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Clint Eastwood

10 Best Clint Eastwood Performances In Movies He Directed

Though Clint Eastwood’s most recent movie, 2021’s Cry Macho, was a commercial failure, the actor-director is one of Hollywood’s most impressive figures, having worked in the industry for almost 70 years. He started as an actor in 1955 and then made his directorial debut in 1971, earning tons of acclaim and multiple Oscars. At the age of 92, there won’t be too many more movies in the great filmmaker’s career, both in front of and behind the camera.
Over six decades, Eastwood has directed 40 movies, appearing in 26 of them either in a lead role or as a supporting player. Though he’s never won an Oscar for acting, Eastwood gives his best performances in movies he directs.
Harry Callahan, Sudden Impact (1983)
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Dirty Harry berates a fellow detective for putting ketchup on a hot dog in Sudden Impact

Clint Eastwood starred in the very successful Dirty Harry franchise, and in 1983, he got a chance to direct a movie in the series. This was Sudden Impact, the fourth installment. With Eastwood behind the camera, Sudden Impact was the darkest in the franchise, and this allowed him to flex his already considerable acting talent.

A group of men who sexually assaulted a woman turn up dead, and it is up to Dirty Harry to figure out who the killer is. However, when Harry ends up romantically involved with the woman, and she turns out to be the killer, he has a very tough decision to make. A stone-cold killer of bad guys, Dirty Harry has tons of iconic quotes, many delivered in this movie, in which the character is the most complex he’s ever been.
Luther Whitney, Absolute Power (1997)
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Clint Eastwood smiles in Absolute Power

In 1997, Eastwood directed the adaptation of the David Baldacci novel Absolute Power. The movie had a great cast, including heavyweight actors Ed Harris and Gene Hackman. Eastwood stars as a master thief who witnessed Secret Service agents murdering the U.S. President’s mistress.

While the movie received mixed reviews from critics, most praised Eastwood’s performance as the thief and star of the movie. As the smart man on the run, the actor, then 67, accomplished things people half his age couldn’t do. It is Eastwood’s fine acting that makes the movie so watchable despite the predictable plot.
Preacher, Pale Rider (1985)
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Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider, riding a white dappled horse in a snowy setting

Pale Rider was one of Clint Eastwood’s most subversive westerns, a genre that he mastered early in his career. As a man named Preacher, Eastwood’s story came straight from the Bible. Based on the Book of Revelation, the story centered on the pale rider of death from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

This isn’t the only movie where Eastwood played a man with no name, but it is one of the only ones where he played a possible supernatural entity. Seemingly immortal, Eastwood plays Preacher as an apologetic killer who wipes out evil at all costs.
The Stranger, High Plains Drifter (1973)
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Close-up of Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter

In High Plains Drifter, Eastwood also played a character that had an unknown origin. However, his Stranger was a little more grounded than Preacher, and there was nothing to imply he was supernatural.

However, the movie left it up to the viewers about whether Stranger was a man seeking revenge, or whether it was the murdered sheriff’s spirit returned for revenge. Eastwood did a great job of playing the ambiguity while directing the mystery behind the camera as well.
Red Garnett, A Perfect World (1993)
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Clint Eastwood as a Texas Ranger in A Perfect World.

One of Clint Eastwood’s most overlooked and underappreciated movies was 1993’s A Perfect World. Eastwood directed and starred in the movie as Texas Ranger, Red Garnett. Garnett sets out to find an escaped prisoner named Butch (Kevin Costner) who kidnapped a young boy.

The movie shares a similarity to The Fugitive, which came out the same year, where a law enforcement agent is hunting an escaped convict. However, in this case, Butch actually was guilty. While it’s been largely forgotten, A Perfect World is one of Eastwood’s best-directed movies. While Costner received most of the praise for his performance, Eastwood held his own as the compassionate Texas Ranger.
Frankie Dunn, Million Dollar Baby (2004)
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Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby

Eastwood took on a supporting role in Million Dollar Baby in 2004, winning his second Best Director Academy Award. In front of the camera, he played Frankie Dunn, a veteran boxing trainer. Hilary Swank was the lead as a boxer named Maggie Fitzgerald whom Frankie took under his wing, leading her to great success.

Eastwood perfectly portrayed Frankie’s gruff persona as he trained Maggie and showed her tough love, and his scenes with Morgan Freeman were also highlights. However, Eastwood took the story to another level during the twist tragedy that concluded the movie, and his heartbreak and pain showed there’s more to him than just a cowboy or action hero.
Earl Stone, The Mule (2018)
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Clint Eastwood in The Mule

The Mule was one of Clint Eastwood’s later movies, and the last one that received positive critical reviews. Released in 2018, with Eastwood closing in on 90, he directed and starred in the movie, which is based on a true story, about a broke and lonely man who agreed to become a drug courier for a Mexican cartel.

Even at his later age, Eastwood showed the ability to carry the movie on his shoulders, displaying both vulnerability and regret while still maintaining his trademark grit.
Josey Wales, The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
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Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales

Eastwood made his name in the western genre, and the pinnacle of his success was The Outlaw Josey Wales. It took 16 years before he eclipsed this movie, but it still stands the test of time as one of the best western movies he not only directed but starred in. In the movie, Eastwood played the title character.

A Union militia murdered Wales’ family during the American Civil War, so he joined up with the Confederates, who all ended up murdered by Union forces. After this, Wales became a legendary outlaw, hunted by bounty hunters and Union soldiers. This was the movie that proved Eastwood’s talent as a director, and proof that he was the face of the western genre.
Robert Kincaid, The Bridges Of Madison County (1995)
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Clint Eastwood photgraphing Meryl Streep in The Bridges of Madison County

In what might come as a surprise, the man best known for playing cops and cowboys turned in one of his best roles in a romantic drama. The movie was The Bridges of Madison County and arrived in 1995 with Eastwood starring as a photojournalist named Robert who meets a war bride played by Meryl Streep.

The two end up having an intense love affair while her husband and kids are out of town. Streep picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for the performance and Eastwood held his own in his rare turn as a romantic lead. Eastwood, in front of and behind the camera, turned the movie into something that surpassed the source material.
Will Munny, Unforgiven (1992)
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Clint Eastwood points a gun in Unforgiven

The first Oscar win for Eastwood as a director came with his western movie Unforgiven in 1992. With this movie, Eastwood singlehandedly revitalized the dying western genre. But as great a directing job he did, he was even better in front of the camera as Will Munny, subverting genre conventions at every turn.

Munny was a former outlaw who wanted to live in peace after the death of his wife. However, when a woman put a bounty on the men who hurt and scarred her, and two warring groups of outlaws go to war, Munny ends up pulled back in and at odds with the local sheriff who is tired of vigilantism. Then in his sixties, Eastwood delivered the best western performance of his career.

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Clint Eastwood

Marty Robbins Died Today in 1982: Relive His Time on Screen with Clint Eastwood in ‘Honkytonk Man’

Marty Robbins did a lot during his time on earth. From singing, songwriting, stock car racing, playing instruments, and even acting, Robbins’ resume was impressive. It also includes stepping in for legendary actor Clint Eastwood.

Perhaps Robbins’ most memorable role was in “Honkytonk Man” alongside Eastwood. Clint Eastwood produced, directed, and starred as Red Stovall in the classic. Robbins was cast as one of Stovall’s band members named Smoky. Eastwood’s son, Kyle, also stars in the film as Stovall’s nephew, Whit.

The storyline features Stovall’s dream of making it to the Grand Ole Opry in the Great Depression era. Stovall finally arrives in Nashville after a cross-country journey with his nephew and gets his chance to perform in front of Grand Ole Opry scouts.

However, Stovall can’t escape a coughing fit that’s brought on by his tuberculosis illness. This is where Robbins, the side guitarist, steps in for Eastwood.

His true talent shines while Smoky unintentionally steals the spotlight. Watch the scene below.

“Honkytonk Man” was released on December 15, 1982. Robbins passed away seven days earlier, making this his final appearance on the silver screen. He was 57 when he died on December 8, after suffering his third serious heart attack.

More About Marty Robbins

Robbins was one of the most popular and successful country-western singers for most of his nearly four-decade career that spanned from the late 1940s to the early 1980s. 

Over the course of his career, Robbins’ resume continued to grow. Classic Country Music cites that he recorded more than 500 songs and 60 albums and won two Grammy Awards. Furthermore, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and was named the 1960s Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music.

Robbins was obsessed with El Paso, both the name and the town grown-up. So naturally, he sang a song titled “El Paso.” The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a love s story. Robbins went on to win a Grammy Award in 1959 for his signature song.

Not only did Robbins love the sound of music but he loved the roar of a stock car machine. His success in country music allowed him to fund his NASCAR team. Robbins had 6 top-ten finishes in his career, with a personal best top 5 finish at the 1974 Motor State 360 in Michigan.

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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood: Here’s How the Cowboy Icon Landed His First Role in a Western

Arguably one of the best actors to ever grace Western cinema, Clint Eastwood is an icon. His work in Westerns over his career has been outstanding. But, how did he get his start in that particular part of the industry?

It is fascinating how Clint Eastwood landed his first role in a Western. However, the first Western that the legendary actor was in was an uncredited role in a little-known movie. He played a ranch hand in the 1955 movie called Law Man, which is also known as Star in the Dust.

While the role was small, it got Clint Eastwood excited about the prospects of acting in Westerns. As everyone knows today, it seems that he was destined to play a cowboy in his career. As a tough-looking, tall, handsome man, he fits the role exceedingly well.

Clint Eastwood Got His First Role in a Western Almost By Accident

According to IMDb, Eastwood got into Western movies because he looks the part. Reportedly, he was visiting a friend at the CBS studio when an executive spotted him. During the exchange, Eastwood was told that he “looked like a cowboy.”

Even though this is absolutely true and fits the role to a tee, it is impressive that’s how he landed a role. The first credited movie that he was in because of this exchange was a 1959 Western television show called Rawhide.

Clint Eastwood was cast as Rowdy Yates in the show. Rawhide ran from 1959 to 1965, and Clint Eastwood was in the show for its entirety. In fact, he had the most episodes of anyone in the show. This is somewhat surprising, considering his extensive cinema work outside the show.

Rawhide essentially launched his Western movie career. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was filmed in 1966, certainly a direct result of his work on the television show.

So, it is safe to say that the CBS executive who pegged him as a man fit for Western’s was definitely correct. You can thank that man for the wonderful work that Clint Eastwood has done ever since.

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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood Once Survived a Crash Landing: Here’s What Happened

Clint Eastwood has continually crashed through the entertainment industry with a number of standout performances.

He has made a name for himself as an actor, director, composer, producer, and all-around filmmaking extraordinaire. Some of his roles include “Unforgiven,” “Mystic River,” Million Dollar Baby,” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

While Eastwood has landed himself gracefully in the entertainment industry, not all of his landings have been smooth in that sense. In fact, Eastwood once survived a nearly tragic crash landing.

Here’s what happened and how he managed to survive it.

Clint Eastwood Survives Crash

The crash landing he survived had nothing to do with filming.

Instead, Eastwood was in a Douglas AD bomber plane. It was during the 1950s when he was in the Korean War. According to Work and Money, 21-year-old Eastwood was traveling to Seattle to spend time with his girlfriend and his parents.

While up in the air, the door opened and wouldn’t stay shut. Eastwood was able to use some basic survival skills to rig the door shut with some nearby loose cables.

The pilot then made the decision to fly over an oncoming storm. By making this decision, both Eastwood and the pilot had to suffer through the air thinning out. To make matters worse, Eastwood’s oxygen mask wasn’t working.

That right there is three strikes against Eastwood and surely should have ended poorly. However, the plane decided to make matters even worse and started to run out of fuel. The pilot had no choice but to maneuver his way into a crash landing at sea.

In the first lucky occurrence of the ride, the landing was successful. Clint Eastwood and the pilot ended up swimming to shore through the shark-infested waters of Point Reyes. It was also frigid cold water at the time. The odds of getting eaten by a shark after being involved in an emergency plane crash are extremely low, luckily.

In fact, the odds of being eaten by a shark are 1 in 11.5 million and the odds of getting into a plane crash are about 0.007%.

That didn’t stop the sheer terror Eastwood felt in the moment. Luckily, he didn’t know it was a shark breeding ground until years later.

“What was going through my mind was just a stark fear, a stark terror because first place, I didn’t know anything about aviation at that particular time I was just hopping a ride,” Eastwood said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

‘Sully’ Eastwood Movie

The event has some connections to one of Eastwood’s future films called “Sully.” Eastwood was the director for this 2016 biographical drama.

The movie itself was not in any way based on what happened to Clint Eastwood that day. Although having first-hand knowledge and the emotions that circulate around a plane crash probably was useful in many ways.

“Sully” is based on the autobiography “Highest Duty.” It follows the story of Chesley Sullenberger’s emergency landing of the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. Miraculously, he was able to save the 155 passengers and crew members on the plane.

Tom Hanks plays Sullenberger in the movie. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Editing in 2016. At the time, others in Hollywood believed that there wasn’t a movie to be told in the story, rather more like a documentary. Eastwood always had faith in the film though.

“I definitely did think about it when I was shooting this. I’m probably the only director who’s actually been in a water landing. But it had no bearing on me making this movie. I would have shot this movie anyway,” Clint Eastwood said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The plane crash may not have been his reason behind making the film, but that day surely was running through his head while filming. The plane that crashed was never found. Fast Company reports that a team from Berkeley, California is setting out to look for it as of 2018. They said, “We’re going to find that plane.”

The OpenRov CEO, David Lang, has been using the storytelling platform called Open Explorer to share research regarding the location of the plane.

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