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The Clint Eastwood Dilemma?

Clint Eastwood

As Inspector Harry  Callahan, Clint Eastwood would create one of cinema’s most quotable and iconic characters. That coupled with his mid sixties Spaghetti westerns, helmed by Sergio Leone, would afford Eastwood the opportunity to move into the director’s chair himself. Having struggled to keep his head above water for so long, he was now calling the shots. Though one can sense a talent in the actor, that  talent has never really come to pass in his films.

For one, throughout the entire length of his Hollywood career, Clint Eastwood has been very fortunate. Dirty Harry was Clint Eastwood’s big break. It shot him into the big time. However, Eastwood wasn’t really considered for the role. Already forty, his career at the dawning of the 1970s was treading water fast. There were some bright lights. His films with Italian film director Sergio Leone helped to spawn its own genre, the Spaghetti Western.

Even more ironic is the fact that Eastwood was not first choice for other iconic role, the Man With No Name.

“In late 1963, Eastwood’s co-star on Rawhide, Eric Fleming, rejected an offer to star in an Italian-made western called A Fistful of Dollars, to be directed in a remote region of Spain by the then relatively unknown Sergio Leone.”

Clint Eastwood: Icon?

Further aiding  Eastwood’s ascendency was the premissiveness of the 197os. The studio era was dead and it was a marvelous time to be young and a cinemaphile. The old screen rules were out and men like Dennis Hopper, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola were busy riding a new book. Though Eastwood would play a large part in the cinema of the seventies,  Eastwood would become more and more pedestrian with his pictures. They were fillers more than anything substantial.

Along Came Sully?

Nowhere is that more evident than his latest venture Sully. Cinema is about challenging the mind and spirit of humanity. Inspiring it to greater lengths and to reaching beyond the accepted and or expected. Clint Eastwood has reached a stage in his directorial career that very few have. He can get any film he wants made. With Sully, he has again chosen populist tripe and helped eek out a few more minutes of fame for Sullenberger.The masterpiece you  were hoping one day to see from Clint Eastwood likely never to happen.

Then, again, maybe our expectations for him were just too high? Eastwood has spent a lifetime lowering the expectations of his followers.Languishing somewhere in the middle between hack and auteur stands Clint Eastwood. For such a famous and respected filmmaker, Eastwood remains a very enigmatic figure, creatively speaking. His biggest cinematic legacy may be his domination of the five dollar bin at your local Walmart.

Sully will be crashing into the $5 dollar bin soon.

Stay tuned.