Creator: Clint Eastwood

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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.
Clint Eastwood, on the genre that helped shape his career.

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Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American actor director, producer, singer, songwriter, former mayor of Carmel, CA and designer of his own line of golf-clothing. He's most famous for portraying tough-as-nails, somewhat reactionary gunslingers who speak very little, and make each word (and bullet) count. The two most famous roles of this kind are Dirty Harry and the Man With No Name in the Sergio Leone movies. He is also widely cited as being the only western actor to win a quick-draw contest.

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"-One-Liner). His Influence on the movie industry was such that without him (or his Dirty Harry library, to be more specific) The '80s would have seen about a mere fourth of the action movies it actually did see. 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. If you want a break from Clint's ever-expanding body count, but can't stand Bridges of Madison County, 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" will do the trick.

For some reason, he really likes to act in movies that deconstruct his own Image: Unforgiven deconstructs his westerns in general and The Outlaw Josey Wales in particular; The Gauntlet deconstructs his Dirty Harry persona as early as 1977; one of his most recent acting roles 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 soon also got a reputation for being a great director, who always finishes his movies (of course) 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).

He has also directed Invictus, a film about the end of The Apartheid Era in South Africa and Hereafter, 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.

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. (Yo dawg, I heard you like mistresses...) Seriously, just look at his Wikipedia entry. According to one of his friends and biographers, Eastwood "seemed to get a bang out of this kinkier side to himself and rarely concealed it, often gloated about it." One person who wasn't laughing was actress Sondra Locke (she played a few of his on-screen love interests) with whom he carried on an extramarital affair in mid-70s. Locke accused Eastwood of using his star status to bury her career after their breakup. Eastwood and Warner Brothers both eventually settled out of court. Suffice to say, if Clint offer you a part in one of his movies, accept. If he offers you dinner, maybe think it over.

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

  • The Ace: Just look at the entry for Renaissance Man. There's seemingly nothing this man can't do.
  • 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.
    • invoked A well-known conservative in Hollywood, Clint's views skew closer to a classical libertarian than most suspect. He is generally anti-war and a supporter of Gay Marriage and an animal lover.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his crusty persona, he's known as a patient boss and a very approachable sort of bloke.
  • 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.
    • The creators of the 1980s space operatic sci-fi western The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers admitted that they based the character of Shane "Goose" Gooseman on Clint.
  • No Stunt Double: Did his own stunts, and provides the trope's page quote.
  • Playing Against Type: One of his strangest roles is The Witches, an Italian anthology film starring Silvana Mangano. He plays a dull businessman whose wife (Mangano) longs for escape from their routine life; it even includes a send-up of his Man With No Name persona. Eastwood reportedly took the role for a factory-made Ferrari and the chance to work with director Vittorio De Sica.
  • 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.
  • Signature Style: Most of his films have a de-saturated color palate, emphasizing greys and pastels over bold colors (which, if they ever do appear, are dulled and darkened). Also, his films' scores as a rule are quite understated.
  • 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.