Clint Eastwood Forums

General Information => General Discussion => Topic started by: Gant on April 24, 2018, 11:39:29 PM

Title: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on April 24, 2018, 11:39:29 PM
If you were going to recommend and show 3 films of Clint's (as actor) to a new viewer who hadn't seen any of his work before,  which three would you choose.. ?

This is quite conceivable as he hasn't really acted much in recent years and a lot of new cinema goers have sprung up.
Watching Fistful of Dollars with an audience recently I was aware how many younger viewers there were who were probably seeing the film for the first time.... How cool is that..

I'd want to give them an idea of the breadth of his career...

I'm going with

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Dirty Harry
Unforgiven

Kills me to leave out Josey and maybe Million Dollar Baby, I'd def put them in the next batch...
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on April 25, 2018, 07:25:42 AM
If the person is really new to Clint, I'd make it just one Western and one cop movie. Probably the two showing him at his most iconic, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and Dirty Harry ... save his masterpiece, Unforgiven, for when they've gotten to know him a bit better. Also, Unforgiven is an ensemble piece and really showcases his work as a director even more than as an actor (brilliant though I think his performance is).

For the third film, I'd pick one that shows off his range as actor, maybe Honkytonk Man or White Hunter, Black Heart. Or Million Dollar Baby, to show what the older Clint can do onscreen.

Great topic, Gant!
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Matt on April 25, 2018, 09:08:06 AM
I agree with both of your choices, and yet.... I wonder if GBU would be better than A Fistful of Dollars.  Attention spans aren't what they used to be, so maybe a less-than-two-hour runtime on a tight and ultra cool Western might sit a bit better for a first timer.  I think I'd start with A Fistful of Dollars, and let them know... this is the start of everything. If you love this, we have a lot more to watch!

And then, Dirty Harry and then...

Maybe Gran Torino.  They get to see his first, and one of his last... and that leaves a lot to discover inbetween. I think it would really get the point across how impressive his career is, and to want more.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on April 25, 2018, 06:38:49 PM
Good choices, Matt, and I think on reflection I agree with you on A Fistful of Dollars over The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, for the reasons you stated.  :)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on April 25, 2018, 11:55:48 PM
Right.. well you two have made me totally re-think my choices..

I'm swapping The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for Fistfull of Dollars too for the reasons you give Matt .. Give the young viewer the easier  film to digest before moving on to the more epic..

I think I'll stick with Dirty Harry tho.. I was a little tempted by Magnum Force which is a superb 70's cop movie but Harry is so iconic, powerful, contains a brilliant star performance  and still holds up today..

For my third.. Mmmm although I personally love Honkytonk Man and White Hunter I'm not sure they're the movies to grab a young and new to Eastwood audience..

I was tempted by In The Line of Fire, a fine contemporary thriller.. but in the end opted for Million Dollar Baby just over Grand Torino, very powerful film with a fine Eastwood performance..

Gants revised introduction to the films of Clint Eastwood

A Fistfull of Dollars
Dirty Harry
Million Dollar Baby

One proviso.. they must all be viewed on top notch prints in a cinema !



Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Matt on April 26, 2018, 01:02:20 AM
Good choices! Though I'm reminded that I became an Eastwood fan within 5 minutes of Hang 'em High, on a snowy UHF channel on a 1970's model RCA television. If they're meant to be an Eastwood fan, you'll have them by the end of the mule scene. ;)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on April 30, 2018, 12:49:44 AM
Although I saw and loved the Dollars films first... It was actually Coogan's Bluff that clinched it for me... :)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on April 30, 2018, 06:43:59 AM
I suppose, for the susceptible, almost any of Clint's śuvre would do. ;)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Christopher on April 30, 2018, 08:18:23 AM
It does make sense to go with something early, something iconic, and then something a little more contemporary.

So maybe I'd go with:

A Fistful of Dollars or For a Few Dollars More
Dirty Harry
In the Line of Fire (we can count a 25 year old movie as being more contemporary, right? ;))

I would also be tempted to go with something a little different, like Play Misty for Me or The Beguiled. Both of those are favorites of mine, though I guess the latter might be a little too different to introduce someone to Eastwood with. The Bridges of Madison County would be another possibility for something a little different.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on April 30, 2018, 12:43:46 PM
I hadn't thought of this and not meaning to sound sexist but if it's for a girl then maybe Bridges would be a good option... Or Tightrope ;)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on April 30, 2018, 12:45:58 PM
I don't think you've ever been much of a fan of Coogan have you KC.... Why is that ? It's one of my fave earlier period Clint movies.. :)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Hammerhead on April 30, 2018, 02:20:31 PM
I also agree that modern audiences may find a lot of the classics too slow. Sad but true. I'd go for

Dirty Harry
In the Line of Fire
Gran Torino

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Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on April 30, 2018, 03:36:30 PM
This is a pretty great topic for a thread. I think I probably would not recommend the same 3 movies to everyone. Before recommending potential movies to watch, I'd ask what genres of movies that person likes, and which genres they don't. If they told me, for example that they really didn't like westerns, I wouldn't recommend a western. I would probably recommend different movies for women and men, since a lot of women might say that they don't like action movies or violence, so I wouldn't recommend "Dirty Harry." But if they said they liked love stories or romance movies, I'd be more likely to recommend something like "The Bridges of Madison County." This would not be a hard and fast rule, as some women may like westerns and some men may like romances, but it would be something I'd factor in.

All things being equal, I'd probably recommend the following three movies: "Dirty Harry," "High Plains Drifter," and "Gran Torino." As many of you know, I tend to appreciate themes that evolve over Eastwood's filmography, so I'd try to pick movies that were not only entertaining but also strong thematically and that showed the development of some themes that were consistent across Eastwood's filmography.

For that reason, I probably wouldn't pick one of the Dollars movies, since they're quite operatic and sprawling and are stylistically and thematically quite different than most of Eastwood's work as a director. 

I'd pick "Dirty Harry" because it's probably Eastwood's most iconic role, and thematically, it fits well with his other work. Themes of the man against a broken system, the need to balance the values of justice and mercy, a preference for victims rights over the rights of those who commit acts of aggression against law abiding citizens, these are all strong themes across Eastwood's filmography.

I'd pick "High Plains Drifter" because the mythology of the hero is a big theme in Eastwood's work, and it's a powerful example of Eastwood's ability to create an atmosphere that serves the story. I also think it fits in quite well thematically with Eastwood's later work, as it involves the protaganist seeking penance from the town that murdered Sheriff Dunan.

In that way, themes of justice and mercy are inherent in the story (the good people are spared while those who committed evil acts were punished.) Eastwood also is fond of creating and embodying characters and stories that show the consequences of violence, where characters commit morally questionable acts to serve their own ends and then end up reaping the consequences of those self serving acts. This is a very strong theme in "High Plains Dirfter."

In that way, the film can allow the viewer to see themselves in the characters on film and invite the viewer to ask themselves how they would have acted in similar circumstances. Using character to provoke larger discussions on the nature of the human condition and on the balance between good and evil is a hallmark of his work. The tendency of morally complex men to far too often traverse the dark side of the human soul is quintessentially Eastwoodian and also is very apparent in "High Plains Drifter." The Stranger is also a great example of Eastwood sharing only the minimum amount necessary to intrigue the viewer and also of Eastwood's desire to leave some plot and character points unspoken to allow the viewer to imbue the character with their own sense of who the character is or what might happen next in the story. 

I'd probably choose "Gran Torino" as the last film because it's a crowd pleasing film that a lot of people who aren't familiar with his work or that are not fans of his state that they enjoy. It's also quite strong thematically. Themes of justice and mercy, meditations on acts of violence and the consequences that result from those acts, and the power of redemption are all strsong themes. In addition, the man against a broken system is also present (because it took Walt sacrifing himself to save the Hmong people, which had the justice system been operating as it ideally should, such a personal sacrifice would not have been necessary). The impotence of the justice system to safeguard his community was what motivated his sacrificial act. I also think it's one of Eastwood's better performances and shows how Eastwood has deepened and grown in the twilight of his acting career.

If the person didn't care whether the film was directed by Eastwood, I might also recommend "In the Line of Fire" as I think that's a very underrated performance which fits in nicely thematically and which represented an earlier incarnation of his tendency to potray redemptive characters as he grew older. Portraying characters that evolve and change and that are fitting for Eastwood's age at the time is another strong Eastwood theme.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on April 30, 2018, 11:08:57 PM
^ Great post, AKA. This is a great topic, thanks again to Gant for starting it.  8)

I don't think you've ever been much of a fan of Coogan have you KC.... Why is that ? It's one of my fave earlier period Clint movies.. :)

I like Coogan's Bluff quite well, Gant, if only for the New York scenes! It's one of the few Eastwood films that have any scenes set in my adopted home town, and indeed, after the prologue, the whole film takes place there.

I would say that it's probably my least favorite of the five Siegel-Eastwood collaborations, however.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on April 30, 2018, 11:33:51 PM
Apart from being very impressed with Clint.. (I guess I was around 13/14 when I first saw Coogan) I loved all the NY scenes too  and was determined from then on to spend some time there some day... And play pool in Pushy's bar.... :)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on April 30, 2018, 11:40:35 PM
In the Line of Fire is definitely making quite a few appearances in our list. A modern(ish) contemporary thriller than moves along at quite a fast pace.. So makes sense.

As AKA said (great post AKA) . I  guess really you would chose to tailor the films taking into account the person your trying to impress.

Ms Gant, my 17 year old daughter has never seen a Clint Eastwood film (at least not all the way through, tho she's quite aware of who he is, obviously) If I was going to chose a film to try and hook her I think I'd go for Million Dollar Baby... But definitely in a cinema where the film would get her undivided attention, where she wouldn't be allowed to use her phone to tap into all the social media that young people seem unable to be separated from for more than 2 minutes..
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on May 01, 2018, 06:26:32 AM
Apart from being very impressed with Clint.. (I guess I was around 13/14 when I first saw Coogan) I loved all the NY scenes too  and was determined from then on to spend some time there some day... And play pool in Pushy's bar.... :)

And you vowed that someday you would visit the New York Public Library! ;)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on May 01, 2018, 08:26:38 AM
That's for my next visit KC....

But first comes your Firefox themed guided tour of London ;)

To be honest I love libraries almost as much as I love  bars so next time definitely..
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Perry on May 05, 2018, 09:56:06 AM


Gran Torino
Dirty Harry
The Outlaw Josey Wales

I cant see any new viewer who would prefer Unforgiven over TOJW and the Leone Trilogy.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on May 05, 2018, 07:50:43 PM

Gran Torino
Dirty Harry
The Outlaw Josey Wales

I cant see any new viewer who would prefer Unforgiven over TOJW and the Leone Trilogy.
It was the film that hooked me, and I've never found one of Clint's I liked better, or that moved me more.

But good choices, Perry. :)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on May 05, 2018, 10:59:38 PM
Was it your first KC ?
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on May 05, 2018, 11:27:04 PM
You never forget your first time. ;)
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Rawhide7 on May 12, 2018, 02:01:15 AM
Great topic Grant

GBU
Dirty Harry
Gran Torino

If the question was what’s his three best movies I would put unforgiven over Gran Torino. But since it’s about Clints acting got to go with Torino over unforgiven. Clints performance in unforgiven is awesome. But have to space it out a bit and pick one of his most recent movies to go with GBU and Dirty Harry.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on May 14, 2018, 10:43:48 PM
May I ask KC.. After being so impressed by Unforgiven.... What was your second Eastwood film. Where did you look next.. ?
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on May 15, 2018, 07:22:48 AM
May I ask KC.. After being so impressed by Unforgiven.... What was your second Eastwood film. Where did you look next.. ?

Can't remember for sure ... I saw a number of them at a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art the next year. It may have been A Fistful of Dollars. I know I saw that one early on, at least, and it made a deep impression, as did Dirty Harry, also one of my first. Later that year I attended a film series in connection with a course on Clint at the New School, which is how I met the film studies professor who would later invite me to co-edit Clint Eastwood: Interviews.

Even back then I was especially interested in Clint as a director. One of the first of his directorial efforts I saw after Unforgiven was High Plains Drifter. I remember really anticipating it, and it did not disappoint!
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on May 15, 2018, 03:19:30 PM
I have a variation on this theme that I thought it would be fun to discuss. What films would you recommend to someone who was familiar with his work but who had told you something like, “he is a good director, but I think he is a really mediocre actor. He acts the same in every movie!” I hear some variation of this opinion fairly frequently. What films would you choose to convince someone who was not completely unfamiliar with his work but who was not impressed so fat that he is a better actor than they think? Would you choose these same films, or different ones, and how would you go about making that decisiom?
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on May 15, 2018, 06:57:49 PM
Wow, that's really a good one, AKA! I'll have to think about this. I too hear this (a lot), from one friend in particular with a suppressed sneer in his voice.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Matt on May 15, 2018, 07:21:58 PM
Clint is very good at the roles he chooses to do, but his roles with few exceptions are similar characters. He's the rugged, dry humored tough guy who often fights against an injustice that is brought upon a weaker person or populance. He's not usually a white-collar professional, and hasn't done the lawyer or doctor roles. He's never an out-and-out bad guy -- Will Munny would be closest to that, but he's still the likable, rugged, dry humored tough guy there, fighting against an injustice.... (see above). He's done comedies, but I think with the exception of Bronco Billy that they're his weakest films and performaces.  I think there's some truth to this opinion, because there is such a thing as a Clint Eastwood type character.  The biggest stretch he took away from a "Clint Eastwood character" was The Bridges of Madison County. So I'd put that on the list of three. Also, I think his performance in In The Line of Fire is very good and slightly less "Clint Eastwood-like". And I'd say White Hunter Black Heart would round it out.

I'm not going with the other great performances that I love the most, such as  Unforgiven, Dirty Harry, High Plains Drifter etc. because it sounds like these are movies the person would have already seen that helped to form their opinion. If they hadn't seen Unforgiven, I'd add that and remove In The Line of Fire.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Christopher on May 15, 2018, 08:23:36 PM
I have a variation on this theme that I thought it would be fun to discuss. What films would you recommend to someone who was familiar with his work but who had told you something like, “he is a good director, but I think he is a really mediocre actor. He acts the same in every movie!” I hear some variation of this opinion fairly frequently. What films would you choose to convince someone who was not completely unfamiliar with his work but who was not impressed so fat that he is a better actor than they think? Would you choose these same films, or different ones, and how would you go about making that decisiom?
Then I would definitely go with The Beguiled and The Bridges of Madison County.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on May 15, 2018, 10:50:11 PM
Yeah, Good call AKA..  I think we've all heard this from people over the years.. many times in fact. I'm in total agreement with Matt on this.
I'd go

Bridges
In the Line of Fire
White Hunter

Mrs Gant, who was really NOT an Eastwood fan when we met was won over by Escape From Alcatraz (she still loves that film) and then later Bridges.. 

A rare mis-step for me is True Crime. I think the film has a lot going for it but for me Eastwood is mis cast.. He just doesn't convince as the womanising journalist at all...
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on May 19, 2018, 10:33:05 AM
Clint is very good at the roles he chooses to do, but his roles with few exceptions are similar characters. He's the rugged, dry humored tough guy who often fights against an injustice that is brought upon a weaker person or populance. He's not usually a white-collar professional, and hasn't done the lawyer or doctor roles. He's never an out-and-out bad guy -- Will Munny would be closest to that, but he's still the likable, rugged, dry humored tough guy there, fighting against an injustice.... (see above). He's done comedies, but I think with the exception of Bronco Billy that they're his weakest films and performaces.  I think there's some truth to this opinion, because there is such a thing as a Clint Eastwood type character. 

So, let me get this straight, Matt, part of your strategy to convince this person that they were wrong and that Clint Eastwood is a better actor than they think is to agree with their statement. Boy, how I wish I had you as my opponent when I was doing my speech and debate tournaments years ago!

These are all great choices. I think I'd probably choose "Honkytonk Man," "The Bridges of Madison County," and "Million Dollar Baby." "In the Line of Fire" is a great choice as well, but I think it's a little too similar to some of Eastwood's other tough guy roles, and in choosing movies, I'd want to highlight characters that demonstrate that he has a more varied range and diversity of characters than is commonly believed.

I also probably wouldn't choose "White Hunter, Black Heart," since a lot of people felt that his performance was kind of a caricature in that film. If they see the three movies that I recommended, and they still think that he is a mediocre actor, there's no hope left for them!

As for Gant's comment on "True Crime," I think in most respects, he's a great fit for the character, so I don't think he was miscast, but I probably would have gotten rid of the womanizing subplot. I agree that he was much too old to be convincing as a womanizer and it didn't really add that much to the film. He still would have been a great character without that. The central story of a down on his luck reporter who risks everything to save an innocent man from near certain death was more than enough for the movie! 

 
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Matt on May 19, 2018, 04:37:35 PM
So, let me get this straight, Matt, part of your strategy to convince this person that they were wrong and that Clint Eastwood is a better actor than they think is to agree with their statement. Boy, how I wish I had you as my opponent when I was doing my speech and debate tournaments years ago!
 

Well, there is an Eastwood-type character. So there is some truth to that, and it's dishonest to pretend that it's not true. So, if I was debating, I would give in on that point. But, I'd add (which I think I did) that it's not because he can't do other roles, it's because he's been more attracted to these types of roles. I think when Clint steps out of the mold and does the other types of characters, that he's been great. So I think that debunks the argument that he can't do other characters, or that he hasn't done other types of characters. So I think that's how I'd answer that in an actual debate-- not that he can't do other roles, just that he is more attracted to these certain types of roles.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on May 19, 2018, 04:52:12 PM
I was just throwing a little shade your way to keep this conversation interesting, Matt. I actually agree with you. I'd point out that Eastwood may not have the most expansive range as an actor, but that range and acting talent are not one and the same. Eastwood has been very skilled at portraying his brand of character and over the years that type of character has evolved, deepened and become more poignant and emotionally resonant as he has aged. That, to me, is actually the hallmark of a good actor.   

One thing that I've never really understood is that there are a lot of actors that choose to portray similar characters over and over again that are thought of as great actors. Tommy Lee Jones, Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson all come to mind. Tommy Lee Jones is always an ornery, laconic straight man. Al Pacino is almost always over the top and bombastic in his performances, and Jack Nicholson is always witty, arrogant, charming and often a ladies man.

All are thought of as excellent actors, but all three appear to have also portrayed very similar characters using a similar acting style over many years. I'm not saying that Eastwood is on par with all those actors in terms of range, but none of them are thought of as medicore actors even though they also appear to portray similar characters over many decades.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Matt on May 19, 2018, 05:06:40 PM
Serious question -- is Clint considered a "mediocre actor" by these people who we're talking about?  Is Tommy Lee Jones really considered a better actor?  I'd say Pacino and Nicholson may be a little more respected as actors overall, but maybe they'd be considered more First Tier, and Clint might be First Tier or Second Tier to most people, but "mediocre" is a whole Tier or two below that.  Nicholson has really wide range. Pacino wasn't always bombastic, was he? I think he was more nuanced before Scent of a Woman. I enjoy the hell out of Pacino performances though.

As for the rest of your post, I agree with it, and you've managed to put into words pretty well how I feel.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on May 19, 2018, 05:56:52 PM
I think quite a few people, who are not fans, think of Eastwood as a mediocre actor. I've heard it a lot. Maybe people that I know just like to upset me! Another thing that I've heard that I think is not really accurate is that he is "just playing himself" so he is not really "acting."

I am definitely not an authority on Jones, Pacino or Nicholson's careers, but I do think that all are considered to be much better actors than Eastwood. Pacino and Nicholson in particular are considered in film circles to be the best actors of their generation.

While I'm not intimately familiar with Pacino's career, I recently saw "Scarface," which was a film he did in 1983, and he gave a very over the top performance in that. Another early Pacino performance that was quite over the top was "And Justice for All" in 1979, so I think there is evidence that he frequently portrayed those types of characters, even well before "Scent of A Woman," and he continues to do so.     
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Matt on May 19, 2018, 06:07:13 PM
I guess I can agree with that. I think Pacino does these types of characters as well as Clint does his types of characters.

Weighing in on True Crime, I actually really love this performance and film. And Clint wasn't too old to be a womanizer -- that's something you don't grow out of (so I hear) ;).  And Bob's wife wasn't into Everett anyway -- she was just trying to get Bob's attention. So it works.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Gant on May 20, 2018, 12:22:26 AM
I've had this conversation with people many times who just don't believe Clint can really act... Which is of course rubbish.

All actorse (except Alec Guinness) are limited in some way. Could Clint have pulled off the roles in Cuckoos Nest, Raging Bull or Dog Day Afternoon, I don't think so... Could Nicholson, DeNiro or Pacino have excelled in Dirty Harry, Josey Wales or Unforgiven, I don't think so either...

Like those actors Clint has managed to navigate a career picking roles that suit him whilst still pushing himself  to test his limits and take chances... He hasn't contented himself with just repeating himself over and over through the years . I love those other actors too but they've all given less than brilliant performances at times verging on self parody..

I realise I'm in the minority here but for me Eastwood's performance in True Crime is the only one of his that I can't buy into. It's not that I think he's bad in it or anything but it just doesn't ring true for me..
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on May 20, 2018, 12:04:24 PM
Gant, I respect your opinion and would like to learn more here. Why does Eastwood’s performance ring false for you? What is it about the performance or the character? Who do you think would have been a better choice for the role in True Crime?
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on May 23, 2018, 03:36:34 PM
Wow, that's really a good one, AKA! I'll have to think about this. I too hear this (a lot), from one friend in particular with a suppressed sneer in his voice.

KC, have you given any more thought on which films you’d recommend, and why? Ive really enjoyed this discussion so far and would love to hear your thoughts.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on May 23, 2018, 10:23:31 PM
I've enjoyed the discussion too, and I think everyone has made some good points.

One thing I would do is start by asking which Eastwood films the person has already seen. In the case of my friend, I'd be willing to bet he hasn't actually seen anything Clint appears in. (I know I made him and his wife watch Invictus, after they'd been on a trip to South Africa, so he's seen that, at least.) He's not really a movie person and often relies on whatever he reads in the New Yorker or the New York Review of Books to tell him what to think inform his critical opinion. (Couldn't resist that bit of fun with the strikethrough formatting.)

Now this hypothetical person, as you say, is familiar with Clint's work and thinks he's a good director. But maybe he has only seen Clint in one or  more of his "typical" roles? In that case, almost anything else would do, starting with The Beguiled, or maybe even better, Play Misty for Me, up to The Bridges of Madison County and beyond. Actually, those three might be my selection, in any event.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Perry on May 24, 2018, 12:02:10 PM


      Eastwood was never a mediocre actor. That was made up nonsense by Pauline Kael who was basically an overrated 'Film Critic'. I think Eastwood from his early years got loop holed as the next 'Gary Cooper,' and all these other Cowboy actors which was equally lame. Basically the Leone movies made him a target since there wasn't much emotion required. As Eastwood got older he did get better. Certainly 'Tightrope, Bridges, and even White Hunter proved that as small examples. To me Eastwood was always the same guy and lasted longer than any one in the history of Hollywood. Now these clowns cant say anything. If anyone is mediocre as an actor it's Chuck Norris.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Perry on May 24, 2018, 04:09:32 PM

Actually now that I think about it Costner and Harrison Ford are quite overrated and mediocre as actors. For awhile there they were lauded and fawned over by the very same critics who ostracized Eastwood. Where are they today?...... bye bye.....Eastwood @ 88 still relevant.....
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on May 24, 2018, 06:35:09 PM
Perry, those are some great choices. I particularly like "Tightrope," since it's an example of Eastwood superficially playing a character which is a variation of the cop archetype which he had portrayed a lot at that point in his career,  while at the same time giving a much deeper, more complex, multi-layered performance that allows him to evolve both the character and his performance.

Wes Block is a case study that allows the viewer to probe the darkness that is often inherent in the job of homicide detective, and the way in which that kind of job can weigh on you so much that you need an outlet to escape from it. A hallmark of Eastwood's work is the frailty of the human condition, and the tendency of man to often choose self-destructive outlets, which is exactly what Wes Block does. That self-destructive outlet can serve as a respite from the rigors, struggles, and emotional highs and lows of living to "serve and protect," but it comes at great cost, and I think Eastwood's performance displayed that cost in a powerful way. In that way, Wes Block can serve as both an archetypal cop character as well as a little bit of a deconstruction of that character at the same time. Wes Block is not a glamorous character who is excited by the prospect of being a cop. He gets no glee from his job. He almost seems burdened by it, and the weight of that burden and the darkness that it leads him to allows for Eastwood to deconstruct and in some ways demythologize the cop archetype that he has portrayed so many times before. This kind of building up of a mythology only to later deconstruct it is something Eastwood has done a lot in his career.

KC, thanks for contributing to this discussion. It seems like we're all using the same approach here by trying to select films that are atypical for Eastwood, that allow the viewer to see that he can and sometimes does stretch himself as an actor by playing with familiar themes in new and different ways. We also seem to be choosing films that might not have been widely seen by this hypothetical person. I think I get why you'd choose "The Beguiled" and "Bridges," but why "Play Misty for Me?" I think that's a pretty interesting choice, and not one I would have initially thought of. What is your thinking behind that? 

 
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: KC on May 24, 2018, 09:42:59 PM
If you didn't know anything about Clint except the three "Dollars" films and Dirty Harry, and someone told you Clint is also a director, and his directorial debut is about a laid-back California jazz disc jockey, who is in an on-again, off-again relationship with a wan blonde, but he never lets that stop him from picking up attractive women in a bar where he hangs out after work ... seriously, if I then asked you who you think he cast as the disc jockey, would you ever in a million years have answered "Himself"?

It's a very un-Eastwood like role, and he's excellent in it.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Doug on May 25, 2018, 01:41:11 AM
If you were going to recommend and show 3 films of Clint's (as actor) to a new viewer who hadn't seen any of his work before,  which three would you choose.. ?

Responding to this question in the most literal way possible, I'd just show the person the first three Dirty Harry films. If they aren't a fan of his by the time the title credits are done in Dirty Harry, then there might not be hope for them.

If the objective is to show someone his range or variety of performances or roles from different eras, then I'd have to rethink my answer. For instance if someone said they weren't familiar with him and as far as they knew he just stared in a bunch of westerns and cop movies, I'd probably want to show them Play Misty for Me, Bronco Billy, and White Hunter, Black Heart. Or maybe The Bridges of Madison County if I didn't think the subject would turn them off, since I've always considered that his absolute best acting performance.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: AKA23 on May 25, 2018, 04:22:24 PM
Thanks for contributing your thoughts to this discussion, Doug. I like your choices! I too think Eastwood's performance is underrated in "The Bridges of Madison County," which is why that was one of the three that I chose myself. I think some people felt that he wasn't a good fit for the role because it was too far outside the norms of the tpes of characters that he's known for, so it seems like Clint sometimes can't win. He does something outside of the box that stretches his acting muscles, but because people aren't used to seeing him that way, they don't appreciate the achievement in the performance.

I set up the question this way on purpose, since if someone said that they didn't think Eastwood was a good director, then there isn't much hope that they'd be open minded enough to consider him a good actor. But someone who recognizes that he is in fact a good director may be persuaded to consider a different perspective on him as an actor if shown the way.
Title: Re: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers
Post by: Perry on May 26, 2018, 07:18:58 PM

          AKA23, Well, the thing with Tightrope was @ the time I saw it I was rapidly losing interest in most of Eastwood's movies that followed ( Though Alcatraz was a good flick) after TOJWales. Tightrope was a great departure, but mostly I was thrilled not to see Sondra Locke in the movie. I detested Sudden Impact ( for the Locke reason) and thought the Dirty Harry character had become ridiculous and embarrassingly like a comic book. Regardless, Eastwood's Wes Block was a departure as a flawed and damaged person. I thought Eastwood finally was doing a role that would be taken serious. Even after all these years his performance is still one of my faves. It's a dark movie,but I always felt Eastwood didn't do enough of those type roles @ the time and Bujold was always an interesting actress. I once read Susan Saradon turned down Bujold's role.... Anyhow, Rebecca Perle cancels out Locke any day...........