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Author Topic: Clint's "-handedness" (right-, left- ? both?)  (Read 20493 times)
John Omohundro
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« on: January 03, 2004, 12:40:16 AM »

Just out of curiosity:

Would anyone happen to know which hand Mr. Eastwood favors?
That is, is he naturally right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous?

In most of his films, he's portrayed RIGHT-HANDED characters, but  four that I can think of break that rule:

JOE KIDD (shot pistol RIGHT-handed, but shot rifle LEFT-handed);

HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (ditto);

THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (shot pistols equally well with EITHER hand, and frequently used one pistol in EACH hand; however, shot rifle RIGHT-handed);
and

BRONCO BILLY (same as in above entry, except never used a rifle; threw knife with RIGHT hand)

There may be other films which I've forgotten, but those are the only ones which come to mind at the moment. Besides (and I'm almost ashamed to admit this), I haven't seen every film in which Mr. Eastwood has appeared.  ;)

As always, thanks in advance for any responses.
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grandpa_chum
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2004, 12:52:00 AM »

I'm gonna guess he's right handed... because he exclusively favors his right hand in most of his movies... the others he uses both... but he never exclusively uses his left hand... and shooting a rifle left=handed doesn't mean much cause you use both hands anyway... like i'm right handed but i always use a hockey stick left=handed, but since both hands are used it's just a matter of comfort
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KC
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2004, 02:02:42 AM »

Eastwood is naturally left-handed, but like many of his generation, he was "trained" to be right-handed as a child. As a result, he is more or less ambidextrous. See Richard Schickel's Clint Eastwood (the authorized biography), p. 26.

Besides the examples John Omohundro mentioned, in Unforgiven, Eastwood's character William Munny shoots his Starr revolver and his shotgun righthanded, but when he takes the Spencer rifle from Ned to fire on the young cowboy, he shoots it lefthanded.

In For a Few Dollars More, the filmmakers played on this quality: "Manco" does more or less everything with his left hand (beginning with dealing the poker hand to Cavanaugh), except shoot. The sobriquet "Manco" ("Monco" in the Italian script) is an adjective used to describe one who is maimed, specifically having lost (the use of) one hand. As applied to Eastwood's character, it is rather subtly ironic: he doesn't use his right hand for anything, anything at all ... except the one thing that requires the keenest skill of all, to fire a gun with deadly accurate aim.

We had a couple of lengthy discussions about this on the old Eastwood board. One thing that came up is the question of "eyedness." It seems that a shooter aims with his dominant eye regardless of whether it's on the same side as his dominant hand, and he's not likely to switch eyes even if he is equally skilled with both of his hands. You might hold a pistol with your right hand and aim with your left eye, but because of the way you hold a rifle to fire it, it's much more likely that you will shoot it with the hand that's on the same side as your dominant eye.

For instance, in Unforgiven, in the scene with the rifle, Munny assumes a classic stance, kneeling with his left knee on the ground and his right hand supporting the rifle barrel as his right elbow rests on his right knee. The stock of the rifle is placed against his left shoulder and this position requires him to aim with his left eye and, of course, pull the trigger with his left hand. If he wanted to pull the trigger with his right hand he would have to do everything the other way around and that would oblige him to aim with his right eye.

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John Omohundro
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2004, 05:56:42 AM »

Thanks, KC.

I must confess that I didn't know that!

That Mr. Eastwood was left-handed, I mean. (Guess I never paid attention when he used a pen or pencil onscreen.  ;))

Although I've watched many of his films and followed his career faithfully since I was about 10 years old, I must admit that I've never read much in the way of biographical information about him--apart from stuff published in film industry magazines and such.

Incidentally, my brother James and I (we're identical twins) are both southpaws, and we both wear glasses. He shoots left-handed; I shoot right-handed. His dominant eye is his left; mine is my right.

Also: one of my Dad's friends was like Mr. Eastwood in that regard. They both grew up in an era when people thought there was something "WRONG" with being left-handed. My dad's friend wen't through the same "forced re-education" as Mr. Eastwood. As a result, from approximately his mid-teens until the day he passed away 30 or more years ago (I was only a child at the time, and my memory has never been good when it comes to dates), he was functionally ambidextrous--something which served him well in his chosen profession. (He was a gunsmith--that is, he built and repaired firearms (mostly rifles) for a living.)

--John
« Last Edit: January 03, 2004, 02:24:42 PM by John Omohundro » Logged
grandpa_chum
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2004, 01:13:40 AM »

so he is ambidexterous... although he was originally using his left hand more? i guess i don't follow whether he is right or left handed, even someone who is ambidexterous favors one hand or the other... so if he were to write or throw a football would it be with the left or right hand?

sorry for the wording... i just don't believe anyone is really left-handed, not naturally anyway... i've seen many people favor their left hand and I, being right handed, almost think i could do a better job with my left hand.
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KC
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2004, 01:19:32 AM »

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grandpa_chum
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2004, 11:37:59 AM »

thanks for the links... funny stuff... crying over "discriminatory desks"...hahaha... i mean no offense to any left handed people, i just find it funny that there is a website claming desks are "instruments of torture"
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Kal Varnsen
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2004, 09:57:53 AM »

Grandpa, call it whatever you want, but those desks are unusable for lefties. But then again, I don't see how anyone could use those. :P

I never knew Clint is a natural lefty. Being lefthanded myself, I usually pay attention to other people's dexterity. When I saw Clint's holster on his right hip, I just assumed he was righthanded.
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MakeItVin
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2004, 02:11:48 AM »

It was my understanding that a gunfighter who was serious about his quickdraw would never do anything that jeopardized his drawing hand.  Hence, Manco fought Red with his left hand only, saving his right from any possible damage.  Especially his "karate chop" with his left hand in a flat position was supposed to accentuate that....
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PALE_RlDER
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 05:29:36 AM »

In the last scene of 'Dirty Harry', after the psycho 'feels lucky', Clint throws his police badge into the lake with his LEFT hand.
I think that is always a good indication of which hand one favours.
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palooka
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 07:37:20 AM »

When he signed an autograph for me, he used his right hand.
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
KC
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 08:29:10 PM »

Interesting, Palooka!
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 08:58:09 PM »

When he signed an autograph for me, he used his right hand.

Interesting, Palooka!

Do you remember which hand he used to sign your book KC?
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KC
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 10:44:21 PM »

Sadly, no. I was too busy looking at his pretty green eyes. ;)
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