint’s kind of guy, a solid, knowledgeable professional, bringing a lifetime’s experience to his craft. On the set, Clint continued to have a good time working for opposite

6

Clint as wandering gunman Blondie.


“The cigars put you in the right mood—cantankerous.”


“I just thought I could do it. I picked a small show, a small—not a big—cast, not a tremendous production problem. And Play Misty for Me was written by a friend of mine. It was a success because it cost us seventy-two or seventy-three thousand dollars. I can’t quite remember exactly. But it was very inexpensive and the studio didn’t really jump on it because they thought, ‘If this guy does a couple more westerns and a few detective dramas, what the heck? So we’ll just let this one sort of sneak out.’ But it hung out out there and it gathered an audience and it gathered a following.” 8


The day before he made his first shot was devoted to careful preparation, and he hit the sack convinced that he was completely ready—until he sat bolt upright in bed, realizing that the one thing he’d neglected was studying his own lines. But he burned a little midnight oil and was reassured as well because he’d talked Don Siegel into taking a small, almost talismanic role as a bartender. The director did a couple days of work, opined that Clint had things nicely under control, and departed. It was a trim, suspenseful, scary little picture. Walter was terrific as the mad woman and Clint captured the sleepy egotism of the DJ perfectly. He obviously knew what it was to be handsome and much hit-upon, and how to play those qualities—in a fiction, though not in real life—as an entitlement. Given that the film followed so closely on The Beguiled, one has to believe that Clint’s thoughts, as his star ascended, were suddenly focused on the darker aspects of the privileged male’s existence. The picture was not particularly well handled by Universal; it should have been more profitable than it was—as witnessed by the lingering fondness in which his audience holds it. People somehow keep rediscovering it—not least when it was widely noticed that the much more successful Fatal Attraction of 1987 basically ripped off Misty’s crucial plot device more sensationally, but not necessarily more effectively.

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Romancing Jessica Walter in Play Misty for Me. Clint making his directorial debut.

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DIRTY HARRY

1971

It is rare to be able to identify the precise

moment when a star becomes a superstar. But in the case of Clint Eastwood that moment is self-evident. It occurs early in Dirty Harry, when, as Clint’s character is eating a hot dog in a greasy spoon, alarm bells in the bank across street go off. “Aw, shit,” says Harry Callahan, as he rises from his stool and, still chewing on his food, strolls over to foil the robbery. In short order, he comes upon a wounded criminal, itching to go for his gun, which is just inches from his fingers.

Whereupon Harry launches into his now-immortal soliloquy. “I know what you’re thinkin’. Did he fire six shots or only five?” Clint looks almost boyish as he delivers his lines, an ironic smile playing about his lips. If you want to get fancy about it, he is acknowledging the Dostoyevskian bond between the criminal and the cop pursuing him. But let’s not go there. It has become a standard trope in both popular and high-toned fiction, no less effective for its familiarity. The point is that Clint, in his presence and in his playing, makes his character irresistible. I believe that, from that moment on, he was ours. Or we were his. Or some combination thereof—always excepting the sourpusses among us, who for a long time persisted in the belief that Clint and all his works posed clear and present dangers to the republic. And that Dirty Harry, in particular, had, as Pauline Kael put it, the “fairy-tale appeal” of “fascist medievalism.” That’s a pretty weird description of a movie so grittily realistic in manner. If it were true, then Harry would be firmly aligned with the police and municipal bureaucracy who, in fact, do everything in their power to thwart his monomaniacal pursuit of the psychopathic killer stalking the streets of San Francisco. Admittedly, his

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Dirty Harry, with his ever-ready .44 Magnum.

11


“I like it that the good guys aren’t all good and the bad guys aren’t all bad. everyone has their flaws and everyone has their rationale and a justification for what they do.”

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above and opposite Clint as reformed outlaw Will Munny in the multiple-Oscar winning Unforgiven.


GRAN TORINO

2009

Yes, by the end of the movie we come to love

Walt Kowalski. But the deepest pleasure we derive from Clint Eastwood’s performance is how hard he makes it for us to do so. This is not just another grumpy old man failing to hide the “just kidding” twinkle in his eye. Walt’s a retired assembly-line worker in Detroit who did not derive a lot of pleasure from his lifetime of hard labor. Probably his highest moments came during the Korean War, in which he won medals and— we learn—did some terrible things.

Now he is a new widower, consoled by his faithful dog, by his lovingly tended 1972 Gran Torino parked spiffily in his garage (it doesn’t bother him, apparently, that it is regarded by car aficionados as a fake muscle car), and disgusted by his bourgeois children, the easy pieties of his priest, and, worst of all, upset by the Hmong families infesting his neighborhood—they’re just “gooks” to him. But they are gooks threatened by neighborhood gangs, and Walt is their only logical ally. The shy and socially inept son of Walt’s immediate neighbors is their particular victim and, ultimately, his spunky and charming sister, the person most persistently trying to pry Walt out of his shell, is brutally beaten and raped by one of the gangs. Can this mean old man be rallied to the side of these sweet and peaceable people? Well, sure. If you think otherwise, you haven’t gone to the movies very often in recent decades. Walt puts the boy to work as an all-purpose handyman (with special responsibilities for the Gran Torino) and grudgingly responds to the girl’s overtures. Next thing you know, Walt’s sharing meals with his neighbors and defending them against their enemies. At the end of the movie, knowing that he’s dying of lung cancer, he sacrifices his life for them. In a lot of ways, this is a typical, indeed old-fashioned, Eastwood movie—small in scale and setting, easy to shoot on a short schedule, dependent on his own presence to carry the film commercially. Taciturn hero Walt steps up to defend his neighbors and atone for past sins.

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“I’m just a guy who makes movies.” This richly illustrated retrospective celebrates Clint Eastwood’s legendary six-decade career both in front of and behind the camera. Featuring a personal introduction by Clint himself and more than two hundred spectacular images, it also comes packaged with an exclusive twentyminute commemorative DVD, containing a special biographical film about Clint Eastwood and footage selected from some of his key movies. Clint Eastwood has achieved an iconic status unmatched in the history of cinema. This stunning volume presents a chronological look at his astonishing body of work as an actor and director, including Dirty Harry (1971), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Tightrope (1984), Bird (1988), Unforgiven (1992), Mystic River (2003), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Gran Torino (2008), and his newest, Invictus, starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, set for a December 2009 release. Movie stills from memorable screen performances and revealing behind-the-scenes photos that show the filmmaker on the set are accompanied by Richard Schickel’s incisive commentary. A comprehensive filmography rounds out this book—a fitting tribute to a movie icon whose achievements have enriched our culture and illuminated the times in which we have lived. Richard Schickel is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, movie historian, and film critic who has published more than thirty books and produced, written, and directed more than thirty films for television. His many books about film include Elia Kazan: A Biography; The Essential Chaplin, an anthology of critical writings about the great comedian; and The Disney Version, a study of the life, times, and art of Walt Disney. Schickel was a film critic for Life and Time for forty-three years. • Major National Publicity • Features and reviews in entertainment and general interest magazines • Newspaper feature and review coverage

FILM April 2010 $35.00 ($44.95 Canada) Hardcover and DVD

• Online coverage and blog outreach

9¾ x 11½; 288 pages; full color

• Cross promotion with Warner Home Video Clint Eastwood DVD box set release

Sterling ISBN 978-1-4027-7472-0

Reviewers are reminded that changes may be made in this uncorrected proof before books are printed. If any material from the book is to be quoted in a review, the quotation should be checked against the final bound book. Dates, prices, and manufacturing details are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

For more information, contact Caroline Mann at (646) 688-2531 or cmann@sterlingpublishing.com.


Clint: A Retrospective  

This richly illustrated authorized retrospective celebrates the life and films of Clint Eastwood. Written by renowned Time magazine film cri...

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