Clint Eastwood Forums

General Information => General Discussion => Topic started by: Rawhide7 on July 28, 2014, 02:20:26 PM

Title: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Rawhide7 on July 28, 2014, 02:20:26 PM
I recently read an article online about James Garner being a great tv star but not being able to carry a lead on the big screen due to limited acting abilities.  They said he did have some very good movie's but not great.  This person went on to say that Clint Eastwood is a prime example of this.  They said that he has limited acting abilities.  But that he is a star because he has great presence.  And to be a star you either have to be a great actor with great acting ability or you have to have great presence.  And since Clint has great presence he became a star and a legend.  My take, there's no doubt that Clint does have great onscreen presence.  And he has alot of Charisma and is extremely likable because of his great presence and manurisms and such.  But I also believe he is a great actor who does have some good acting abilities as well.  Maybe in the very beginning he had some limited acting abilities.  But for me I thouight his acting was very good in the dollars trilogy.  And he got better and better through the yrs.  Espicially with the which way movies, In the Line of Fire, and some of his other drama movies as well.  Just wanted some of your thoughts on this? Because I hear alot of people always say ya I like Clint Eastwood alot but he's not really a very good actor.  I am a huge Eastwood fan and like him alot.  And the reason why I am a huge fan of his is because he does have great presence in films and he is very likable and entertaining.  But also because I really enjoy the movies he's in and because I like his acting as well.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: KC on July 28, 2014, 06:52:16 PM
Rawhide, you haven't got a link to that article, do you?
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Gant on July 29, 2014, 12:03:43 AM
To me Clint is nearly always convincing (aside from True Crime :) ) in the roles he takes on which are often quite varied so to me at the very least he's a very good actor....and a great judge of scripts....
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: The Schofield Kid on July 30, 2014, 11:51:30 PM
To me, Clint seems to me to get better with age. The first 30 years and he was mainly known for his action films. He did show he could do more than that with The Beguiled and Play Misty For Me to name just two from early on but from the 1990's with Unforgiven, In The Line Of Fire, The Bridges Of Madison County, Million Dollar Baby he has shown he can act in serious dramas.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Perry on July 31, 2014, 07:54:29 PM
 

          'Tightrope' was probably the first film where I felt Eastwood showed me something as far as acting prowess in a long time.. I thought he was very good in ' The Beguiled', but Tightrope was a complex and dark role for Eastwood and it was nice to see instead of the mediocre 'Sudden Impact' and tired role of H.C. the year before.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: The Man With No Aim on October 09, 2014, 11:16:43 PM
Coming at a relatively early time in his entire acting career, Beguiled showed an amazing acting ability. In my opinion anyway.

And when I saw Misty, in roughly the same time frame of his career, I was equally greatly impressed. I believe that there was no role he could not have perfectly successfully fulfilled. 

He has always had the ability to completely inhabit the persona of the role, and to "own the stage". Always perfectly believable.


Best Regards
Manwith Noaim
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Jed Cooper on October 10, 2014, 06:35:23 AM
To me, Clint seems to me to get better with age. The first 30 years and he was mainly known for his action films. He did show he could do more than that with The Beguiled and Play Misty For Me to name just two from early on but from the 1990's with Unforgiven, In The Line Of Fire, The Bridges Of Madison County, Million Dollar Baby he has shown he can act in serious dramas.

Very interesting and I agree.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Jed Cooper on October 10, 2014, 06:37:11 AM


          'Tightrope' was probably the first film where I felt Eastwood showed me something as far as acting prowess in a long time.. I thought he was very good in ' The Beguiled', but Tightrope was a complex and dark role for Eastwood and it was nice to see instead of the mediocre 'Sudden Impact' and tired role of H.C. the year before.

I remember there being talk of a possible Oscar not for Clint's performance in Tightrope.  Even to be nominated would've been cool, especially since the film did so well and on the hells of the immensely successful and popular Sudden Impact. 
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Jed Cooper on October 10, 2014, 06:49:17 AM
To me, Clint Eastwood is the greatest actor ever.  Of course, that's my opinion and can't be wrong because it's just that, my opinion.  I do acknowledge the fact that there are better and more successful actors out there, but when it comes to favorites, Clint wins hands down.  No contest.  After all, it's his performance in the Leone trilogy and first three Dirty Harry films that convinced me Eastwood was my favorite.  I've been fortunate as a fan over the years since in that he's produced quite a number of films that have been enjoyable, insightful and entertaining on different levels.  Variety is great, but when it comes to favorites, after all, there can be only one "number one."   ;)

(https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.608048063821842179&pid=15.1&P=0)
 
(https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.607996043180835123&pid=15.1&P=0) 
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: AKA23 on October 16, 2014, 08:01:07 AM
I'm pretty sure that it's practically impossible to determine who is the "best actor" ever, since art is by its nature subjective. I don't know what metric could or should be used to judge that either. For example, Jack Nicholson has three acting Oscars, which is among the most ever for an actor, so by that metric, many would consider him to be one of the best actors ever, but some people who I respect, like KC, don't like Jack Nicholson. Does that make KC wrong, since her opinion isn't representative of the consensus of his peers, or does that just mean that KC might be looking for something different than the type of acting that the Academy rewards? This is not just true for KC but is true for practically every viewer and every actor.

To use a personal example, Daniel Day Lewis also has three Oscars, so many would consider him one of the best actor ever as well. I agree that Day Lewis is a great actor, but Eastwood is far more enjoyable to watch for me. He has a far greater and more likable screen presence in my opinion. I think it would be fair to say that Clint Eastwood is my favorite actor. There's no one who I'd rather see in a new film, and there are no films that I'm more excited to see than the ones that he's in. Does that make him the "best actor ever?" I don't think so, but he's still my favorite.   
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Jed Cooper on October 16, 2014, 09:06:52 AM
^^^
As usual, AKA, you have provided a very interesting observation.  I guess my point is that regardless of others' opinions and awards and success other actors have had, to me Clint Eastwood is still the best actor ever.  I can comfortably say that without reservation or doubt because ones own opinion is never wrong to themselves.  It's because I enjoy what Eastwood has done so much more than all that have come before him and since that makes it possible for me to make such a statement.  I know that may not make sense when comparing Mr. Eastwood's acting ability and success in that field to other actors considered much greater and have won many more awards and critical acclaim.  But that's the whole point of having a favorite, isn't it?  I mean, I guess that's the way I see it.  Of course, when others tell me their opinions of who they consider the greatest actor ever, I may not agree with them but I believe what they're saying be it because said actor is their favorite and/or whatever reasons are given. 
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: herofan on October 19, 2014, 07:16:46 PM
Clint has a great stage presence, and for me, has always been believable in all the roles he has played. 

Perhaps the comments about him having limited acting ability is because he chose for so many years to not express a wide range of characters, and he doesn't usually offer up a large range of emotion in his characters, but takes everything in a laid back manner. 

I'm not an acting expert, but as a kid, I always saw him as the same guy in most of his movies, and I loved that, I always knew what to expect.  I kinda saw the same guy in Fist Full, Coogan's Bluff, Dirty Harry, and High plains Drifter, just to name a few.  Perhaps a psychologist or acting expert could convince me they are all totally different characters, but their personalities were quite similar; he played it that way in those years.  It wasn't like he played Dirty Harry, then played a guy with autism, then did a Tootsie character,  then played a total wimp, and then played Abe Lincoln, but his characters were similar, at least in my opinion.  That's what I loved. 
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Elizabeth77 on October 27, 2014, 08:15:41 PM
Clint has a great stage presence, and for me, has always been believable in all the roles he has played. 

Perhaps the comments about him having limited acting ability is because he chose for so many years to not express a wide range of characters, and he doesn't usually offer up a large range of emotion in his characters, but takes everything in a laid back manner.

I think herofan has touched on what draws me to Clint as an actor.  While he is certainly capable of a wide range of emotions, his characters are usually very reserved in their emotional expressions.  I find this very attractive because it is like the most important men in my life, as well as characteristic of myself.  In other words, I can relate.

I don't really care if Clint is the "best actor ever", he's one of my favorites.  His films have provided me with many hours of entertainment, some of them rather more thought-provoking than entertaining, but there's always Clint who can be relied on to accomplish things his own way.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: KC on October 27, 2014, 09:19:31 PM
Very well put, Elizabeth. I tend to feel the same way.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Perry on November 02, 2014, 04:01:07 PM

Yeah, Eastwood was always convincing. I never understood Chuck Norris who always reminded me of Glen Campbell with a black belt.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Jed Cooper on November 02, 2014, 09:39:49 PM
I just finished watching In The Line Of Fire.  I think Clint's acting is superb in it, especially the scene where he tells Lilly about what happened in Dallas.  I'm in agreement with you, Perry.  When I first came across Eastwood films, it was his convincing portrayal of the characters I was viewing at the time that made me want to see more of his movies.  I also agree with you, Elizabeth77, the determination and manner in which Clint portrayed his characters to accomplish a given task is another reason I sought out other performances and why, before long, I came to the conclusion that he was my favorite. I know that my merely declaring Clint Eastwood is the greatest actor of all time isn't agreed upon by all, but it's reasons like the ones I just mentioned that I can honestly say that about him in my opinion. I know Clint won't ever be compared to "great actors" past, present and future but what's great about having a favorite or favorites is that in the end, it's your own opinion that outweighs all other facts, statistics, accolades and opinion.  Seeing In The Line Of Fire again tonight reminded me of how I thought Eastwood's acting seemed to improve beginning with Unforgiven.  At some point I found a gem of a scene in The Gauntlet that made me think of the Frank & Lilly scene I spoke of earlier.  It was where Shockley was telling Mally about why he decided to become a cop.  I didn't think it at the time I first saw it, but years later I thought his acting in that scene was as convincingly good and effective.  I'm still holding out hope for at least one more starring role from Mr. Eastwood. You never know.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: The Man With No Aim on November 19, 2014, 10:28:35 PM
I just finished watching Fistful Of Dollars in decent viewing conditions for the first time in my old man's life.

It was amazing. Clint simply grabbed the Joe persona, put him in his pocket, and, walked away with it.

I have never seen any other actor, in his first major film role, or, in his 100th, pick up a role and perfectly and completely OWN that role like Clint did in Fistful. All the others always look like they were working at it. Clint has always simply been doing it.

Best actor of all time. Clint and then a long way back is somebody, whoever, in 2nd place.


Manwith
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: The Man With No Aim on November 21, 2014, 12:41:41 AM
Just finished watching For A Few Dollars More in good viewing conditions.

Not long ago watched Fistful Of Dollars in good conditions.

Very few, if any, other actors, have demonstrated such a total mastery in the acting craft in their first two starring film roles.

And Clint was just getting started.

Best actor ever. A no brainer.


Manwith
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: herofan on November 23, 2014, 08:17:53 PM
I don't really care if Clint is the "best actor ever", he's one of my favorites.  His films have provided me with many hours of entertainment, some of them rather more thought-provoking than entertaining, but there's always Clint who can be relied on to accomplish things his own way.

Same here.  I'm not an actor myself, so I wouldn't know how to score it technically.  All I know is he is one of my favorites and I've always believed his characters.

Once you get to be a good actor, what makes one a great actor anyway?  Sure, we all have seen performances by someone who seemed like they were reading it off a card or in an elementary play, but I only know if I enjoy the character; I don't keep a technical score card.  For example, Jack Nicholson has the reputation for being one of the best.  Well, I can't argue with that, but I've never watched him and thought, "Wow, he is so much more believable than Clint." 
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: AKA23 on November 25, 2014, 11:59:37 AM
Same here.  I'm not an actor myself, so I wouldn't know how to score it technically.  All I know is he is one of my favorites and I've always believed his characters.

Once you get to be a good actor, what makes one a great actor anyway?

I think that for many, what makes a great actor is that when assuming the role they become the character. Great actors usually aren't perceived to be star personalities, and often are not perceived to be the icons that Eastwood clearly is. To put some context to this, for me personally, I consider really great actors to be actors that have a lot of versatility. They can assume almost any role believably. I think the perception that most people have of Clint Eastwood is that he's a huge star who assumes a persona, and does variations of that persona repeatedly in his films. As you state, Eastwood has almost always been believable in his roles, but I don't think Eastwood has shown the versatility that most people consider to be the hallmark of a great actor. For example, I think Meryl Streep is a great actress. She isn't just playing variations on the same character in her films. She can embody almost any role, and she can do so believably. I think that is what separates an icon like Eastwood from the very top of performers who are widely considered by many to be the greatest actors. Eastwood is still my favorite actor by far though, and I do think he's a better actor than he is usually given credit for. I hope that answers your question.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: herofan on November 26, 2014, 05:52:55 AM
I think that for many, what makes a great actor is that when assuming the role they become the character. Great actors usually aren't perceived to be star personalities, and often are not perceived to be the icons that Eastwood clearly is. To put some context to this, for me personally, I consider really great actors to be actors that have a lot of versatility. They can assume almost any role believably. I think the perception that most people have of Clint Eastwood is that he's a huge star who assumes a persona, and does variations of that persona repeatedly in his films. As you state, Eastwood has almost always been believable in his roles, but I don't think Eastwood has shown the versatility that most people consider to be the hallmark of a great actor. For example, I think Meryl Streep is a great actress. She isn't just playing variations on the same character in her films. She can embody almost any role, and she can do so believably. I think that is what separates an icon like Eastwood from the very top of performers who are widely considered by many to be the greatest actors. Eastwood is still my favorite actor by far though, and I do think he's a better actor than he is usually given credit for. I hope that answers your question.

A very good explanation that I agree with.  Like you, Eastwood is by far my favorite of all time.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: _Clintan_ on December 29, 2014, 02:26:51 PM
I think it's important to separate "greatest/best ever" and "favorite", something being your favorite doesn't automatically make it the best. It's the same with movies, one may have a favorite movie but still think other movies are better. Clint certainly isn't the greatest actor ever, he doesn't have the versatility, but he's definitely one of my favorites, mostly thanks to his screen presence combined with a long line of great and memorable movies.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Jed Cooper on December 29, 2014, 02:44:17 PM
I think it's important to separate "greatest/best ever" and "favorite", something being your favorite doesn't automatically make it the best. It's the same with movies, one may have a favorite movie but still think other movies are better. Clint certainly isn't the greatest actor ever, he doesn't have the versatility, but he's definitely one of my favorites, mostly thanks to his screen presence combined with a long line of great and memorable movies.

Hi Clintan,

I understand and certainly respect what you're saying.  For me, though, I can in all good consciousness say that I consider Clint Eastwood the greatest actor ever.  I can comfortably say that with the belief that it is true.  The same goes for Elvis Presley as a singer/entertainer.  I’m not trying to force my opinion on others.  To me, they truly are the greatest.  It’s because they are my personal favorites that I consider them to be so.  Sounding contradictory with respect to Eastwood, I am fully aware that there are better and more talented actors out there.  Of course, there are more successful ones, too.  In the long run, does this matter?  Well, no, not to me and I’m not trying to sound arrogant.  If I’m coming across that way, I apologize for it’s certainly not my intention.  The same goes for Elvis.  While I’d be hard pressed to admit there are better singers in his field (an exception would be Freddy Mercury), there are plenty of vocalists that have just a good a range or better than that The King had.  There are multiple sources that cite him as still the most successful solo recording artist of all time, but there are those that have won multiple grammy awards, of which Elvis has been awarded only three. 

So, I could go to great lengths to support my opinion by citing the numerous awards and recognition that have been given to Eastwood and Presley, but those are merely facts that could be countered and there’d be a potentially never ending debate.  No, rather, I’ll just stand by my opinion as being enough, which I fully support others doing. 

To reiterate; when I make the statement, “Clint Eastwood is the best actor ever”, it’s because it’s what I’ve seen of his film performances over decades and that I still prefer his movies above all others.  What’s great about variety is being able to enjoy many other great films and performances by other actors and it’s something I continue to look forward to, as much as the next Eastwood project.         
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Richard Earl on December 29, 2014, 04:21:46 PM
This is a fun tread to read. It got me thinking about Eastwoods best acting roles vs. my personal favorites of his roles. Clint's acting in Tightrope was great as it has been mentioned in this thread and his acting in Heartbreak Ridge is not near the talent that he performed in Tightrope. Ask me which film I can watch again and again. It is Heartbreak Ridge because I just love that film as over the top as it might be. We have seen him in dramas, thrillers and westerns and some dramas with elements of comedy. I will say this again that I would love to see Clint as a villain in a horror film. I think he would be great.
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Jed Cooper on December 30, 2014, 05:35:40 AM
This is a fun tread to read. It got me thinking about Eastwoods best acting roles vs. my personal favorites of his roles. Clint's acting in Tightrope was great as it has been mentioned in this thread and his acting in Heartbreak Ridge is not near the talent that he performed in Tightrope. Ask me which film I can watch again and again. It is Heartbreak Ridge because I just love that film as over the top as it might be. We have seen him in dramas, thrillers and westerns and some dramas with elements of comedy. I will say this again that I would love to see Clint as a villain in a horror film. I think he would be great.

I know what you mean about wanting to return to Heartbreak Ridge over Tightrope and that his acting is better in the latter.  I think his character in the former is closer to what a lot of fans had become accustomed to and why that would be the preferred favorite of the two.  I think it's the same reason Gran Torino was so popular, because Clint had returned to a role similar to those he'd played previously, only an older version. 

That would be interesting, to see Clint play a villain in a horror movie.  Imagine! 
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: herofan on December 30, 2014, 01:32:36 PM
This is a fun tread to read. It got me thinking about Eastwoods best acting roles vs. my personal favorites of his roles. Clint's acting in Tightrope was great as it has been mentioned in this thread and his acting in Heartbreak Ridge is not near the talent that he performed in Tightrope. Ask me which film I can watch again and again. It is Heartbreak Ridge because I just love that film as over the top as it might be. We have seen him in dramas, thrillers and westerns and some dramas with elements of comedy. I will say this again that I would love to see Clint as a villain in a horror film. I think he would be great.

I agree.  I think with any kind of entertainment, technical ability and appeal aren't always the same thing, and who is to say which is most important.  For example, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan wouldn't win on American idol or The Voice, but they sure did have a lot of appeal that gave them a great, long career above others who may have actually had better singing ability. 
Title: Re: Clint's acting ability
Post by: Richard Earl on December 30, 2014, 02:57:28 PM
I agree Jed and herofan! Speakig of Gran Torino, his acting was incredible!