Clint Eastwood… One of the genre’s most iconic people. From riding across our screen in A Fistful of Dollars to the three way stand off in a graveyard in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, he is, to the person on the street at least, the actor (except Lee Van Cleef prehaps) who is most associated with the Spaghetti Westerns. What do you think of Clint Eastwood?
He reminds me of Anthony Steffen!
I like him in the Leone films and also some of the spaghettiesque american Westerns, to a much lesser degree… Don’t care much for a lot of his work as a director, always seems to have some good potential but come up short. Haven’t really paid attention to his recent efforts though, as not interested in the films
Enjoy his 60’s and 70’s films the most as an actor / director on the whole. Not to fond of some of his early 80’s work. Read recently how much he thinks Morricone is a good composer, then why has he never used him for one of his directed films I wonder. Some of his recent directed films are a little to long for me aswell.
Clint Eastwood as James Bond 007
I like him in the Leones, especially in A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (a bit less so in For a Few Dollars More)
Also like him in non-spaghetti westerns and the Dirty Harry movies. He was only really great when directed by a master director: Leone, Siegel. They knew exactly how to use him and his magnificent screen presence to maximum effect. One of his better performances of his later career, is in Wolfgang Petersen’s In the Line of Fire.
I never cared much for his work as a director. Mystic River is one of the few Clint directed movies I really like. I think he has too much controll over his films: they usually are very uneven, with some good scenes or ideas, but overlong and with too many weak or superfluous scenes. People involved in his movies dare not tell him when things aren’t right, I guess.
Eastwood nearly always likes to work with the same people so his films invariably have the same composers. Most recently of course that has been himself or son Kyle but before that it was Lennie Niehaus who did all his films for years and years. Very well too it has to be said. Same with cinematographers. Tom Stern most recently has done all his films since Mystic River. Before that was Jack Green who shot everything since the mid 80s and before that was Bruce Surtees going back to before Clint was even directing. So in nearly 40 years of film making he has only used 3 cinematographers.
Also, musically Clint is a jazz lover and I think Niehaus has the same background and always gave him what he was after.
I think we may have disagreed on this in the past Scherp but I still think Unforgiven is Eastwood’s best film as a director. It’s a great western in my opinion but also a genuinely fine film which stands the test of time and will be one he will be remembered by in the future.
I’m agreeing with scherp on this one. I alos think his films are overlong and Unforgiven is the perfect example. I’ve given this film many chances, starting at the theatrical release when I was very young, and have wanted to like it very much each time… But each time I am just very bored with it… takes so long to get anywhere, which would be less of a problem if in this time there were more interesting things happening and to look at… I understand this makes the ending more powerful, but does not excuse 1.5 hours of boredum for me
I prefer his Bond movies ;D :o :
Well I guess this is a perfect example of how people with similar tastes can still fundamentally disagree on stuff. Which I’m all in favour of by the way. Makes things more interesting.
I saw Unforgiven at the cinema on its release and was mesmerised by it. Not bored for a minute. And I’ve watched it numerous times since on DVD and haven’t changed my opinion yet. On the contrary. And the slow burn works perfectly for me. Making the final scene, which I think is magnificent, work all the better.
I think I must give Unforgiven yet another chance… Its been enough time to where I may be able to look with a fresh set of eyes.
I hope so amigo. Although of course you may still hate it
I think Clint set the standard for all other Spaghetti western stars to live up to. Almost everybody else, from Steffen, to Nero, to Craig Hill, to Garko to some degree or another were influenced by Eastwood.
This is true of course, but I think it is a shame. Lennie Niehaus of course got on the Eastwood band wagon so to speak as used to work as an orchestrator for Jerry Fielding. Niehaus in my view is no Fielding or Morricone, find is stuff bland alot of the times. His scores to Tightrope and The Rookie are my favourite.
Another shame for me is Eastwood has never starred in another cinema film directed by another director other than himself since In The Line Of Fire, which is quite a while ago. Ironic of course that the director of the film used Morricone for the score. Again Eastwood likes to be in control and direct all his stuff, which is fine. However all directors have different ideas on things, and this is what some of the later starring Eastwood roles have lacked in my view.
Why not in For a Few Dollars More? Sure, he was overshadowed by Lee Van Cleef (Eastwood’s role felt more like a supporting one), but he was still fine in it.
I don’t say he’s bad in it, but like you say he’s overshadowed by Van Cleef. FAFDM is Van Cleef’s movie, most people agree on that, just like GBU is Wallach’s movie, but … I have the feeling Wallach’s hyperactive performance works because of the contrast with Clint’s cool, relaxed performance (and Lee’s stoic performance of course, but Eli and Clint have more scenes together). I guess Eli’s performance wouldn’t have worked if he had carried the movie alone. FAFDM could have worked well with Lee (and El Indio) alone. Or with Lee and a supporting actor beside him as the younger bounty hunter (I don’t think Clint is used as a supporting actor here). It would have been a different film of course, and no doubt not as good as the film we know, but still quite good.
I think FAFDM is his best role. His roles in FOD and GBU are too cool I think
Thanks for the explanation. I can see what you are getting at. Only in A Fistful of Dollars does Eastwood not have a really strong supporting actor, and as you say Wallach contrasts well to him in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly but in For a Few Dollars More both Van Cleef and Eastwood seem to be fighting for the lead role sometimes.
How can you be too cool?