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Author Topic: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers  (Read 750 times)
Gant
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« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2018, 10:59:38 PM »

Was it your first KC ?
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KC
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« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2018, 11:27:04 PM »

You never forget your first time. ;)
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Rawhide7
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« Reply #22 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.
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Gant
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« Reply #23 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.. ?
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KC
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« Reply #24 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!
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AKA23
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« Reply #25 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?
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KC
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« Reply #26 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.
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Matt
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« Reply #27 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.
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Christopher
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« Reply #28 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.
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Gant
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« Reply #29 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...
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 10:51:29 PM by Gant » Logged

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AKA23
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« Reply #30 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! 

 
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Matt
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« Reply #31 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.
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AKA23
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« Reply #32 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.
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Matt
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« Reply #33 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.
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AKA23
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« Reply #34 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.     
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Matt
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« Reply #35 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.
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Gant
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« Reply #36 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..
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AKA23
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« Reply #37 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?
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AKA23
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« Reply #38 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.
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KC
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« Reply #39 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.
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