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Clint Eastwood

Why Dirty Harry Ditched His 44 Magnum In Sudden Impact

Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry famously wielded a .44 Magnum throughout the franchise, but here’s why he switched to the Auto Mag pistol in Sudden Impact. While Eastwood found success with the Dollars trilogy or Hang ‘Em High, it was 1971’s Dirty Harry that truly made him a movie star. The film was both enormously successful and controversial, but Eastwood’s charismatic turn as the titular San Francisco detective connected with audiences. The film was such a success that it became a rare Clint Eastwood franchise, with the star returning to the role four times in the following years.
The most memorable scene of Dirty Harry involved the detective pointing his .44 Magnum at a bank robber, stating it was the most powerful handgun in the world. Just like James Bond had his Walter PPK, Harry retained this revolver throughout the series – except for the finale of Sudden Impact. This fourth entry saw Harry practice with a powerful new semi-automatic gun called the Auto Mag, which was also chambered in .44 Magnum. Later in the story, Harry is jumped and the villains kick his standard Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver into the water, so he retrieves the Auto Mag to hunt them down.

Eastwood Hated The Auto Mag

Sudden Impact makes Harry’s switch to the Auto Mag a big deal in the climax, where it’s used to devastating effect. Sudden Impact – which features the famous “Make my day” quote – was also the only Dirty Harry outing directed by Eastwood, who hated the pistol. A problem with the Auto Mag is that it kept jamming during filming, and Eastwood – renowned for his lean and efficient production style – supposedly became so infuriated with the malfunctions he often threw it away. Since the finale was shot at a pier, a diver would have to retrieve the pistol if it landed in the water so it could be dried out and prepared for another take.
The 44 Revolver Came Back In The Deal Pool

dirty harry clint eastwood dead pool

Harry’s switch to the Auto Mag was short-lived. Possibly due to the aforementioned issues with the weapon jamming, by the time Harry returned for the final film The Dead Pool – a rare Clint Eastwood slasher film – he had switched back to the .44 Magnum revolver. The Dead Pool was greeted with lukewarm reviews and box office, and while Eastwood made several more action movies in the ’90s, he ruled out a return as “Dirty” Harry. His 2008 drama Gran Torino was initially rumored by AICN to be a stealth sequel, that would have seen the retired detective chasing down his grandson’s killer, who drove the titular car; this was soon debunked.
Despite being a hit franchise, there have been no attempts to reboot it with a new actor. Eastwood – who was cast after Frank Sinatra and John Wayne both passed on Dirty Harry – is so closely linked to the character, it would be near impossible for a new actor to inherit it. The closest the star came to picking up the character’s .44 Magnum again was a planned video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which would have been set between Dirty Harry and Magnum Force; it was later scrapped over budget issues.

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Clint Eastwood

On This Day: Clint Eastwood Film ‘Honkytonk Man’ Loosely Based on Jimmie Rodgers Hits Theaters in 1982

Clint Eastwood is a honkey tonk man. It’s been years since the legendary actor starred in the country music pilgrimage “Honkeytonk Man.”

The film released on Dec. 15, 1982, and starred both Eastwood and his son Kyle. Eastwood plays Red Stovall, a famous if reckless musician determined to secure his legacy. His character is based upon famed musician Jimmie Rodgers. Red teams up with his nephew, played by Eastwood’s son, for a road trip odyssey to the Grand Ole Opry.

Clint Eastwood Stars as a Famous Country Musician

The film is a poignant look at the legacy of the musician as much as it is a coming of age story. For all of Red’s gruffness and swagger, there’s a vulnerability to him and a fear. The country singer has tuberculosis, a death sentence back during the Great Depression. So, he must confront his mortality head-on through his music and the relationships he leaves behind. But, Red’s relationship with his nephew is the heart of the film.

The character is helped by Clint Eastwood’s own legacy. The actor’s name is forever ingrained with the Western films he made as a young man. Eastwood helped create the stereotype of the hardened gunslinger and later the hardened detective with the “Dirty Harry” franchise. But later in his career, he dismantled these archetypes, giving performances filled with emotion and vulnerability. And in “Honkeytonk Man,” Eastwood examines the life of a performer.

The film featured the last appearance by legend Marty Robbins, who appears as the guitarist Smokey. Robbins died that December before the film’s release.

Jimmie Rodgers Also Faced His Mortality

Rodgers inspired Clint Eastwood’s film the narrative of the film. Many consider Rodgers to be the father of country music. The musician came to prominence in the 1920s and during the Great Depression. He won over audiences with his recordings, which continued after his death. Like Red, doctors diagnosed Rodgers with tuberculosis. The singer was only 27 and would fight the disease for another eight years.

Rodgers kept recording until his death in 1933, aided by a nurse in the recording studio. To bookend his career, he recorded “Years Ago,” which was one of his first songs.

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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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