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Clint Eastwood

Why Clint Eastwood Can’t Buy Into The Idea Of An ‘Auteur’ Director

“Auteur” is one of those words that get thrown around a lot, yet its meaning seems to vary depending on who you ask. It’s a term that is most often afforded to directors whose work is held in high regard, but it can just as easily be applied to a filmmaker whose movies are rarely the bee’s knees in the eyes of critics. This issue has even led to the coining of the somewhat polarizing phrase “Vulgar Auteurism” as a way for critics to avoid having to lump the Martin Scorseses of the world in with the likes of Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich.
In truth, you could fairly describe all three of those directors as being “auteurs.” The basic idea dates back to at least 1954 when François Truffaut coined the term “La Politique des Auteurs” or “The Policy of the Authors.” Even then, Truffaut was building on the writing of critics like André Bazin, who observed that certain directors have motifs both aesthetic and thematic that show up in their work time and time again, to the degree it makes them the closest thing that their films have to an “author.”
The obvious counter-argument to this suggestion is that film is simply far too collaborative an art form for any one person to claim a movie as theirs and theirs alone. Such is the stance favored by Clint Eastwood, a fella who might very well give me his signature squint and scowl if I were to point out he could readily be labeled an auteur himself (which, dear reader, I’m totally going to anyway).
Eastwood wasn’t an auteur at firstUniversal PicturesDirector Joe Russo recently got read the riot act online for claiming auteur filmmaking “was conceived in the ’70s” in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. While there are plenty of reasons to take the mickey out of Russo (don’t worry, he can handle it), one can also see what he was trying to get at here. Contrary to Russo’s statement, “auteurism” is a thing that’s observed rather than practiced. Even so, there was a notable influx of directors in the 1970s who enjoyed great success making personal, idiosyncratic films, be they “Star Wars” or “Taxi Driver.”
Similarly, the ’70s saw Eastwood make the leap from actor to actor/director, starting with the 1971 thriller “Play Misty for Me.” More of a workman director than an auteur at first, Eastwood began to amass a group of creatives he would work with over and over, steadily promoting those who started out lower on the ladder to higher-ranked positions on his crew. Naturally, not everyone who got bumped up thrived in their new roles, but Eastwood never let that stop him.
He explained his reasoning in a 2006 interview for DGA Quarterly:
“If people want to progress to another division and they have the ambition, they should be allowed to fulfill their ambitions. Just like when I had the ambition to become a director. I work with a lot of people who started out as assistants. [Editor] Joel Cox started out in the mailroom. As you work with people over and over, you come to know what to expect. If you have a new person come on, that’s an unknown factor. Maybe it turns out to be a great surprise. Or you can get surprised the other way. But after a while, you get comfortable.”
The truth about auteurismWarner Bros. PicturesEastwood continued, citing the collaborative nature of film as the reason he doesn’t buy into auteurism:
“A lot goes into making a film. I know a lot of cineastes only think of the director, the auteur theory and all that. But it’s a whole group, a company, that makes a movie, and it’s a company that works only as well as its weakest link. I try to get the enthusiasm of everybody–that’s been my best trick, if I have a best trick. I try to get everybody involved. If the janitor can come up with a great idea for a shot, that’s fine with me. There’re no proprietary interests. I try to keep my ego and everybody else’s ego out of it.”
The thing Eastwood and, for that matter, a lot of people seem to misunderstand about being an auteur is it doesn’t, per se, refer to a director who rigidly controls every aspect of a film. It refers to one whose body of work illuminates their concerns and preoccupations as storytellers.
If Eastwood wasn’t an auteur by the time he made his touchstone Western “Unforgiven” in 1992, he definitely was after that. For the rest of the ’90s, Eastwood maintained a consistent style (un-flashy, ruminative) and set of interests (regret, mortality) in films varying as wildly in their plots as the romance “The Bridges of Madison County” to the rascally-old-timers-in-space dramedy “Space Cowboys.” There’s no mistaking his output in the 21st century either, from their color-drained visuals and unhurried pacing to their rejection of machismo and their questioning of figures in positions of power and authority.
Eastwood isn’t wrong: every film is a group effort. But they can also be in service of a singular, guiding vision, as his work has been for decades.

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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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