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FutureStarrHow old is Clint Eastwood?
During the good Depression, Eastwood moved along with his family variety of times before they finally settled in Piedmont, California, in 1940. He was drafted during the warfare and stationed in California. Following his discharge from the military in 1953, Eastwood moved to Hollywood. A audition with Universal in 1954 netted him a 40-week contract, but, after one renewal and a series of bit parts in such movies as Tarantula (1955) and Revenge of the Creature (1955), his option was dropped. He appeared in several TV series before he got his big break in 1959 by being cast as Rowdy Yates within the popular TV western Rawhide (1959–65).
Eastwood achieved international stardom during this same period when he played the person with No Name—a laconic, fearless gunfighter whose stoicism masks his brutality—in three Italian westerns (popularly referred to as “spaghetti westerns”) directed by Sergio Leone: Per un pugno di dollari (1964; A Fistful of Dollars), Per qualche dollari in più (1965; For some Dollars More), and Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (1966; the nice, the Bad and therefore the Ugly). In 1967 the three films played within the us and were immediate commercial successes, establishing Eastwood as a box-office star.
For Eastwood’s first American western, Hang ’Em High (1968)—Ted Post’s expert imitation of the Leone formula, enlivened by a superior group of character actors—he formed his own production company, Malpaso. He also worked with Don Siegel on the popular police story Coogan’s Bluff (1968); it absolutely was Siegel who taught him most of what he needed to understand about directing, a debt Eastwood often acknowledged. He also worked with Siegel on the western Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), the psychological warfare drama The Beguiled (1971), and therefore the prison-break film shake Alcatraz (1979). Their best-known collaboration was Dirty Harry (1971), within which Eastwood first portrayed the ruthlessly effective police inspector Harry Callahan. The film proved to be one in all Eastwood’s most successful, spawning four sequels and establishing the no-nonsense character Dirty Harry—known for such catchphrases as “Go ahead, make my day”—as a cinema icon.
Eastwood turned to directing in such films because the thriller Play Misty on behalf of me (1971), the westerns High Plains Drifter (1972) and also the Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), and therefore the espionage thriller The Eiger Sanction (1975), all films during which he also played leading roles. Eastwood took over the western The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) from Philip Kaufman, who cowrote the story of a Missouri farmer driven to violence after his family has been slaughtered by renegade Union soldiers. Stylishly photographed by Bruce Surtees, with a fine performance by Chief Dan George as a Cherokee elder, this work humanized Eastwood’s mythic avenger archetype for the primary time.
Eastwood went on to create The Gauntlet (1977), a kinetic but formulaic action film within which he played a investigator trying to move a witness (Sondra Locke) to an Arizona courthouse where she will be able to testify. The gentle humor pervading Bronco Billy (1980) was far off from the mayhem of his westerns and cop movies; Eastwood was deft because the proprietor of a two-bit western United States show who gives shelter to, then falls loving with, a runaway heiress (Locke). Firefox (1982) was a high-tech conflict story that had Eastwood as a pilot stealing a supersonic jet from the Soviets. The whimsical and nostalgic Honkytonk Man (1982), set during the good Depression, featured Eastwood as a rustic singer dying of tuberculosis whose dream is to form it to the Grand Ole Opry before he passes on.
Having wandered rather far afield from his star action persona, Eastwood directed the fourth Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact (1983), with Locke portraying a rape victim on a vengeful murder spree. He then returned to his screen roots with the neo-mythic Pale Rider (1985), a quasi-religious western. It showcased Eastwood’s iconic presence and Surtees’s gorgeous photography and was one in all the few hit westerns of the 1980s.
Heartbreak Ridge (1986) was a pleasant drama about an old-school marine sergeant (Eastwood) on the verge of retirement whose tough approach whips a bunch of raw recruits into shape for the invasion of Grenada. White Hunter, Black Heart (1990) was Eastwood’s most audacious project of this era of his career, an adaptation of Peter Viertel’s roman à clef about his on-location collaboration with director film producer on The African Queen (1951). Bravely tackling the a part of Huston, Eastwood embodied the good director’s rugged physical presence.
A lifelong devotee of jazz and an accomplished pianist, Eastwood also directed the well-regarded Bird (1988), a movie biography of saxophonist Bird Parker (Forest Whitaker), and produced the documentary Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988). Off-screen, Eastwood made national headlines in 1986 when he was elected mayor of Carmel, California; he served for 2 years.