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Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:57pm

I heard that Leone wanted Clint, Lee and Eli for his triumphant Once Upon a Time in the West. Story has it that Clint thought "Great, the gang is back together" until he learned that Leone had planned to kill the three off in the opening gunfight sequence (played out by Elam, Strode and Mulock). Now that I've learned about Clint's bitchiness at not getting enough screen-time, this story is doubly funny to me.

Clint was by no means a bad actor. The problem is that once his mannerisms and facial expressions became so well established, there was no longer any need to supply accompanying dialogue. A spit of tobacco, a squint of the eye, the lighting of a cigar, these mannerisms became his dialogue. Eventually he would become a living caricature of himself.

I doubt that deep down Clint would ever regard himself as being in the same class as Lee and Eli as an actor, but rather the lucky beneficiary of good looks and sex appeal to most of his audience. He did however turn out to be a darn good director, which allowed him to showcase his acting abilities in Unforgiven which was quite a departure from his Spaghetti Westerns. (Still, I thought Gene Hackman pretty much stole that movie.)

  • Lee's acting developmentDCG, Sat Feb 17 12:50am
    TB7, you probably recall that Clint, around the time of GBU, bitched about how his pictures with Leone kept diminishing his parts as they went along -- (to paraphrase) "Van Cleef's got all the... more
    • OUaTitW — Doc, Sat Feb 17 9:57pm
      • The G.B.U. Trio in WESTTheBad7, Mon Feb 19 5:01am
        Let me qualify this by saying that I am a big fan of Eastwood as both an actor and director--though I prefer him as an actor; in recent years, he sometimes gets too leisurely with his pacing--to the... more
        • ClintDCG, Tue Feb 20 10:58am
          First off: Nice Overview/Perspective on Clint, amigo. I'm pretty sure you know, TB7, that I agree with you --- and have spouting similar words for decades, whenever I fall into conversation about... more
          • @DC: The Eastwood Approach **Spoilers**TheBad7, Tue Feb 20 12:48pm
            Hi DC-- That's the definitive element to Clint as an actor--I'll be the first to admit, and I am a massive fan of his (have been since childhood), that he has a limited range as an actor. That being... more
            • Clint, reduxDCG, Wed Feb 21 6:35am
              Not a lot to add, amigo --- you pretty much covered it! ;) But I'll try... Never read BRIDGES/MC, and only saw the film a few years after it debuted. For whatever reason, it just didn't interest me... more
              • Final Eastwood ThoughtsTheBad7, Thu Feb 22 1:34am
                Hi DC-- I only happened by THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY as it was in a stack of novels I had acquired--this was when I was a teenager, and at the time I was a voracious reader; it was there, I had... more
              • "That's you! You're The Thunderbolt!"TheBad7, Wed Feb 21 8:06am
                No need for further explanation on THUNDERBOLT & LIGHTFOOT--it's in my Top Three for Eastwood pictures. He and Jeff Bridges should've both scored Oscars for their work in that film--you could even... more
              • Not to worry!Maggie, Wed Feb 21 7:04am
                I wont stop stopping by because you go Eastwood or OT, I'm just slightly bogged down with work for a couple of days. I'm reading along every now and again, but I won't be able to write much before... ... more
        • Very insightful comments. Thanks! (nm)Doc, Mon Feb 19 9:40pm
      • Agree w/yr assessment, Doc...DCG, Sun Feb 18 2:23am
        ...and recall, as a kid, a Clint feature in PEOPLE magazine (mid-70s) that included a shot of him screening film for Editing practice. Best, DCG.
      • I'd be interestedMaggie, Sun Feb 18 1:26am
        in the male/female ratio among LVC fans and among Clint fans. In my perception Clint does not score very high in sex appeal, but Lee clearly does. At least I have known more male Clint fans than... more
    • ClintMaggie, Sat Feb 17 5:21am
      is not my favorite actor as I may have mentioned before. And I know he did go on bitching about Leone movies. But no wonder Lee and Eli Wallach stole the show, I always percieve Clints performance as ... more
      • Yep, Kinski was underrated -- if a bit Mad, to be sure. ;) I could never be confident whether his insane, public Rants were an Act or a Cry for Help. I discovered the work of Werner Herzog thru... more
        • The public rants are famousMaggie, Sun Feb 18 9:42am
          but there are rumours that he did that to attract attention. It is interesting to see old TV shows he appeared upon where he just tried to derail things by acting like a spoilt child and everybody... more
          • With the exception of...DCG, Sun Feb 18 10:25pm
            ..."not an easy character" (at least a lot of people have reported he's "easier" than a Kinski-type), the rest of that sentence applies exactly to Sergio Leone, too: "...shrouded in myths, many of... more
          • Read this on WikipediaDoc, Sun Feb 18 9:32pm
            "By May 1945, at the end of the war in Europe, the German POWs were anxious to return home. Kinski had heard that sick prisoners were to be returned first, and tried to qualify by standing outside... more
            • One presumes...DCG, Sun Feb 18 10:32pm
              ...that Wise & Baron's INTERNATIONAL STARS AT WAR (from which your above quote is extracted) is properly researched and therefore there's some substance to this detail of Kinski's life...but I'd... more
              • That sounds just likeMaggie, Mon Feb 19 2:05am
                Kinskiesque (as opposed to Kafkaesque) behaviour. And like a tall story, that learned to walk on it's own, too... No way to tell! We all know what kind of crap can end up in print (remember the blue... more
                • In/Sanity, Acting & the Media (incl. LVC)DCG, Tue Feb 20 11:29am
                  My approach to discerning Reality from Fantasy is researching til I discover at minimum 3 Reputable Sources (*not* Some Blogger's Opinion, natch) that provide support for whichever angle on a detail... more
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