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Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood: Take a Tour of the Cowboy Icon’s California Ranch

There is more to Clint Eastwood’s sprawling California Ranch than meets the eye. The old Western star saved the place from being torn down in the 1980s and eventually restored the historic property to its former glory.

A 1993 article from Architectural Digest takes a deep dive into the story of Mission Ranch. According to them, Eastwood fell in love with the place as a 21-year old Army recruit stationed near Carmel, California. When he heard that a developer wanted to bulldoze the property years later, he bought it himself.

“I had always loved the place and they were just going to flatten it. They said it was obsolete. I thought it should be preserved as what it was,” Eastwood said in 1993.

He bought the 22-acre property for $5 million in 1983.

The location is idyllic. Architectural Digest writes, “the Mission Ranch property, with its dramatic views of the sea, the rocky Monterey coastline and a gleaming curve of beach, is one of the most scenic spots on the scenic northern California coast.”

The place has a deep history. It was home to one of the first dairy farms in California and famed author Robert Louis Stevenson spent time there in the 1800s, eventually using the ocean view as inspiration for his book “Treasure Island.”

Clint Eastwood Brings The Ranch Back to Life

It’s hard to blame Eastwood for wanting to fix the place up. But it wouldn’t be an easy job. The ranch was in horrible disrepair. Everything from termite damage to rusted-out gas lines made for some pretty serious renovations.

“When you open up a place like this, it’s like the bear who climbs a hill to see the next hill and the next hill. It never ends,” Eastwood said in the 1993 interview. But after years of work and a lot of money, the place was up and running.

According to Architectural Digest, “The gleaming buildings of Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch now offer thirty-one luxurious guest rooms, a renovated restaurant and bar and what are still the best views in California.”

“The place just gets in your blood. When you’ve been away and you come back here, you always feel like you’re coming home,” Eastwood told the Magazine.

The property is now home to the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant. A location that remains popular for events like weddings and corporate dinners.

If you’d like to see the place for yourself, the video below contains a slideshow depicting Mission Ranch from 1850 to the present.

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Clint Eastwood

Beverly Hills Cop: Martin Scorsese Turned Down Eddie Murphy’s Evergreen Franchise Because of Clint Eastwood

Martin Scorsese helmed a lot of timeless films during the ‘80s, such as After Hours, The Last Temptation of Christ, and The Color of Money. However, the director also rejected a lot of scripts that ultimately ended up becoming successful franchises. That apparently also included Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop.
martin scorsese

Martin Scorsese
Directed by Martin Brest, Beverly Hills Cop was a raging box office success. It grossed over $316 million over a measly budget of $13 million. It was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards.
Martin Scorsese Declined Beverly Hills Cop For One Specific Reason
During an interview with Deadline, filmmaker Martin Scorsese revealed Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop was one of the projects he passed over because he did not feel like doing it:
“I was getting many scripts. Witness, Beverly Hills Cop, there were a lot. But I didn’t want to make those. Then you choose your course. It’s a harder course.”
Scorsese apparently rejected the script because, for him, the storyline sort of resembled that of Don Siegal’s 1968 crime thriller Coogan’s Bluff with Clint Eastwood in the lead. In the same conversation, the renowned director noted that as a filmmaker, one should know their niche in the industry, and if one desires to make movies, one should always “figure out where you fit.”
The ‘80s was a time when a lot of movies in different genres sprouted, and several filmmakers rigorously fought for the audience’s interest. Scorsese had to make his mark and set himself apart from the others. He further added:
“But all through the ‘80s I was in a diaspora trying to find a way back, into what would be considered the industry. But more importantly, trying to find my way as a filmmaker because I’d exhausted certain things. I was going in another way.”
Rejecting Beverly Hills Cop turned out to be a hard lesson for the director. He ended up making another film, After Hours, which not only gave an underwhelming performance but also a weak hit from Scorsese. With a $4.5 million budget, it only made $10.6 million worldwide.
Eddie Murphy Almost Did Not Star In Beverly Hills Cop
Martin Brest revealed in an interview with Variety that Eddie Murphy was not their first choice for Beverly Hills Cop. They originally wanted Sylvester Stallone, but things did not turn out the way they wanted so they had to replace him with Murphy. He explained:
“My conception of it at the time was to do something with Stallone that nobody had ever seen before. It had some comedic elements by virtue of the fish out of water, but he wrote this thing that was a straight-out action drama. That’s not what the studio really was looking to do, so he went off, and he took that script, and it became Cobra. So we wound up getting Eddie Murphy a few weeks before shooting.”
Even though it is intriguing to see Stallone’s take on it, Murphy is definitely the perfect choice for the role. It is a comedy action film anyway, and that seems to be his forte.

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Clint Eastwood

The Clint Eastwood Western That Doubles as an Anti-War Movie

THE BIG PICTURE

 Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales is a Western film that delves into the harsh realities of violence and warfare.
 Eastwood labels the film as an “anti-war” movie, highlighting the parallels between the narrative and the Vietnam War.
 The film combines elements of vengeance and traditional warfare, ultimately showcasing the inevitability of violence and the impact it has on American society.

In the history of Hollywood, no figure was quite as reflective of their image, star persona, and stature in the industry as Clint Eastwood. While he is a tried and true action movie star, frequently playing gun-toting outlaws who defy the orders of society, Eastwood has aspired to deconstruct the archetypes of cops and cowboys on screen throughout his illustrious six-decade career as an actor and director. He is symbolic of seemingly contrasting tastes. He can seamlessly give audiences a satisfying thriller about revenge featuring copious amounts of gun fights, yet his most accomplished films confront the harsh underbelly of violence. With his 1976 Western The Outlaw Josey Wales, Eastwood examines violence in the context of America’s past and present relationship to warfare.

The Outlaw Josey Wales Film Poster

The Outlaw Josey Wales
Missouri farmer Josey Wales joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

Release DateJune 30, 1976
DirectorClint Eastwood
CastClint Eastwood , Chief Dan George , Sondra Locke , Bill McKinney , John Vernon , Paula Trueman
RatingPG
Runtime135 minutes
Main GenreWestern
GenresWestern
WritersForrest Carter , Philip Kaufman , Sonia Chernus
Tagline…an army of one.

What Is Clint Eastwood’s ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ About?
The Outlaw Josey Wales follows the titular Missouri farmer (Eastwood) who joins a Confederate guerrilla military unit after the slaying of his family by Union soldiers. Eventually, as he emerges a feared gunfighter, Wales becomes the target of a manhunt by the same Union soldiers and a gang of bounty hunters. On the surface, Josey Wales appeals to the cheap sensibilities of exploitation pictures.
The film, from its synopsis to its perspective, centered on the Confederacy during the Civil War, seems like trashy and troubling material that is beneath Eastwood. In the end, the film’s confrontation with transgressive topics and circumstances leaves an immeasurable impact on the final product, as Eastwood’s sobering commentary on the brutality and bleak inevitability of war is some of the star’s most resonant storytelling.

Clint Eastwood Interprets ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ as an Anti-War Film

Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey WalesImage via Warner Bros.

In a 2011 interview with The Wall Street Journal, in the lead-up to his upcoming biopic, J. Edgar, Eastwood opined on the ethics of law enforcement and reflected on his military experience in the Korean War. His sympathy towards law officials (from the real-life J. Edgar Hoover to Gene Hackman‘s Oscar-winning turn as “Little” Bill Daggett in Unforgiven) who seek proper justice but are derailed by an excess of chivalry is an insightful portrayal of his vast filmography. Ultimately, the subtext of The Outlaw Josey Wales crystallizes Eastwood’s belief that the nobility of justice is destined to be undermined by a warmonger complex that permeates American politics.
More so than any of his explicit war films, including Letters from Iwo Jima or American Sniper, Eastwood labeled Josey Wales as an “anti-war” film. “I saw the parallels to the modern day at that time. Everybody gets tired of it, but it never ends,” he said, comparing the film’s narrative to the contemporaneous turmoil ensuing during the Vietnam War. Eastwood identifies a solemn reality surrounding war’s existence, stating that “war is a horrible thing, but it’s also a unifier of countries.” According to the actor-director, civilization perversely coexists and sparks genuine camaraderie among people during these years of bloody havoc. Humans are also at their most creative, as evident by the mass development of advanced weapons and machinery. “That’s kind of a sad statement on mankind, if that’s what it takes,” he remarks.

Clint Eastwood’s Josey Wales Wants Revenge

Indeed, camaraderie is an essential fabric of the story of The Outlaw Josey Wales. Following the harrowing murder of his wife and young son, led by Captain Terrill (Bill McKinney), he sharpened his skills as a gunfighter. Along his journey of vengeance, he forms a brief alliance with a Confederate guerrilla army before their subsequent surrender and killing at the hands of the Union soldiers. Soon after, Wales forms a pact with an assortment of misfits, including a Cherokee man, Lone Watie (Chief Dan George), a Navajo woman, Little Moonlight (Geraldine Keams), an elderly woman from Kansas, Sarah Turner (Paula Trueman), and her granddaughter, Laura Lee (Sondra Locke, who developed a personal relationship with Eastwood). In the film’s early moments, immediately after his family is massacred and his home is destroyed, the Confederate army emerges in the background. A distraught Josey, at his lowest moment, is given a chance for payback. This feeling of worth and validation is the root of the film and its harsh commentary on how warfare captures the emotional vulnerability of Americans.

The core structure of The Outlaw Josey Wales calls for a lone outlaw to exact brutal revenge on anyone who walks in his path. However, the tribal complex involved in the conflict between the Union and Confederate armies and Native Americans versus their local oppressors draws Wales into the orbit of traditional warfare. What started as a primal streak of vengeance evolved into a series of battles and disputes between other gangs and Native tribes, including the Comancheros and the Comanche tribe, respectively. Wales’ companions that he encounters along the way are also subjected to his journey of retribution. The character’s personal stakes blend in with the greater machinations of tribal warfare. Despite being set in a familiar Western setting filled with vistas and horseback riding shootouts, Josey Wales takes on the likeness of a man-on-a-mission war epic, such as the Eastwood-starring World War II film, Where Eagles Dare.

Clint Eastwood’s ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ Is a Smartly Directed Western

Clint Eastwood directing The Outlaw Josey WalesImage via Warner Bros. 

Beyond the thematic crux of the story, Eastwood’s film is visually rendered like a combat picture. The cinematography of Bruce Surtees, a frequent collaborator of Eastwood, and his filmmaking mentor, Don Siegel, shoots the Western vistas and rural villages with a distinct grain. The weathered landscapes of Missouri, Kansas, and the U.S.-Mexico border are antithetical to the glossy, painterly images created by John Ford, the definitive visionary of Western iconography. The gritty visual aesthetic is complemented by the direction of action sequences, which are stripped away of the elegance of a pistol duel in classic Westerns. The fast cuts and unstable camera movements create the sensation of being in the middle of an intense military clash.
In the film, Union and Confederate armies are equipped with advanced weaponry, including a Gatling gun that Wales used to attack the opposing soldiers during the Confederacy’s surrender. Wales operates as a military tactician, methodically executing schemes such as shooting off a rope that is attached to a Union vessel, subsequently trapping them in the middle of a body of water, or creating a diversion by placing a corpse on top of a riding horse to draw out soldiers at a camp. Eastwood’s proclamation to the WSJ that war brings out the most ingenious qualities in humans was clearly practiced when directing Josey Wales.

Violence Is an Inevitability in ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’

bearded man holding two guns and looking at the horizon

Eastwood’s films, from his brash, free-spirited vigilante characters (notably “Dirty” Harry Callahan) and his experience in the Western genre, are loosely connected to his libertarian politics. Even in the scenarios where he plays a law enforcement official, his characters are proudly anti-government. In The Outlaw Josey Wales, Eastwood struggles to uphold his identity as a lone wolf. When Wales embarks on his quest following the encounter with Lone Watie and Little Moonlight, he says to them, “Might as well ride along with us. Hell, everybody else is.”
The powers of the military-industrial complex limit his independence. This is an especially noteworthy thematic trait because of the film’s genre. Westerns are about open fields and conquering uninhabited and non-industrialized lands. The climactic battle between Wales and Terrill takes place outside a fortified ranch where the outlaw’s companions take shelter. A settlement that should present itself with tranquility is shattered by the carnage of warfare between Wales’ pact and Terrill’s army.

Dirty-Harry-Guns-n-roses-jim-carrey

Eastwood’s quote in the Wall Street Journal story informs an inevitability surrounding America’s reckless involvement in war activity. Regardless of one’s desire for bloody vengeance, warfare is destined to hit the American homefront. “Sometimes trouble just follows a man,” Wales reckons before riding off to battle. Viewers may interpret this line as a moment of self-reflection or obliviousness on the character’s part. It carries the weight of Western myths while signaling the pathos of violence that Eastwood strives to connect with in his direction. The oppressive nature of Wales’ violent plight is primarily self-inflicted, as he is not a pure hero in this story, but it complements his relationship with Native American people. Far more effectively than even the greatest Westerns in history, Josey Wales‘ depictions of Native Americans are quite sympathetic, as the titular character takes solace in their oppression by the American government.

‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ Is Reminiscent of John Ford’s ‘The Searchers’

John Wayne in The SearchersImage via Warner Bros. 

The beauty of the Western genre is that each film, to varying degrees, is reflective of other films in the canon. As for The Outlaw Josey Wales, the mediation on the waning sense of nobility when carrying out justice belongs to the spirit of John Ford’s greatest achievements. The DNA of Sergio Leone‘s Dollars trilogy starring Eastwood is also evident in the 1976 film. Furthermore, Eastwood’s widely recognized revisionist Western masterpiece Unforgiven, can be interpreted as a spiritual successor to Josey Wales.
Like every Western that arrived in its wake, the film is indebted to Ford’s The Searchers, just on the merit of Josey Wales‘ closing line alone. Before riding off into the sunset, Wales, after overhearing Fletcher (John Vernon) enlightening a pair of Texas Rangers about the story of the outlaw’s (who is believed to be dead) trail of vengeance, remarks “I guess we all died a little in that damned war.” As a film released just one year following the end of the Vietnam War, this line unabashedly conveys the gloomy American sentiment of the period.

In The Searchers, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) returns from the Civil War as a broken soul, and resorts to savage retribution against a Native American tribe. In his worldview, the war never ended. For Josey Wales, a once average American, combat is a rudimentary facet of life. Even if his past traumas are healed, he will always encounter violence along the way.
The Outlaw Josey Wales is available to rent on Prime Video in the U.S.

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Clint Eastwood

Jigarthanda Double X confronts tribal land struggle with a searing question: “Rulers, why?”

AS the final reels of Karthik Subbaraj’s Jigarthanda Double X flicker by, Raghavendra Lawrence, the South Indian choreographer-turned-actor, delivers a speech as ‘Alliyan Caesar’ that resonates with the raw truth.
Caesar’s tribe, guardians of the forest and mountains for generations, faces the grim reality of imminent annihilation. Greedy politicians, their guns aimed through the hands of duty-bound policemen, hunger for the land Caesar and his people call home.
The fight-or-flight dilemma gnaws at Caesar. Violence, he realises, would only stain his land with the blood of men forced to follow orders. Ray Das, the second lead played by Tamil director-turned-actor S.J. Surya, urges retreat, but Caesar’s tribe holds firm.
“Those who abandon their roots never truly return,” one of the elders opines.
Finally, Caesar chooses defiance. Not with guns, but with the song of their ancestors, the thunderous beat of drums, and the defiant steps of their traditional dance. They face the firing line not with fear, but with the unyielding spirit of a people who know no other home.
What happens next is not for me to tell. But this much is clear: Caesar chose the only path left in the face of historical land grabs and the relentless struggle for forest rights.
“Those who abandon their roots never truly return,” one of the elders opines.
In the tapestry of Indian history, where stolen lands and broken promises echo, sometimes the most potent weapon is the unwavering song of resistance, the unyielding beat of a tribe’s heart.
According to a 2022 Observation Report prepared by Cultural Survival, an international indigenous rights organisation with a global indigenous leadership and consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council, in India, indigenous peoples face ongoing land grabs, militarisation and violence, fueled by policies that undermine their rights to land and self-determination.
The Observation Report also claims that the Forest Rights Act, 2006, which aimed to redress historical and ongoing land theft, has failed.
The Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 recognises the rights of the forest-dwelling tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers to forest resources, on which these communities were dependent for a variety of things, including livelihood, habitation and other socio-cultural needs.
However, according to a March 2022 document, the number of land claim requests received from tribals in India is 4,429,065 and the number of titles distributed is 2,234,292, which is a disposal rate of just 50.4 percent. A disappointing number.
According to the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), indigenous people in the Central India Tribal Belt, which stretches from Gujarat in the west up to Assam in the east and encompasses the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, has been particularly affected by the large-scale acquisition of land for mining and other development activities.
In Manipur, a recent case saw tribal communities residing in the foothills evicted from their ancestral forest lands under the claim of it being “reserve forests”. However, critics interviewed by Frontline suspect these evictions to be a prelude to a “land grab” disguised as development in India’s sensitive northeastern border region.
In the tapestry of Indian history, where stolen lands and broken promises echo, sometimes the most potent weapon is the unwavering song of resistance, the unyielding beat of a tribe’s heart.
In recent years, the Tamil film industry has emerged as a powerful voice for the marginalised and the oppressed. Filmmakers such as Pa. Ranjith, Vetrimaaran, Mari Selvaraj and T.J. Gnanavel have carved a distinct path, prioritising human rights narratives that resonate deeply with audiences.
Their stories, often rooted in the struggles of the exploited, landless, tribal, Dalit, and downtrodden communities, shed light on systemic injustices and ignite conversations about social change. With Jigarthanda Double X, Karthik Subbaraj has joined the league.
Karthik, who is known for his Quentin Tarantino-esque touch, unleashes a ‘double dhamaka’ in Jigarthanda Double X. This explosive cocktail churns with Tarantino’s signature non-linear narratives and sharp dialogues, but with a surprising twist: a dash of Clint Eastwood’s rugged cowboy swagger.
With this intoxicating blend of cinematic influences, Karthik weaves a tapestry of narratives, each thread as vibrant and impactful as the last. He plunges us into the struggles of aborigines to protect their land and how Tamil cinema plays its part in the State’s politics as a ‘weapon’.
Greed for land slithers through the narrative, entwined with the machinations of ruthless politicians. Each twist and turn is infused with Karthik’s signature emotive touch, leaving us deeply affected by the human struggles that unfold before our eyes.
Lawrence’s journey in Jigarthanda Double X as Caesar is nothing short of extraordinary. The film takes us on a rollercoaster ride through his life, from a 1970s elephant poacher in the lush forests of Tamil Nadu to a powerful don in Madurai.
But destiny had something else in store for him. In between, the arrival of Hollywood legend Eastwood for a film shoot in a nearby village proves to be a pivotal moment. Caesar receives an inspiring gift from Eastwood, sparking a fascination with the world of cinema.
As the movie progresses in Tarantino’s style, Caesar ends up behind the camera, even while being a don. He embarks on the ambitious project of becoming the first ‘Black’ hero in Tamil cinema, before Rajinikanth.
Interestingly, within both his own life and the film-within-the-film, Caesar emulates Eastwood’s rugged persona. Echoing the cowboy heroes of Eastwood’s Westerns, he even mounts a horse to confront the villain and protect his tribe.
The cowboy music movie added in Jigarthanda Double X doubles its impact. Meanwhile, under Karthik’s masterful handling, Caesar transcends the silver screen, becoming a hero not just in cinema but also in his tribe.
After many twists and turns, as the final celluloid flicker dies down, Caesar’s defiance explodes in a symphony of fire and passion. His song, raw and defiant, rises above the sound of firing guns. His feet pound a primal rhythm.
Greed for land slithers through the narrative, entwined with the machinations of ruthless politicians.
In that charged moment, the line between reel and real blurs, leaving only the incandescent image of a man and his tribe dancing with destiny, unafraid and untamed.
As I watched Caesar unfold, I was caught in that very ‘empathy machine’ Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, has so eloquently described.
Although set in the 1970s, the film’s stark reality resonates even in 2023.
Today, when Dalits and Adivasis find themselves dispossessed of their land, denied of their fundamental right to belong, one cannot help but echo Caesar’s question: “Rulers, why…?”

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