Sunday, 12 April 2009

Eastwood, Clint Eastwood.. Clint confirms he was offered the role of James Bond!

Here's an interesting Interview I recently found, published by Indie London where Clint states the he was originally offered the role of British Agent 007, which would of placed it around 1967/68 shortly after Connery retired from the role with You only live Twice (1967) before returning for Diamonds are Forever(1971), or so we assume, shame the interviewer didn't get further confirmation as to when? Of course it could have been after Diamonds are forever which would have seen Clint coming off the back of Dirty Harry(1971) Super cop to Super spy? Sounds logical I suppose...Interesting nevertheless.

Q: Changeling has been described as one of your most ambitious films. Do you agree?
Clint Eastwood: Well, I think all of them are ambitious in some way or another. But I guess you could describe it as that.

Q: Was it your intention to have the audience think they were watching one kind of movie and then as the story develops, give them something they possibly didn’t expect?
Clint Eastwood: I think that is the nature of the material. It does that, it makes you follow the woman’s story and her dilemma and then, all of a sudden, after they have humiliated her as much as they can, then we bring in the whole mystery of what has been going on.

Q: Do you think in a way the film Changeling shows that corruption is a constant factor in our lives?
Clint Eastwood: Yes, it is a constant, and it’s not an irony lost on me that Los Angeles has had corrupt moments in its history. For some reason, I think that’s the inspiration for Film Noir films that were made in those times and there were so many kind of bizarre incidents. But for some reason, because Los Angeles was left out there by itself in those days on the West Coast, it became a world of its own and I don’t know why this happens, and corruption is always there.

I don’t know how to relate it to the current economic crisis, but there is definitely corruption there, not only from Wall Street. Everybody’s blaming it on Wall Street, but there are people who think they can just take a plastic card and charge the world on it and not really pay attention to what they can afford, and live within their means. We’re all living in a kind of a dream world, including Wall Street, and including the politicians who are afraid to institute an economical restraint.

Q: How do you decide that you’ve got the people that you really have at the top of your list for characters?
Clint Eastwood: It’s just a matter of how you feel at the time. When I was first given this script, I was told that Angelina had read this and liked it, so I told Brian Grazer that I didn’t see any reason to look further. I liked her very much, I liked her as an actress and she is a mother and a famous mother now, but I figured that she would just know all the proper things about this character. And the others were cast the same way.

I do a lot of casting by videotape of people coming in and reading scenes and what have you, because I’ve been turned down for so many parts over the years in my early career. I hated to be like one of those guys sitting there smoking a cigar and blowing smoke in the actors’ faces as they came in to read and so I figure if they come in and casting can give them a read, you just give them a look, how they look, how they sound, how they feel, and then if you get close to casting them, then you maybe meet with them and talk further, or maybe not at all, sometimes just a reading, like Jason Harner who plays Northcott. He just did a brilliant reading on tape, you just could go: “Yeah! Too bad the regular camera wasn’t running at all.” It just that he is the guy. So we didn’t go any further.

We’ve done that on other pictures. I remember with Bird years ago with Diane Venora, we had a whole tape of about five different actresses I was supposed to look at. She came on first and she got about halfway through the scene and I said: “That’s the girl. Okay.” And then everybody said: “No, don’t you want to look at the rest of them?” And I said: “For the next picture. For this picture, this is her.”

Q: Have you talked to your children about the danger of strangers – since this is a movie about serial killers?
Clint Eastwood: I grew up in a time that was similar to this picture. But by the same token, kids went out and played. There was no television, everybody played outdoors and your parents always told you to beware of strangers – and to be aware of that old gimmick – which is used in the picture – of somebody coming up and telling you: “You’re mother’s in the hospital, you must jump in the car and come with us now.”

That is one of the oldest ploys in the book, and was used by Northcott and other people over the years. I think your parents have to instill that in you and we have to instill in our children that not everybody has their best interests at heart, and there are a lot of motivations out there.

It’s hard for kids not to know that today, with all the great information age we live, plus watching all the mayhem on television all night, just by watching the news, not even the fictional stories. So, I think it’s up to parents to do the educating on that on that level and naturally, a person of higher profile is probably a little more diligent about that than somebody who is not a public figure.

But by the same token, you want to give the child a normal life, you don’t want to scare the child and have them going around thinking that there’s somebody waiting around the corner to hit them with a club or something. So it’s a fine line and you have to work that out in your family, and what your philosophies are and I suppose the adults at least have to build up a supposing situation.

Q: One of the most chilling scenes in the film is the execution. Why did you decide on showing such detail?
Clint Eastwood: I just felt that it deserved to be told in detail. Northcott was convicted and then spent two years in solitary confinement and was then taken out to be hanged.

Q: How do you get the energy to direct so many movies at such a pace?
Clint Eastwood: Well, I don’t know. I guess that I am not in front of the camera as much as I used to be. I suppose I feel like it is a good time to be doing it.

Q: Did you do the music for Gran Torino, as you did for Changeing?
Clint Eastwood: Well, I did some of the work on Gran Torino and my son [Kyle Eastwood] also worked on it and we got Jamie Cullum to do some lyrics.

Q: Music appears to be a passion for you?
Clint Eastwood: Music does have a very special place in my heart. I enjoy it very much. I suppose it is my first love and I do a lot of it. It seems to be when you are making a project it inspires you sometimes to jot down something that you think fits the situation.

Q: It is also very evident that you do not follow fashions. Instead you set trends as you did with Unforgiven when they said Westerns were finished?
Clint Eastwood: I think it is more important to tell a story rather than follow any trend; that is a less bold way to go. If you do that [follow trends] you are just trying to ride on the coat tails of someone else’s success. I could certainly do another Western film if I found a script. But I have never found a script that was as good as Unforgiven. In my mind, Unforgiven was to be my last Western.

Q: What about The Human Factor, your film about Nelson Mandela? How far are you on the plans for that?
Clint Eastwood: I’m not planning anything right now. Right now, I’m taking it easy. I am doing the Mandela film in March. But I’m taking a break between now and then. We are in slow gear right now.

Q: As you said you are not on screen as much as you once were. Obviously you are in Gran Torino but do you miss not acting as often?
Clint Eastwood: I enjoyed acting in Million Dollar Baby and in Gran Torino I play a character who is my age and it is a character that I enjoyed playing. But I’m not looking for it [acting roles]. I’m more interested in staying behind the camera.

Q: Were you at one time asked if you would play James Bond?
Clint Eastwood: I was, yes at one time. This was after Sean [Connery quit]. I had the same attorney as the Broccoli family.

Q: Any regrets about not having been 007?
Clint Eastwood: I thought that James Bond should be British. I’m of British descent but by the same token I thought that it [Bond] should be more of the culture there and also, it was not my thing, it was somebody’s else’s thing.

Q: How involved are you in the DVD of films like Changeling?
Clint Eastwood: You want the DVD to be as close as it can be to the original film. Nowadays people have nice television screens, High Definition and all that and it is nice for them to have the same experience or something close to as you have in the theatre.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

OSCARS

OSCAR OSCAR OSCAR!

There was a time when Clint would avoid the Academy Awards like the plague, which makes pictures of Clint at the Oscars pre 1993 rather rare in deed. Of course since 1993 and his wins for Unforgiven (1992) you just can’t keep him away…which is really a testament to the quality of films he has both directed and produced over the last 15 or so years.

Here is a nice collection to start things off, I have a ton more to add and insert as and when I can find the time to Scan each of the stills and images.


   
Above: A couple of rare images and video from The Academy Awards April 7th 1970, which (without double checking) was probably taken while Clint was shooting The Beguiled, nevertheless, it’s a wonderful shot.

Above: An interesting shot, probably from 1972. I’m not sure of the source of the picture I was reminded of the now classic Oscar clip where Clint stood in for Heston who was meant to present an Oscar, Heston’s car had broken down on the freeway which had delayed him from arriving on time. Clint had stepped in, much to his regret, and proceeded to read all of Heston’s lines (from idiot boards) and were all naturally related to Heston’s film roles, Moses and so on. Clint, quite naturally, was highly embarrassed (much to the amusement of the audience) and Burt Reynolds, who can be seen splitting his guts open in the front row, add to this the guy (off screen) who was turning the boards way too slow for Clint, ‘Come on man, flip the cards, this ain’t my bag’ emerging in the process as the classic line, before Chuck runs on from the wings, only to start reciting the whole thing once again, to much laughter. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, it’s pure Gold and I will dig it out and post it here for all to view.
Below: From 1973, Clint presents the Oscar for best picture, The Godfather.
FAST FORWARD to 1993 and the year of the Woman. An incredible moment for any Eastwood fan as finally the Academy recognises Clint’s long overdue Oscar. Personally, I believe Clint’s should have received an Oscar for his work on The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) a view which may not see me in the majority, but I still believe is a better movie overall.

Above: Triumphant at last! The 65th Annual Academy Awards, March 29th 1993

Above: Jack Nicholson, Clint & Barbra Streisand, March 29th 1993

Above: Jack Nicholson, Clint & Barbra Streisand, March 29th 1993

Academy Awards March 21st 1994
Clint was back at the Academy Awards, this time to present to his good friend Steven Spielberg for his wins for the magnificent Schindler's List.

Above: Clint with his friend Steven Spielberg for his much deserved Oscar win.

Clint receives the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award March 27th 1995
The following year at the 67th Academy Awards, Clint was joined by Arnold Schwarzenegger who presented the Award on March 27th 1995.

Above Clint with Schwarzenegger at the 1995 Academy Awards

MYSTIC RIVER wins 2 Oscars The 76th Annual Academy Awards, February 29th 2004
Clint's Mystic River was nominated for 6 Oscars and walked away with 2 of the Majors, Sean Penn for Best Actor and Tim Robbins for best supporting Actor.
I had the pleasure of Attending the UK Premiere of Mystic River and thought it was truly Oscar winning Material, I met Clint the following night at London's BBC Television Center shortly after he had recorded the Michael Parkinson interview, and said how much I had enjoyed Mystic River the previous night and how I thought he should prepare his tux as I thought his film would be picking up some Oscars in Feb, thank god I got it right!

Above: Clint with his mother and wife Dina Eastwood arrive at the Academy Awards
Below: Clint with Tim Robbins and Sean Penn as the two actors hold their Oscar statues at the Governor's Ball following the 76th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood

MILLION DOLLAR BABY WINS WITH A KNOCKOUT 4 OSCARS Academy Awards Feb 27th 2005
Million Dollar Baby Dominates Oscars:

Above: Clint with his Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture, Superb!
Clint Eastwood wins the best director award, while Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman also pick up Oscars for the movie. Million Dollar Baby beat The Aviator at last night's Oscars, winning four of the major awards, including best picture, best actress (Hilary Swank) and best supporting actor (Morgan Freeman).
Clint Eastwood's victory in the best director category also dealt a knock-out blow to Martin Scorsese's hopes of winning the award, meaning that yet again Marty comes away from the ceremony empty-handed.

Morgan's speach:
I want to thank everybody and anybody who ever had anything at all to do with the making of this picture. But I especially want to thank Clint Eastwood for giving me the opportunity to work with him again. And to work with Hilary Swank. This was a labor of love. And I thank the Academy. I thank you. So very much.


Above: The wonderful Morgan Freeman, clearly a happy man!
Hilary's speach:
I don't know what I did in this life to deserve all this. I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream. I never thought this would ever happen, let alone be nominated. And a working actor, for that matter. And now, this. I thank the Academy. I'm eternally grateful for this great honor. I would also like to acknowledge my fellow nominees, Annette, Imelda, Kate, and Catalina, your work inspires me beyond words.
I am going to start by thanking my husband because I'd like to think I learned from past mistakes. Chad, you're my everything. Thank you for your support. It means the world. I would never be standing here if it weren't for the -- each and every one of the brilliant people I had surrounding me, supporting me and believing in me. Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, thank you for sending me this most marvelous script. You will never know how grateful I am. Paul Haggis, for writing this beautiful script. Our other producers extraordinaire: Al Ruddy, Clint, Rob Lorenz. Phyllis Huffman, our casting director. My trainers, Grant Roberts and Hector Roca, you pushed me further than I ever thought I could push myself up to that last pound, actually to that last ounce. I thank you. My sparring partners who were so patient. And everyone at Gleason's.
Well, the ever-amazing Morgan Freeman. Tom Stern, our cinematographer, you are brilliant. Joel Cox, our editor, you're amazing. You know? I'm going to thank my mom for believing in me from the beginning. My dad, for his support. My agents, Josh Lieberman, Tony Lipp, Kelly Tiffan, John Campisi. Jason Weinberg my manager (You can't do that. I haven't gotten to Clint yet! I saved him for the end)
Karl Austen, Jeff Bernstein, my lawyers. And then Clint. Clint Eastwood. Thank you for allowing me to go on this journey with you. Thank you for believing in me. You're my "macushla" Thank you. Warner brothers, as well. And you know what? Wait! Troy Nankin, my best friend and publicist. Thank you!


Above: Hilary hugs actor director and producer Clint after she won the award for Best Actress at the 77th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre
Clint (For Best Director):
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. I'd like to thank my wife, who is my best pal down here. And my mother, who was here with me in 1993. She was only 84 then. But she's here with me again tonight. And she just -- so, at 96, I'm thanking her for her genes.
It was a wonderful adventure. It takes a -- to make a picture in 37 days, it takes a well-oiled machine. And that well-oiled machine is the crew -- the cast, of course, you've met a lot of them. But there's still Margo and Anthony and Michael and Mike and Jay and everybody else who was so fabulous in this cast. And the crew, Campanelli. Billy Coe and, of course, Tom Stern, who is fantastic. And Henry Bumstead, the great Henry Bumstead who is the head of our crack geriatrics team. And Henry and Jack Taylor, and Dick Goddard, all those guys. Walt and everybody. I can't think of everybody right now.
I'm drawing a blank right now. But, Warren, you were right. And thank you, for your confidence earlier in the evening. I'm just lucky to be here. Lucky to be still working. And I watched Sidney Lumet, who is 80, and I figure, I'm just a kid. I'll just -- I've got a lot of stuff to do yet. So thank you all very much. Appreciate it

Above: Julia Roberts presents Clint with his Best Director Oscar
Below: Clint celebrates on Stage

Clint Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy's and Tom Rosenberg's speach (For Best Picture)
Clint Eastwood: Albert S. Ruddy was the one who gave us this script. And I came here in 1972, was it? It was 72, to give him the Oscar for THE GODFATHER. So, I'm glad to be back with him tonight.
Albert S. Ruddy: Actually, this is the third award ceremony we've gotten to in this category. And tonight, we won. And I would tell you every time I started going to this thing, I'd say I'm going to enjoy myself whether I win or lose. But believe me, as Arnold said, "It's better to win!" I love it. Thank you, everybody. Now -- this is a great honor that celebrates the talent of Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, and the genius of Clint Eastwood. Now, one other quick -- I want to thank Anjelica Huston, who introduced me to F.X. Toole and Paul Haggis for writing a brilliant screenplay. And the only thing left for me to do in my life now, is thank my wife, who believed when I was worried. My two great children. I'm going to sit down, and get a piece of lemon pie with the real filling. I'm going to look at this. And then, I'm going to die and go to heaven. Thank you.
Tom Rosenberg: I want to thank Warner Brothers, Alan Horn, Steve Spira...
Clint: Keep talking. Don't let them drown you out.
Tom Rosenberg: And I'd like to thank my partners, Gary Lucchesi and Terry McKay. And everybody at Lakeshore. And of course, the fantastic and fabulous, Clint Eastwood. And my other partner, Elizabeth Alkon.
Clint: And everybody at the Mission Ranch in Monterey county, who is watching the show.
Below: Clint proudly displays his 2 Oscars

Below: While a couple of old friends try to crash the party!

Below: Clint's dear Mum Ruth proudly shows off one of her sons 2 Oscars at the Governor's Ball!


Above: A wonderful picture of Ruth Wood, Clint and the gorgeous Hilary Swank at the Governor's Ball

Letters from Iwo Jima: No Oscar for Clint, but a great night nevertheless. Los Angeles Feb. 25th 2007
Above: Clint happily poses for pictures at the 79th annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon
The Year got off to a fine start, Clint was nominated for Best Director for Letters From Iwo Jima and attended the 79th annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon held in Beverly Hills on Feb 5th 2007.
Below: Clint pictured with Sid Ganis at the Luncheon

Oscar Night 2007 was a pretty good night overall, not only was Clint up for another Award, he was also presenting a lifetime achievement award to legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone (see dedicated full post below.) Clint turned up with wife Dina looking incredibly cool and laid back as usual.
Below: Clint arrives looking as cool as ever in shades with wife Dina



The Awards that year was hosted by comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who memorably provided a wonderful little moment when she walked among the stars in the audience and immediately picked up on Clint who was sitting with both Dina and Steven Spielberg (who was also up as a co producer with Clint for Letters from Iwo Jima).

Above: Clint points to his portrait that director Steven Spielberg took for host Ellen DeGeneres
Armed with a small digital camera, DeGeneres handed her camera to Spielberg in order to capture a couple of snap shots of herself (and her new found friend in Clint) for her photo album and which turned out to be a great little moment from the show.
Below: Yes, the 2 actual shots taken by Mr. Spielberg, nice framing!


While Eastwood and Co missed out on the big prizes, the evening was not without its rewards as Letters from Iwo Jima picked up Oscars (in Sound Editing) for the team of Bub Asman and Alan Robert Murray. An award which gave everyone from the production cause to celebrate.
Below: A big thank you to Clint on their way to the stage, and how happy Dina looks for them, providing the big thumbs up!

Below: Bub Asman and Alan Robert Murray pick up their Oscars on Stage

Below: A Photo from the press room

Below: Celebrations begin at The Governor's Ball!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

AWARDS

This section will include stories and photos from the many awards that Clint has picked up through his career and will add to it from time to time. This section will not include Oscars or other Awards that Clint was presented with during the Academy Awards, these will be posted within the OSCARS section.

The Following Posts are not presented in any particular order:

Below: Clint with his statuette at the Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood, Feb. 5th 1971. Eastwood won the award for World Film Favourite, male.

PGA AWARD Jan 22nd 2006
The Producers Guild of America went ahead and made his day, choosing Clint Eastwood as the recipient of its highest honor.
Eastwood will receive the Milestone Award for his contributions to the entertainment industry, it was announced Wednesday.

Above: Clint with his Lifetime Award
Eastwood became an icon in the 1970s with his portrayal of a tough-guy police detective in Dirty Harry, a film that inspired four sequels. He went on to become a two-time Academy Award-winning director, most recently for 2004's Million Dollar Baby, which also won Best Picture.

Above: Clint with his Award which was presented by director Steven Spielberg
The 15th Annual PGA Awards was presented Jan. 22 2006.
USA Today

DGA AWARD Jan 28th 2006
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1, 2005 -- DGA President Michael Apted announced today that director Clint Eastwood has been selected to receive the Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his distinguished career in motion picture directing. As the Guild's highest tribute, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Eastwood, one of the industry's finest practitioners, at the 58th Annual DGA Awards on January 28, 2006.

’Clint Eastwood is the consummate filmmaker,’ Apted said in announcing the award. ‘As one of the most prolific, versatile directors in the history of the medium, there isn't a genre that Clint Eastwood hasn't mastered in the more than 25 films he has directed over the past 35 years. The DGA is proud to honor his deft craftsmanship and brilliant vision with its Lifetime Achievement Award. His ongoing body of work continues to touch generations of moviegoers and bring huge audiences into movie theaters. He does it all with great class, intelligence, and style.’


Above: Clint proudly displays his award
The DGA Lifetime Achievement Award winner is selected by the present and past presidents of the Guild. In the Guild's 70-year history, only 31 directors have been recognized with the honor as the award is not presented on an annual basis. Eastwood now joins this illustrious list, which includes Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra and John Ford.
Above: Clint - In Good spirits at The 58th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards
In addition to the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award, Eastwood received the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement this year for his 2004 film Million Dollar Baby, which also won him Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture.
Below: Clint is joined by the beautiful Hilary Swank



Above: The award for outstanding achievement in a feature film for his film Million Dollar Baby during the 2005 57th annual Director's Guild Awards
The film earned a total of seven Academy Award nominations, four Oscars, two Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Actress, and the New York Film Critics Award for Best Director. Eastwood's 1992 film Unforgiven was also met with unparalleled critical acclaim, receiving in 1993 the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, nine Academy Award nominations, four Oscars including Best Director, and the Golden Globe for Best Director. In 2004, Eastwood was nominated for both the DGA Award the Academy Award for his direction of Mystic River. Among Eastwood's other innumerable accolades are: the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (1995), the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and the Film Society at Lincoln Center (1996), the Lifetime Career Achievement Award from New York's National Board of Review (2000), the Kennedy Center Honors Award (2000), and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award (2003).

Born Clinton Eastwood Jr. on May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, California, Eastwood was raised in Oakland, California, after moving from town to town as his father sought work during the Great Depression. He began his career in 1957 as a contract player for Universal Pictures and got his first break on the TV series Rawhide (1958), in which he played cowpuncher Rowdy Yates for six years. Eastwood's association with jazz is well documented, as is his assertion that had his directing, acting or producing careers not been successful; he would have chosen to be a musician. His documentary Piano Blues, in which Eastwood explores his life-long passion for piano blues, concluded Martin Scorsese's 2003 series The Blues for PBS.
Yahoo

Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Award March 9th 2003
Looking beyond the tough guise at an actor's range
By ANDY KLEIN

A screen icon and celebrated filmmaker, Eastwood's range as an actor is often overlooked
With all the acclaim Clint Eastwood has received over the years for his work behind the camera, it's easy to overlook what many have taken for granted from the beginning: his acting. With his chiselled features, trademark glint and whispery line delivery, Eastwood belongs in the Mount Rushmore of leading man icons -- a pantheon of strong silent types that includes Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Steve McQueen.

Above: Clint with his 2003 SAG lifetime award
The parallels with Wayne, especially, point to the tendancy to undervalue stars who've honed their screen persona into an archetype, albeit a highly distinctive one.

"I think Eastwood suffers from the same plight that John Wayne had to face," says film historian Leonard Maltin. "Where people tended to say, 'Oh, he just plays himself onscreen.' Or, 'He's a personality actor, not a real actor.' And it also has to do with the impact that some of his signature roles have had, that people forget how often he has veered away from them."

That the Screen Actors Guild is handing Eastwood its 39th life achievement award might be the ultimate recognition from his peers, and validation that the actor who became famous in Sergio Leone's westerns as "the man with no name" only just makes it look easy. "Clint actually fades into the persona, which fades into the part and the whole thing feels so organic and seamless that you're not ever conscious of somebody making this thing," says Dave Kehr, columnist for the New York Times and writer of the documnetary "Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows."

Looking at all his accolades, it would seem that Eastwood has been sufficiently lionized -- his honors are numerous enough for several careers. In addition to his two Oscars in 1992 for "Unforgiven," the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gave him the Irving Thalberg Award at the 1995 ceremony. At the Cannes Film Festival, he has been nominated for the Palme d'Or three times.

But his one major award strictly for acting was from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. for "Unforgiven," this despite more than 50 films to his credit.

Had Eastwood only made the trio of spaghetti Westerns for Leone -- "A Fistful of Dollars," "For a Few Dollars More," and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly -- and then ridden off into the sunset of Europe's faux Old West, it would have been possible to characterize him as merely a one-trick pony with a mesmerizing screen presence. "Dirty Harry" catapulted his popularity to another realm, even if it further served to pigeonhole him. But there are some who feel that to dismiss Eastwood as a one-note actor would be tantamount to dismissing Bogart and Cagney as only capable of playing tough guys.

Kehr, for one, points to "Dirty Harry" as the turning point in Eastwood's career. "I think the one moment where he becomes a superstar is right at the beginning," Kehr explains. "He sees a bank robbery in progress and he walks slowly across the square. He's got a gun in one hand and he's finishing a hot dog with the other. He's going to finish this hot dog before he blows the guy's head 'clean off' as he says.

"It's this scene of incredible potential violence and at the same time this incredible nonchalance. Like James Cagney, he was able to explode seemingly out of nowhere and then pull it all back away again."

In the 1970s, as soon as he took greater control of his career (certainly a wise move after "Paint Your Wagon"), Eastwood began pushing and redefining the edges of screen persona in the films "High Plains Drifter" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales."

Then he reinvented himself altogether, with a comic twist, in "Every Which Way but Loose," its less satisfying sequel "Any Which Way You Can," and, best of all, "Bronco Billy," neatly deconstructing the bluff behind the macho persona on which he had built his career.

"There's a real kind of humor and wistfulness in that character that you don't often see in Eastwood's work," Turan says of "Bronco Billy." "It's also just nice to see that at that moment he felt loose enough to do it. It almost had a Frank Capra or Preston Sturges feel to it."

One of Maltin's favorite change-of-pace Eastwood roles was in "White Hunter, Black Heart," the 1990 film adaptation of Peter Viertel's thinly veiled, fictionalized account of the making of "The African Queen." Not only did Eastwood direct himself, he also played a character quite close to "Queen's" director: the wily, cigar-chomping John Huston.

"That was not a typical project for him, nor was it a typical performance," Maltin says. "Without trying to do a precise replication of Huston, he captured that personality. He's larger than life but he manages not to make him a caricature, he's outsized but he's real. That's no small achievement."
Above: Let the party begin, the Eastwood family celebrate the Lifetime award.
Eastwood's performances in "Honkytonk Man," "Tightrope" and "White Hunter, Black Heart" were the result of the tension between the commercial image he had built his career on and the broader range of characters he could represent. "Tightrope" is the most conventional in theme, a film that hints at a Dirty Harry type being really, seriously dirty. But the unjustly overlooked "Honkytonk Man" contains one of Eastwood's most impressive performances: Of all the things it's hard to imagine him playing, "frail" must be near the top of the list. Yet he adopts body language and mannerisms that convince us that he is.

His '90s work includes two films in which he faces off against quintessentially noniconic actors: John Malkovich in "In the Line of Fire" and Meryl Streep in "The Bridges of Madison County." The presence of these two brilliant, extremely studied performers creates a revealing contrast to Eastwood's more relaxed style.

But for all his permutions, Eastwood's iconic stature cannot be denied -- a quality that most actors envy, even if they pride themselves as chameleonic.

"It's who he is," says Kehr. "That's always defined the great American stars. It's a big word to toss out but he has an existential quality. Bogart is Bogart, Monroe is Monroe, and Eastwood is Eastwood."
Variety Feb 26th 2003

Below: Clint won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for "Unforgiven" (1992) at the 45th Director's guild awards March 6th 1993.
Below: Clint and Forest Whitaker 21st NAACP Image awards Dec 10th 1988 winning for Bird