Posts Tagged ‘Clint Eastwood’
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023
JOE KIDD (1972) is Clint Eastwood’s only movie directed by John Sturges (BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK) and also his only one written by Elmore Leonard. Leonard was no stranger to Hollywood – his western novels The Law at Randado, Last Stand at Saber River and Hombre (plus the short stories 3:10 to Yuma, The Tall T and Only Good Ones and the crime novel The Big Bounce) had already been made into movies, and he’d adapted his own The Moonshine War. But this was his first original screenplay, which he’d written as THE SINOLA COURTHOUSE RAID or SINOLA.
Eastwood plays the titular fuckup, formerly a bounty hunter, now pursuing other interests, primarily getting drunk and arrested. He has a pretty good Leonard-ian introduction: passed out in a cell, his jailers bring breakfast and coffee to wake him up for a court appearance, but his cellmate Naco (Pepe Callahan, THE LONG GOODBYE) keeps it out of his reach and taunts him about it. Joe thinks he remembers that deputy Bob Mitchell (Gregory Walcott, PRIME CUT) hit him, but has to ask for confirmation. They say he was illegally hunting a mule deer on the Indian reservation, then threatened to piss on the court house, and it took three cops to bring him in. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Clint Eastwood, Dick Van Patten, Don Stroud, Elmore Leonard, Gregory Walcott, James Wainright, John Carter, John Saxon, John Sturges, Lalo Schifrin, Lynne Marta, Paul Koslo, Pepe Callahan, Robert Duvall, Ron Soble, Stella Garcia
Posted in Reviews, Western | 26 Comments »
Monday, January 3rd, 2022
On January 1, 2013 I reviewed the movie TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE, and made up a superstition that it’s good luck for movie critics to start a year with a Clint Eastwood review. So then I ended up kicking off 2014 writing about A PERFECT WORLD, 2015 with THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, 2016 with KELLY’S HEROES, 2017 with PINK CADILLAC, 2018 with TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA, 2019 with THE MULE, 2020 with WHITE HUNTER BLACK HEART and 2021 with THE GAUNTLET.
It would be hard to argue that any “good luck” panned out in some of those years, and yet I will stubbornly continue the tradition. ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ is from 1979 and it was the last of Clint’s five movies directed by Don Siegel, because they had a falling out over which one of them got to produce it. (Siegel’s only subsequent movies were ROUGH CUT starring Burt Reynolds and JINXED! starring Bette Midler.)
It’s based on the true story of the only maybe successful escape from the notorious island prison. Three guys got out, they may very well have drowned, but they were never found. I remember going on a tour of that place as a kid and hearing the story. Man, prison tours are fucked up. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alcatraz, Bruce M. Fischer, Bruce Surtrees, Clint Eastwood, Danny Glover, Don Siegel, Frank Ronzio, Fred Ward, Jack Thibeau, Jerry Fielding, Larry Hankin, Patrick McGoohan, Paul Benjamin, prison, Richard Tuggle, Roberts Blossom
Posted in Reviews, Thriller | 25 Comments »
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021
CRY MACHO is the new one starring and directed by Mr. Clint Eastwood. In a way it seems like a movie he would’ve made when he was younger, and in fact he almost did make it in the late ‘80s, but decided to do THE DEAD POOL instead. I think making it now it ended up much gentler than it would’ve back then, for better or worse. Although it has some things in common with THE MULE (goofy old widower driving over the border into Mexico, going to a scary villa of criminals, driving around in a truck, getting chased by gunmen and cops) it’s a simpler story and production. As a result it might have fewer things people can pick out to laugh at, but also less that’s really original or interesting about it.
That’s okay. It’s an actor in his ‘90s directing himself during a pandemic. As far as those go it’s a fuckin masterpiece. I enjoyed it. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Ben Davis, Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam, Eduardo Minett, Fernanda Urrejola, Horacio Garcia Rojas, Mark Mancina, N. Richard Nash, Natalia Traven, Nick Schenk
Posted in Drama, Reviews, Western | 13 Comments »
Monday, January 4th, 2021
“I just do what I’m told.”
“Yeah, well, so does an imbecile.”
THE GAUNTLET (1977) is some creep’s idea of a triumph-of-the-underdog buddy action comedy romance – the story of a grouchy alcoholic loser cop who finally does a good job at something when he has to transport a prostitute from Las Vegas to Phoenix while every single cop and mobster in multiple states is trying to bump her off. Along the way they insult and assault each other and fall in love. It’s all very scummy and I didn’t used to like it very much, but these days it rings truer than it used to. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Arizona, Clint Eastwood, Dennis Shryack, Frank Frazetta, Jerry Fielding, Las Vegas, Michael Butler, Sondra Locke, William Prince
Posted in Action, Reviews | 15 Comments »
Monday, June 29th, 2020
June 26, 1985
PALE RIDER is a solid, well made, mostly traditional western starring, produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, from a script by Michael Butler & Dennis Shryack (THE GAUNTLET, TURNER & HOOCH). Clint stars as a mysterious drifter only referred to as “Preacher,” because when he takes off his stylish trenchcoat he reveals a priestly collar. But this is only after we’ve seen him stick fight a gang of bullies to unconsciousness and comment, “There’s nothin like a nice piece of hickory.” So there are reasons to question whether that’s his true occupation.
The Preacher wanders into a small California mountain town called LaHood, destination unknown. When asked if he’s just passing through he says he hadn’t really thought about it. The man he saved from a beatdown, Hull Barret (Michael Moriarty, Q), invites him to stay for a while. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: actually he's a ghost, Billy Drago, Carrie Snodgress, Chris Penn, Clint Eastwood, John Russell, Michael Moriarty, Richard Dysart, Richard Kiel, Summer of 1985
Posted in Reviews, Western | 41 Comments »
Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Even before that fake baby in AMERICAN SNIPER, people were talking like Clint Eastwood was some confused old man who doesn’t know how to direct a movie anymore. Gotta disagree. I know I’m far from the only one who really enjoyed and was surprised by THE MULE, and now that I’ve caught up with Clint’s latest director-only drama, RICHARD JEWELL, I’m here to tell you that’s a good one too. Really good, and to me it’s by far the most compelling of what now seems to be a Real American Heroes series with SNIPER, SULLY and THE 15:17 TO PARIS*.
Okay, yeah, so there’s a part where kids drinking beer in a dorm room have a poster on the wall that says “Beer 2 Night.” Have fun with that one. I didn’t notice the fake baby before so maybe there’s some in this one, I honestly don’t care. It’s a fascinating story, it made me laugh, it moved me, it has one of if not the best lead performance of last year. My friends, I have Jewellmania. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Billy Ray, Charles Green, Clint Eastwood, Ian Gomez, Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates, Kenny Rogers, Olivia Wilde, Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 24 Comments »
Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
Clint Eastwood ended the ‘80s fighting neo-nazis in PINK CADILLAC, the action comedy directed by Buddy Van Horn, but he started the ‘90s directing and starring in something more self-reflective. In WHITE HUNTER BLACK HEART, Clint plays eccentric filmmaker John Wilson, who has planned to film a movie in Africa mainly so he can try to hunt an elephant while he’s there. He brings along a young writer friend, Pete Verrill (Jeff Fahey, DARKMAN III: DIE DARKMAN DIE) to polish the script and to pressure into going hunting with him. That character is based on Peter Viertel, who rewrote THE AFRICAN QUEEN for John Huston. The movie is based on a novel he wrote about it when he got back.
So Clint is a little different in this one. He moves and talks a little different, doing a partial imitation of Huston, and is more verbal than usual. Also he’s introduced wearing an ascot and sock-garters.
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alun Armstrong, Charlotte Cornwell, Clint Eastwood, Clive Mantle, George Dzundza, Jeff Fahey, John Huston, Marisa Berenson, Peter Viertel, Richard Vanstone, Timothy Spall
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 9 Comments »
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019
Well, it’s a new year, and I’m keeping my tradition of kicking things off with a Clint Eastwood review. I think Warner Brothers may know about this practice, because they keep releasing his new movies at the end of December. (It’s not for Oscars – I heard they didn’t even screen this one for critics.)
Clint has been directing for almost 50 years. You don’t think of him as a guy who changes with the times, but he’s doing something to stay relevant at least some of the time. Here’s a guy from a couple eras ago still working while we have a cultural movement toward taking stock of our pop culture heroes, in some cases realizing that they were assholes the whole time, or worse. We find out about some horrible shit they’ve gotten away with or they say some shitty thing that makes us reconsider our respect for them.
This accountability is a good thing. Nobody should get away with abusing others just by being a movie star or rich or whatever. Personally I try not to have an itchy trigger finger on the “cancel” button though because I think there needs to be room for context and growth and making amends, if and when possible. But if you start to think some movie star has been a toxic force on the earth maybe it’s harder to enjoy watching them, say, appear in a weirdly titled Chinese propaganda movie starring Mike Tyson. I understand separating the art from the artist, but I can’t always do it. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alison Eastwood, Andy Garcia, based on a magazine article, Bradley Cooper, Clifton Collins Jr., Clint Eastwood, Dianne Wiest, Eugene Cordero, Ignacio Serrichio, Laurence Fishburne, Lobo Sebastian, Michael Pena, Noel G., Robert LaSardo, Taissa Farmiga
Posted in Crime, Drama, Reviews | 23 Comments »
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
In TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA, grizzled poncho wearing already-played-The-Man-With-No-Name Clint Eastwood stumbles across a lady about to be gang raped in a Mexican desert. He rescues her with his gun and a stick of dynamite and when she puts her clothes back on it’s a damn nun’s habit!
She is Sister Sara (Shirley MacLaine) and, although she’s headed in the opposite direction of Clint’s character Hogan, she ends up getting his protection. The joke of the title was completely over my head until I read about it, but she has one mule and then Hogan is metaphorically the second one. She confesses to him that the French soldiers in the area are looking for her because she was caught raising money for the Mexican army. She hates what these colonialists are doing to the locals.
(Some of the things I’ve read say that Sister Sara was scripted as Mexican. If MacLaine was supposed to be playing it that way I sure didn’t pick up on it.)
Hogan, it turns out, is sort of like Benicio Del Toro in THE LAST JEDI, he doesn’t believe in taking sides (he’s a civil war vet and thinks that makes him a sucker) but he had agreed to a job blowing up a French garrison because he’d get to keep half of their treasury. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Budd Boetticher, Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Ennio Morricone, nun, Rene Cardona, Shirley MacLaine
Posted in Reviews, Western | 125 Comments »
Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
I’m excited for the impending release of Sofia Coppola’s new version of THE BEGUILED, but I had never actually seen the 1971 version starring Clint Eastwood, and what am I, an asshole? So I made sure to finally see it.
Right before DIRTY HARRY, Clint and Don Siegel made this one which is less action packed than DIRTY HARRY because Clint is bedridden or hobbling on crutches for the entire movie. Also he’s confined to a girl’s finishing school, and it’s not a DIE HARD type picking-off-terrorists-one-by-one situation either. It’s mostly just flirting.
Clint plays Corporal John McBurney, a.k.a. Johnny, McBee or Mr. Yank, a Union soldier badly wounded on Confederate territory and rescued by 12 year old girl’s school resident Amy (Pamelyn Ferdin, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, THE TOOLBOX MURDERS). Initially headmistress Martha (Geraldine Page, THE RESCUERS, THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE) intends to hand him over to the Confederate soldiers who stop by periodically on patrols, but she decides he’ll die in their prison if she doesn’t help him heal first. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Civil War, Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Geraldine Page, Jo Ann Harris, Lalo Schifrin, Mae Mercer, southern gothic
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 14 Comments »