You gonna read this page, or just whistle Dixie?
"Westerns. A period gone by, the pioneer, the loner operating by himself, without benefit of society. It usually has something to do with some sort of vengeance; he takes care of the vengeance himself, doesn't call the police. Like Robin Hood. It's the last masculine frontier. Romantic myth. I guess, though it's hard to think about anything romantic today. In a Western you can think, Jesus, there was a time when man was alone, on horseback, out there where man hasn't spoiled the land yet."Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr.
— Clint Eastwood, on the genre that helped shape his career.
(born May 31, 1930) is an American actor and director. He's most famous for portraying Badass
machos, characters that are so cool, their coolness drips right off the screen
. The two most famous roles of this kind are Dirty Harry
and the Man With No Name
in the Sergio Leone
movies. In these movies he invented and popularized the One-Liner
(like the Pre Ass Kicking One Liner
, Pre-Mortem One-Liner
, or just the generic "I'm so badass"
). His Influence on the movie industry was such that without him (or his Dirty Harry
to be more specific) The Eighties
would have seen about a mere fourth of the action movies it actually did
Aside from Westerns (which his cop movies pretty much are
) he also played in an occasional war movie of the Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
kind. (Kelly's Heroes
, Where Eagles Dare
). He was also in the movie of Firefox
, resulting in the sequel novel being dedicated to him.
He soon also got a reputation for being a great director, who always finishes his movies ahead of time and with still some budget left. For the past twenty or so years he has directed almost every movie he starred in and a bunch he didn't, winning several Academy Awards
for them, including 2 best pictures (Unforgiven
, Million Dollar Baby
) and 5 of the various acting awards. On his own acting front he changed his palette to include comedic roles (Every Which Way But Loose
, Any Which Way You Can
, which believe it or not were the biggest hits of his career, along with Bronco Billy
where he had some Self-Deprecating Humor
) and also romantic roles (The Bridges of Madison County
). In general, it can be said that he really likes to do such things, even deconstructing his own Image
deconstructs his westerns in general and The Outlaw Josey Wales
in particular, The Gauntlet
deconstructs his Dirty Harry
persona as early as 1977. His most recent, acting role was Gran Torino
(which he also directed and produced) can be seen as a comment on both his Man With No Name and Dirty Harry characters, exploring the demons of the grizzled badass grown old. He has also directed Invictus
, a film about the end of The Apartheid Era
in South Africa
, an ensemble drama about people who have been touched by death. His latest film was 2012's Trouble With The Curve
, where he plays an aging baseball scout who goes on one last recruiting trip with his daughter (Amy Adams
), despite the fact that he is going blind. The film was the directoral debut of Eastwood's long-time producer Robert Lorenz.
With the success of Gran Torino
, Eastwood at 78 officially became the oldest leading man to reach #1 at the box office.
Note also that he is not only an actor and director, he also is/was: producer, singer, songwriter, mayor of Carmel, CA and designer of his own line of golf-clothing. He is also widely cited as being the only western actor to win a quick-draw contest.
FYI: If you want to free yourself from the macho-image Clint has, but can't stand watching Bridges of Madison County
for some reason, you should give Paint Your Wagon
a try. Clint Eastwood walking through a forest, singing
"I talk to the trees,
but they don't listen to me
" That should just do the job.
Despite his macho image, he is very much One of Us
, as emphasized by the times he was interviewed during the production of another of his films, Space Cowboys
. He openly and willingly admitted to being very much a science nerd, and enjoying sci-fi.
In his younger days, he was very much The Casanova
- so much so that he not only had mistresses but reportedly cheated on his mistresses with other mistresses. Seriously, just look at his Wikipedia entry. To quote: Eastwood told biographer Richard Schickel that he lost his virginity at age 14. He has fathered at least seven children by five different women and been described as a "serial womanizer". According to biographers Marc Eliot and Patrick McGilligan, Eastwood always had a strong sexual appetite and had many affairs with women through the years, including actresses Catherine Deneuve, Jean Seberg, Peggy Lipton, Kay Lenz, Jamie Rose, Inger Stevens, Jo Ann Harris, Jane Brolin, Jill Banner, script analyst Megan Rose, and swimming champion Anita Lhoest. Biographers claim he has also fathered at least four children that have been aborted, and another who was given up for adoption in 1953. Biographers and friend Paul Lippman have claimed that Eastwood was particularly sexually active and promiscuous in the 1970s and that he used his apartment close to the Hog's Breath Inn which he purchased in Carmel in the early 1970s to meet young ladies for "nooners" and "five in the afternooners". According to Lippman, "Eastwood seemed to get a bang out of this kinkier side to himself and rarely concealed it, often gloated about it".
Eastwood was married to Maggie Johnson from 1953 to 1984 and had two children with her. Long before ending that union Eastwood started what would become a 14 year relationship with actress Sondra Locke, who even appeared in some of his films as his love interest, starting in the mid 1970s. Things ended very badly in 1989 when Eastwood apparently decided to pull the plug on their relationship and locked her out of their home, changing the locks on their doors and putting all of her belongings in storage. This led to a series of lawsuits, the first of which ended with the understanding that Warner Brothers would back Locke on any directorial projects of her choosing - which only resulted in three very poor films that she reportedly didn't even want to make and went back to court when Locke accused Eastwood of having used his star status to sabotage her career after their breakup. Eastwood and Warner Brothers both eventually settled out of court with her. Not surprisingly, Locke has said some very nasty
things about Eastwood since then.
In 1996 Eastwood married his second wife, Dina Marie Ruiz, and had one child with her. They are currently filed for divorce at this time.
From the number of his films that include characters being punished for Failing Gun Safety Forever
you can reasonably conclude that Clint does in fact know something about gun safety
Fun Fact: His name is an anagram for "Old West Action".
Another Fun Fact: Though his characters often smoked in his films Clint himself is actually a non-smoker in real life.
Notable films directed by him include:
Clint Eastwood the trope namer for:
Tropes Associated with Clint Eastwood
- Badass: Hell yes!
- Brilliant but Lazy: He's known for being incredibly laidback when shooting films. Tim Robbins described a day with him as "You're in no earlier than Nine. He only shoots one take and complains if he has to do more. And you usually go home right after lunch". Of course, the results show that it works.
- He works on the assumption that actors do their best work if they are a) spontaneous and b) relaxed. It's also a case of Hard Work Hardly Works since despite this laidback approach, Eastwood is regarded as the most economical film-maker in Hollywood, filming movies on schedule and often, under-budget, which makes him a producer's dream and allows him to retain great integrity to do the smaller, personal films he wants.
- One of his directors on Rawhide complained that Eastwood would always show up late to the set.
- Cool Old Guy: Definitely one of the coolest of all time.
- Copiously Credited Creator: In a number of his films, he serves as the producer-director-star-composer, though usually not all four at once.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of the characters he's played cater to this, and is more or less art imitating life.
- Dull Surprise: In his early work at least - Sergio Leone even said Clint only had two expressions, with and without a hat.
- Despite the popularity of his films Eastwood was often criticized early in his career by critics for being too understated. There's actually a bit of a Base Breaker between critics and fans as to whether Eastwood was a wooden actor who simply got lucky or if he was actually a master of a more understated form of acting, given his penchant for playing cold, hard boiled, emotionally unavailable men (which is what his career was pretty much built on for the longest time).
- Ennio Morricone Pastiche: Whenever someone spoofs a cowboy accompanied by music from Ennio Morricone they are usually doing a badass pose based on either Clint or Lee Van Cleef.
- Friend to All Children: When he was mayor of Carmel he would use the modest salary that came with the position to treat the town's children to an annual ice cream party.
- Friend to All Living Things: A really badass example. Clint is famous for helping out local animal rescue projects in his area of California. His own ranch is filled with various animals that he and his wife Dina have adopted. Anytime he does an interview and ends up talking about his pets it ends up being a huge Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Guttural Growler: Good Lord, he makes Christian Bale's Batman sound high-pitched.
- Hidden Depths: He absolutely loves music, is a gifted jazz pianist, and has penned songs for several films.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his crusty persona, he's known as very nice and friendly to people he works with (except of course where Sondra Locke is concerned - see above). He's also a supporter of Gay Marriage and a big animal lover.
- Mean Character Nice Actor: On screen, he's intimdating, rude and usually amoral with a bad temper. Offscreen, he's known to be very friendly and laidback and a pleasure to work with.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Kenny the Ripper says hello.
- No Stunt Double: Did his own stunts, and provides the trope's page quote.
- Rated M for Manly: Most of his films can be viewed as Deconstructions of manly ideals, even the Dirty Harry series.
- On Bridges of Madison County, his character turns away from the camera when he cries. He said afterwards that he did so because the audience does not expect a Clint Eastwood character to cry openly in a movie.
- Renaissance Man: In addition to acting and directing, Clint also is a licensed pilot, a rancher (and his ranch is filled with pets that he and his wife have adopted from animal rescue missions), and a quite talented musician. He's also a former lifeguard.
- Rule-Breaker Rule-Namer: The DGA has an "Eastwood Rule", which is where the DGA reserves the right to slap a producer with a huge fine if he fires a DGA-affiliated director and replaces him with a current member of the cast or crew, after Clint Eastwood's behavior while making The Outlaw Josey Wales.
- Twitter: His bizarre "conversation" with an empty chair representing Barack Obama at the 2012 Republican convention achieved internet-meme status immediately with the creation of Invisible Obama and the President himself tweeting "This seat's taken".
Finally writing this article about Clint Eastwood really made my day.