News: In theaters December 14: THE MULE, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood!


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bdc28
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« on: September 10, 2018, 10:55:26 AM »

Do you think that this political \ humorous stunt, hurt Clint Eastwood's reputation in Hollywood? I have always lurked on this site and did notice that the activity plummeted after that.

If you think it did, do you think it is something he could recover? If so, how?

Personally independent of that I think his work stands by itself.
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AKA23
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 02:42:25 PM »

This is an interesting question BDC. I don't think it's really possible to know the extent to which Eastwood's speech at the Republican convention may have affected Eastwood's reputation in Hollywood. I've definitely seen comments from people online that say that they used to be fans of Eastwood, but after Eastwood's political speech at the Republican convention, that they would never see another one of his movies again. Those who are the most vocal online tend to be the most extreme voices, who feel the most passionately about their point of view, so it is not clear how widespread this viewpoint may be among the moviegoing public, or in Hollywood. But, let's examine the evidence that we do have and try to draw an educated conclusion. 

"Trouble with the Curve" was released shortly after this speech, and it was not financially successful. That could be seen as a lingering impact of his speech, but historically, sports movies, in particular baseball movies, haven't as a category been that successful commercially. Consequently, it's difficult to conclude that the reason that "Trouble with the Curve" was not successful was because of Eastwood's speech at the Republican convention. It could be that because it was a baseball movie, it did not do well. It could also be that because it got mediocre reviews, it didn't do well, or some combination of the two. Both could explain that films poor performance commercially and neither would have anything to do with his speech.

We also know that since "Trouble with the Curve," Eastwood made "Jersey Boys,"American Sniper," "Sully," and "The 15:17 to Paris." Musicals tend to struggle at the box office as well, and "Jersey Boys" wasn't critically well-reviewed, so both of those things could explain why it didn't perform well commercially. However, "American Sniper" made $350 million in the U.S. and became the number one movie at the box office for 2014, so this seems to indicate that whatever negative impact his speech may have had on the moviegoing public was short lived.

Based on this evidence, it doesn't appear that Eastwood's reputation has suffered with most audience members. Eastwood's next movie, "Sully," was also financially successful. The "15:17 to Paris" was not, but that can be easily explained because it was among the worst-reviewed movies that Eastwood has made as a director.   

In terms of his Hollywood reputation, let's look at the data. We know that since "Trouble with the Curve," Eastwood made "Jersey Boys," "American Sniper," "Sully, and "The 15:17 to Paris." "Jersey Boys" and "The 15:17 to Paris" were not well thought of by Hollywood, but that can be explained using the above rationale. "American Sniper," however, was nominated for Best Picture in 2015, three years after his speech at the Republican convention. "Sully" received no major Oscar nominations, but it was quite well-reviewed, and many speculated that Tom Hanks might be in the Oscar conversation for his portrayal of Sully, so it was not dismissed out of hand due to Eastwood having directed it. 

The opinion of Hollywood at large is often expressed through the Academy Awards, so we can conclude that much of Hollywood did still think highly of Eastwood because he was nominated as a producer for "American Sniper." "American Sniper" did not, however, win. It is impossible to know whether Eastwood would have won Best Picture had he not made his speech, but "Boyhood" and "Birdman," the eventual winner, were seen as the frontrunners for Best Picture all year, so I kind of doubt that the reason that "American Sniper" did not win Best Picture was because Eastwood's standing in Hollywood had declined due to his Republican convention speech. It could also be because "American Sniper" was viewed as quite right wing, and was therefore a polarizing movie that would have a difficult time winning a consensus vote based on a preferential ballot, which is how the Best Picture Oscar is awarded. Or, it could be that most Oscar voters just liked "Birdman" better. Movies about Hollywood or which involve the making of art or movies ("Birdman" was about a struggling actor striving to make a comeback) tend to do well at the Oscars. Examples from recent history include "Argo" and "The Artist," both of which won Best Picture," and "La La Land," which won Best Director and Best Actress, among others.   

Another indicator of esteem in Hollywood is the caliber of cast that a director is able to attract to his films. "Jersey Boys" and the "15:17 to Paris" used mostly unknown casts, but that was at Eastwood's discretion, not because he was having difficulty casting A-list talent. And, even "Jersey Boys" did have Chistopher Walken in it, who is well-regarded in Hollywood. "American Sniper" was able to attract Bradley Cooper, who was a major star at the time of his casting. "Sully" attracted Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart, and "The Mule" has managed to attract not only Bradley Cooper again, but also Laurence Fishburne, Dianne Wiest, and Andy Garcia as well, who are all thought of as A-list actors with long careers and established, positive reputations in Hollywood.

Based on the above evidence, while it is not possible to know with certainty, I conclude that Eastwood's reputation in Hollywood is still strong and that most who work in Hollywood still think highly of him. His speech didn't prevent him from being nominated for an Oscar three years later, and since even more time has passed now, the negative impact, either perceived or actual, of his speech has probably lessened over time. I think it can't be discounted that enough people may think less of him now (especially the newer Academy members, who are demographically dissimilar to the current dominant membership) that he may not be able to win a consensus award such as another Oscar. However, I think it's also quite possible that the impact of his speech may only be felt by a small number of those in Hollywood and that his positive goodwill on the part of many of the other Academy members may be enough to overcome that. Based on the available evidence, which is incomplete, but still valuable, my opinion would be that the speech did not have a major deleterious impact on his standing either among the moviegoing public or in Hollywood.

What do you think, BDC?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 02:48:37 PM by AKA23 » Logged
_Clintan_
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2018, 06:07:54 PM »

I don't know if the activity plummeted here on the forum after the speech or not, did other members here feel the same impact? If it did indeed plummet, man, that is extremely sad and even more pathetic. Members no longer posting because the person the forum is dedicated to said something they disagree with, politically? If someone is that obsessed with politics and Clint, that someone should have known he leans right in politics. Those members who stopped posting, if they did, must have belonged to the "p***y generation", as Clint aptly named todays snowflakes not very long ago.

If that didn't drive out the nutjobs, I guess him saying he'd vote for Trump over Hillary must have done it. Good riddance, punks.
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Perry
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 02:31:35 PM »


        Outside of 'American Sniper' none of Eastwood's movies have been box office hits. His last bona fide box office hit was Gran Torino which he starred in. I do agree that the speech probably didn't hurt Eastwood to the magnitude some may think....You have to take into consideration that Eastwood isn't in his prime anymore and Hollywood has become a panorama of stupidity with the type of movies they maker today and the useless phony rhetoric they try to sell. Hollywood always had their favorites anyway. It's all a bunch of crap..I mean you have to laugh when Hollywood gives George Clooney a 'Lifetime Achievement Award'...For what????...His only achievement is being a puppet.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 02:32:59 PM by Perry » Logged
bdc28
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 09:27:37 PM »

I personally don't know AKA23, I am a little confused by the phenomenon myself.

I do agree, I think because of OJW's strong message about Native Americans, a lot of people thought CE was liberal and were disappointed that he came out as conservative, although personally I don't really care about politics as much as stance...and I believe the stance he made in OJW was genuine.

I think it was more the clownishness of the "chair interview", it seemed awkward and unprepared...like for the first time Clint looked feeble and....well honestly...old.

No one likes to see their legends fall.

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Doug
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 04:19:49 AM »

I never got the impression that that incident had any effect on the activity of this board. There were personality conflicts and various issues here that seemed to drive away a few people, and I took a two or three hiatus from this site and it had nothing to do with that. I don't see any connection. And anybody here likely would have already known Clint leaned right in his political views, though maybe more to the left on social issues.
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AKA23
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 01:59:44 PM »

        Outside of 'American Sniper' none of Eastwood's movies have been box office hits. His last bona fide box office hit was Gran Torino which he starred in. I do agree that the speech probably didn't hurt Eastwood to the magnitude some may think....You have to take into consideration that Eastwood isn't in his prime anymore

Perry, thanks for contributing your thoughts to this thread. I always find your posts refreshing since you are most definitely a straight shooter who calls it like you see it. While I understand your point and think it may have some merit, I wouldn't count Eastwood out, even at this point in his career. I think that the reason he hasn't had a huge box office hit beyond "American Sniper, is likely because he isn't acting much anymore and most of his fans probably aren't that interested in the fact-based stories that he's chosen to tell in his director-only efforts in recent years.

I can very easily see "The Mule" being a box office hit. I'd wait and see how that is received before I endorse your views here.

It seems like the consensus so far is that Eastwood's speech probably didn't have a significant, long-term negative impact on Eastwood's standing in Hollywood. Does anyone else feel differently that this speech did harm his standing in a significant way?
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Perry
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2018, 11:31:41 AM »




                  AKA, my reasons for Eastwood's failure @ the box office lately is exactly what you expound on. You are 100% right on.  It's certainly not because I think Eastwood is in a full throttle demise or the fact his movies have been horrid. (Though I absolutely hated The Hereafter and still think it's one of his biggest mistakes) . On the contrary, I still think he has much to contribute and like yourself I hope The Mule is a bona fide hit. But @ the same time as much as I don't count him out I certainly realize the man is 88 and I don't expect 'White Hunter Black Heart' or 'Thunderbolt and Lightfoot' anymore. It's just not logical, but you have people still waiting for him to do another Dirty Harry which is beyond even reacting to. It's moronic. As far as the political aspects. Hollywood has always been political. Hollywood ostracized Eastwood 40-50 years ago and all of a sudden they started to respect the man. I doubt Eastwood ever cared anyway except always to make a good movie that people would see. I don't think that's ever changed. I just think the times and audience has just like you said........ The only thing that hasn't changed is Robert Redford and Costner still can't act.
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AKA23
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2018, 07:11:12 PM »

Matt, you're a pretty politically literate guy who is also an Eastwood fan. What do you think on this topic?
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Matt
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2018, 08:29:01 PM »

I think the whole world is crazy, and Clint didn't look any better or worse than anyone else who wants to talk politics in Hollywood. But, the political divide in America just keeps getting more and more acrimonious, hateful and ironically--intolerant of other viewpoints. So may it have damaged him to say he would vote for Trump and the empty chair interview before that, yeah. It probably did. Because people don't realize how similar and criminally irresponsible both political parties are to working class America.
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AKA23
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 12:48:28 PM »

I think the whole world is crazy, and Clint didn't look any better or worse than anyone else who wants to talk politics in Hollywood. But, the political divide in America just keeps getting more and more acrimonious, hateful and ironically--intolerant of other viewpoints. So may it have damaged him to say he would vote for Trump and the empty chair interview before that, yeah. It probably did. Because people don't realize how similar and criminally irresponsible both political parties are to working class America.

I think that there's a flip side to this argument that most people aren't considering, and that is that, yes, he may have lost some viewers because of his political views, but he may have also gained a ton of conservative viewers that weren't previously aware that Eastwood was a Republican. Many of these Americans may not have otherwise seen his films, or may not have been as enthusiastic about doing so.

I think part of the huge success of "American Sniper" is that many conservatives now saw Eastwood as one of them and were more motivated to see the film as a result, especially since it celebrated someone who they viewed as a beloved military hero.
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Matt
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 01:00:02 PM »

Oh yeah, I agree with that. We were discussing if it affected his standing in Hollywood (i.e. Oscar chances) to support Trump and be anti-Obama. But, as one of the few conservative outspoken actors, he is definitely supported by a conservative audience. Although the left wing is more vocal, they really aren't greater in number -- it's pretty evenly split in this country between Republican and Democratic voters, with the greatest proportion actually considering themselves Independent. 

Going back to the origin of this thread, I don't think Clint's Empty Chair interview did anything to harm this board. As Doug said, there are personality conflicts, and there always have been. But, a lot of it is also Clint fatigue -- we have already said so much and all that we can think of to say. AKA has been here 18 years, and KC, 20.  And on top of that, there's also that we were the social network before there were other social networks. Now people are more involved in many other places online to communicate and discuss topics that are important to them with friends.
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AKA23
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2018, 04:01:25 PM »

Going back to the origin of this thread, I don't think Clint's Empty Chair interview did anything to harm this board.

I haven't compared the statistics of board posts pre-2012 and after, so Moderators may have a more informed window into this than I do, but as someone who has been around these parts for quite awhile, I haven't noticed this either. I think die hard Clint fans, and you would have to be a pretty die hard Clint fan to post on a message board dedicated to the discussion of his films, wouldn't abandon him over a political speech, or because he was a Republican. He's been that way for decades, and although he hasn't been especially vocal about it, he hasn't exactly hid it, either.
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Perry
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2018, 03:23:34 PM »



 The world is crazy and Redford still can't act.....
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Gant
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2018, 11:25:30 PM »

Interesting thread.. For obvious reasons I don't think Clint's "empty chair" speech had little if any impact over here..

His recent "pussy generation" interview  did ruffle some feathers tho... Probably not enough to affect his European fan  base but it certainly invited some criticism ...
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