Connect with us

Clint Eastwood

Unforgiven Marked The End Of An Era For Clint Eastwood’s Film Career

Unforgiven Marked The End Of An Era For Clint Eastwood’s Film CareerWarner Bros.BY JEREMY SMITH/UPDATED: AUG. 5, 2022 3:25 PM EDTClint Eastwood is one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the world, but it wasn’t always thus — especially in America. Having gotten his start on the long-running TV Western “Rawhide,” Eastwood subverted his cowboy image via his appearances in Sergio Leone’s “Man with No Name Trilogy” (i.e. “A Fistful of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars More,” and “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly”). In the 1970s and into the ’80s he was best known as “Dirty Harry” Callahan, a renegade, due-process-loathing cop hellbent on cleaning up the scumbag-infested streets of San Francisco. Clint Eastwood was larger than life, and the films that made and sustained his stardom (which included the redneck orangutan duology of “Every Which Way But Loose” and “Any Which Way You Can”), weren’t always high-minded entertainment.
Those who’d been paying attention to Eastwood’s career outside of his hits, however, knew he had a predilection for undercutting his tough guy persona in movies like “The Beguiled,” “Play Misty for Me,” and “Honkytonk Man.” As he neared sixty, the filmmaker began to take risks as a director. A huge jazz devotee, he tried, and failed, to make sense of the tortured life of pioneering saxophonist Charlie Parker with “Bird.” He then attempted “White Hunter, Black Heart,” an adaptation of Peter Viertel’s barely fictionalized account of the time he spent with John Huston during the shoot of “The African Queen.” It was a fascinating topic, but Eastwood couldn’t find his way into the material.
Then he found “Unforgiven.”
The Western marked Eastwood’s birth and salvation

Warner Bros.The Western as a genre had been subject to revisionism since the 1950s, with outré works like Nicholas Ray’s “Johnny Guitar” and the original “3:10 to Yuma,” but the genre was fairly close to dead by the early 1990s. This was not the time to make a Western, but Eastwood couldn’t help himself. He’d discovered a brilliant screenplay by David Webb Peoples about a reformed assassin named Will Munny who gets dragged out of retirement to hunt down a gang of cowboys who participated in the disfigurement of a prostitute in Big Whiskey, Montana. “Unforgiven” was greeted rapturously by critics, which, as Eastwood told Cahiers du Cinéma, was a welcome surprise:
“Actually, the Europeans encouraged me much more from my first film as director, ‘Play Misty for Me,’ than the Americans, who had a hard time convincing themselves I could be a director because they already had a hard time recognizing me as an actor. They were asking, ‘Why is he doing that? Who does this guy think he is?,’ that sort of thing. The Europeans, on the other hand, supported me a lot in the beginning and tried to find some value in what I was doing.”
An ambiguous man
Warner Bros.Eastwood had earned critical acclaim for his 1976 Western “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” but that film could only eke out a Best Original Score nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “Unforgiven” drastically altered his peers’ perception of him, or perhaps more accurately, honed it. Eastwood had been making films about vengeful cops and cowboys for most of his career. But now, decades after cutting his teeth on “Rawhide,” he could step back and express ambiguity about his image and the violence associated with it — violence that, to this day, threatens to tear America apart. Finally, people understood him.
Eastwood isn’t one to philosophize over such notions, but as he told Scott Foundas of DGA Quarterly, he is grateful for the role “Unforgiven” played in a career dominated by Westerns:
“I just kept grinding them out, like a machinist, and I guess some people might go back and, in hindsight, say, ‘Well, this wasn’t so bad.’ ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales,’ for example — I would say that, judging from the man on the street, that’s the most popular Western I’ve ever done. But ‘Unforgiven’ did break through in a way.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood Fans Get the Western Icon Trending on Twitter With Epic Throwback Pics

For those people who saw Clint Eastwood trending on Twitter on Sunday morning, then just know that he’s doing just fine. The onslaught of attention, though, did bring some epic throwback pictures to the platform. Fans were sharing many different shots from his iconic career. We picked out a few of them for you to get a peek at and enjoy. Our man Clint loves to keep working and even getting a round of golf in here and there. When he’s on the movie set or in some other setting, it’s always a good time to get some photos.

Those photos and even a video definitely liven up a Father’s Day filled with fun for many. Yep, even Eastwood probably had some fun and well wishes coming his way from his children. Daughter Alison Eastwood is a solid actress in her own right, having starred in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. As for papa Clint, well, where do you start with his movie career? Of course, there’s his time as the “Man with No Name.”

Clint Eastwood Did Find Success In Movies Thanks To ‘Spaghetti Westerns’

The work with Sergio Leone helped him get that movie career up and running. Meanwhile, he made Harry Callahan a major character thanks to Dirty Harry. Yet those Westerns do make him look that much better, right? Think about the “Spaghetti Westerns” that we alluded to just now.

Go beyond that to Unforgiven, a movie he not only acted in but had a role in getting the film made. Heck, Clint Eastwood wanted veteran actor Gene Hackman on board from the get-go. As the story goes, though, Hackman had reservations about joining up. When you play “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection, that becomes an iconic role for him. But the movie had its fair share of violence and that kind of turned him off at the outset.

In fact, Hackman, at first, said he didn’t want to be involved in another violent movie. That would be because of his daughters, Elizabeth and Leslie, who had some say in the matter. The actor did read the script but said no at first. Eastwood did tell Hackman that there was a chance to make a statement against violence in Unforgiven. When looking at the script again through those eyes, Hackman would agree to do it. Good thing he did. Hackman would win an Oscar for his role. “It’s all in the execution, you gotta execute it right, or else nothing means anything,” Eastwood said in an interview about the film. “He [Hackman] re-read it and came back and said, ‘Yeah, okay, I’ll do this.’”

Continue Reading

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood’s Daughter Reveals Her Favorite Advice He Gave Her

Alison Eastwood is an actress as well one of the daughters of the famed actor and director Clint Eastwood. Getting any type of advice from dear old Dad is a good thing. When it comes to her favorite piece that he gave her, you might think it was acting. She did get the acting bug, too, and did star in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This advice must be about her career, right? Nope. It had to do with the always tough task of living life.

“I guess just not to take [life] too seriously,” Alison Eastwood tells Closer Weekly in an interview from 2019. “He never seemed to take anything too seriously. Maybe that’s not a good thing … I don’t know.” Yet she also would offer up a little more insight which she’s picked up from being around him. “He makes me laugh, I make him laugh,” Alison said. “That’s my favorite part about it. I think just having a lot of laughter, especially in our family, amongst ourselves. We’re all getting older.”

Clint Eastwood Isn’t A Big Fan Of His Birthday, Daughter Alison Says

She also says that Dad isn’t a big fan of his birthday. He would rather be doing something else, like working or playing golf, than celebrating his big day. Still, Clint Eastwood keeps on providing fans with film work as an actor and director. He’s achieved great success and to think he also has a classic TV connection. Of course, Clint does from his days playing Rowdy Yates on Rawhide.

Yet it is in the movies of Eastwood that has really made him a household name. Working in Europe would provide some foundational success thanks to the “Spaghetti Westerns” directed by Sergio Leone. He would play the “Man with No Name” in films like A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. They all would lead Eastwood to then become an iconic police officer as Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry. One time, he talked about A Fistful of Dollars possibly becoming an “absolute disaster.” What in the world does he mean by this? Eastwood told Roger Ebert years ago that the movie’s producers were arguing among themselves. The issue at hand was who would pay the bills to get the movie done. This leads him to say, “It could have been an absolute disaster. But, we got lucky with it. And it turned out Sergio Leone was for real.”

While his record of success and achievement is solid, sometimes Eastwood has to pick and choose between projects. When it came to playing Bruce Willis’ role John McClane in Die Hard, Eastwood did turn it down. Screenwriter Jeb Stuart would say that Eastwood said that he didn’t get the humor in the movie.

Continue Reading

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood’s Daughter Posts Rare Selfie, And Her Fans Are Absolutely Loving It

Earlier this week, Clint Eastwood’s daughter, Francesca Eastwood, took to her Instagram account to share a rare selfie.

The actress, who didn’t write a caption for the post, is seen with a pair of pink lens sunglasses while sitting near a plant. Follows of Clint Eastwood’s daughter gushed over the simple snapshot. “Extraordinarily Beautiful,” one follower declared. “You look gorgeous, so much like your mom,” another added.

Francesca is preparing to film her upcoming action-packed movie, “Live Fast, Die Laughing.” The film follows a broke taxi driver in Vietnam who thinks it is his lucky day when a mysterious offers him a fortune to drive her 1,000 miles from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. While on the road, the duo is pursued by mobsters and an assassin. Written by Timothy Linh Bui and Tim Tori and directed by Bui, Eastwood will star in the film alongside Harvey Keitel. 

Clint Eastwood’s Daughter Francesca Talks Starring in a Western Genre Film 

While promoting her 2016 film “Outlaws and Angels,” Francesca revealed to the Observer that she didn’t speak to her father, Clint Eastwood, about starring in the western genre film.

“I didn’t ask my parents for advice on this one,” Francesca stated about the role. But she did admit that she usually asks her parents but she wanted to do her own thing this time. “So I just ran and did it and talked with them about it later. I wanted to do one on my own, and it felt great.”

Frances Fisher, Francesca’s mother, was also part of the film. However, the duo did not appear in any scenes together. “This is the first time that I was on a film and then she came on after, rather than her being in a film and I join as her baby. I was probably the least experienced actor, and everyone was just so welcoming and really nurturing to that.”

While speaking about working in a desert, Francesca recalled, “It was pretty intense with the heat and the costumes, and we couldn’t wash them because they were supposed to look aged, so after about 3 weeks of being in the same layers it was just gross. It was fun and part of the experience though. Normally if you’re uncomfortable or too hot you go get a water and sit in a trailer, but that was so not the case with this one.”

Francesa went on to note that she and the rest of the cast just dealt with the production’s conditions. “No one really went to the trailers. We just hung out – no texting, Tweeting, Instagramming. I think it made it really special. There were no distractions.”

Continue Reading