Clint Eastwood: Not an Auteur, but a Starteur

Clint Eastwood turns 80 years old today, though, with a film titled Hereafter in postproduction and one called Hoover in preproduction, he shows no signs of slowing down. Perhaps America’s most significant starteur—that is, both a star and an auteur—Eastwood has been part of the film industry since his uncredited role as Jennings the Lab Technician in 1955’s Revenge of the Creature. He defies contemporary Hollywood doctrine that prizes youth over age, popularity over experience, celebrity over stardom.  To celebrate Eastwood’s birthday and to herald his remarkable career, TCM is showing his films throughout the day in addition to The Eastwood Factor, a new documentary by Richard Schickel.

To add to the tribute, I have interviewed one of my colleagues, a bona fide Eastwood authority as well as a true Southern gentlemen. I feel fortunate to work with some of the most knowledgeable cinema historians who are also genuine movie-lovers, and my fellow film instructor at Oakton Community College, Dr. Laurence Knapp, is certainly among them. In 1996, Larry wrote Directed by Clint Eastwood (McFarland) and is currently working on the second edition, which should be out in late 2011. He has also developed and taught a course on Eastwood at Chicago’s Columbia College. In addition, Larry has investigated the careers of other major American directors, resulting in Brian De Palma: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi, 2003) and Ridley Scott: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi, 2005). I am grateful to Larry for taking the time to be interviewed and for providing such articulate commentary.

Q: What triggered your interest in Clint Eastwood? Was it a certain film you saw?  Were you a life-long fan? Was it something you learned in film school that helped you see him in a different light?

EASTWOOD SMACKS HIS OPPONENT WITH A FISH: WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT 'EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE'

LK: Like every red-blooded American moviegoer in the 1970s, I watched The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly panned and scanned on television and took Eastwood’s cinematic status for granted until I saw Every Which Way But Loose in 1978. I became an avid fan immediately. My initial fascination with Eastwood developed out of adolescent wish fulfillment—I admired Eastwood’s physical prowess, indomitable will, and insouciant menace. During my undergraduate years I became aware of Eastwood’s growing impatience with Dirty Harry (Sudden Impact) and the Man With No Name (Pale Rider) and his desire to usurp his persona (Bronco Billy) and offer a more complex portrayal of masculinity than the average 1980s fare (Honkytonk Man and Tightrope). By the time I contemplated my masters’ thesis at Boston University I knew that the Eastwood of Bird, White Hunter, Black Heart, Unforgiven, and A Perfect World was much more than a cult of personality—he was an authentic, formidable auteur.

Q: What are Eastwood’s strengths as an actor or movie star?

 

JUST FOR FUN: EASTWOOD IN 'REVENGE OF THE CREATURE'

LK: Eastwood’s great strength is his preternatural understanding of personification and mise-en-scene. Eastwood knows that his appeal comes from the audience’s belief that Eastwood merely exists on-screen. Eastwood knows how to dominate the film frame with his physiognomy and physique. Watch Gran Torino and notice how little Eastwood has to do once he establishes the right camera angle, height, level, and distance.

Unfortunately, Eastwood’s mastery of personification has prevented him from experimenting with its opposite—impersonation. When Eastwood brilliantly impersonated John Huston in White Hunter, Black Heart critics and audiences could not tolerate his “acting” even when Eastwood exposed the character as a pose at the end of the film. Eastwood’s solution to this problem has been a piecemeal reconsideration of his persona and what is expected of him as a star. With Unforgiven, A Perfect World, Bridges of Madison County, and Space Cowboys, Eastwood used his age and an ensemble of costars to challenge his star status. After a series of low-key star vehicles (True Crime and Blood Work), Eastwood gave his greatest performance in Million Dollar Baby, using his customary appearance as a facade to hide spiritual torment and persona anguish. In Gran Torino Eastwood stages his own King Lear, celebrating with his audience the uncanny personification that allows him to own the screen without having to resort to Al Pacino’s histrionics or George Clooney’s self-mockery.

While Eastwood has spent five decades redrawing the boundaries of his star persona, it is interesting to consider the films in which he does not appear to be an outlet for his vocation as an actor. Each of Eastwood’s director-only films feature situations or conflicts that he himself could not act because of his age (Breezy, Mystic River), gender (Changeling), race (Bird, Letters from Iwo Jima, Invictus) or iconic status (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Flags of Our Fathers). Also, Eastwood’s commitment to film acting has garnered an impressive number of Oscar nominations and awards for the stars of his films, a reminder that he is a true thespian, on-screen or off.

Q: Do you prefer Eastwood as used by Leone, or Eastwood as used by Siegel?

 

DON SIEGEL DIRECTED EASTWOOD IN 'COOGAN'S BLUFF,' WHICH WAS POPULAR IN ITS DAY BUT HAS BEEN LARGELY FORGOTTEN

LK: I’m enamored of both. Leone gave Eastwood his Olympian persona—watch the climax of Gran Torino and you can recall the Eastwood of A Fistful of Dollars, calmly and quietly awaiting the inevitable showdown. Leone helped Eastwood conquer screen space and adopt a stoic performance style. He also positioned Eastwood as the last great Western screen icon. Siegel, with Coogan’s Bluff and Dirty Harry, re-Americanized Eastwood by relocating him in modern American cities that represented the social tensions of the late 1960s. Leone gave Eastwood mythic resonance; Siegel gave Eastwood a contemporary edge.

Q: When Eastwood began directing, he began with thrillers and westerns. How were his directorial efforts received by critics at first? Do you think his star image as a tight-lipped, hardened tough guy got in the way of a fair appraisal of his directorial work?

LK: It took critics 20 years to realize that Eastwood was a starteur—a star/auteur like Charlie Chaplin, Guru Dutt, or Takashi Kitano. Blame Leone and Siegel, who gave Eastwood two iconic roles that he had to deconstruct for decades before critics noticed that he could be just as effective behind the camera. Eastwood may be the only starteur who has evolved from a star into a full-fledged auteur. Chaplin could not transcend the Tramp once he retired the character in Modern Times. Woody Allen may have retired his comic persona, but his worldview has lost its cultural relevance in the 1990s and 2000s. Eastwood soldiers on, contradicting the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote he used to open Bird: “There are no second acts in American lives.”

Q: What do you think are Eastwood’s primary themes as a director—the issues or ideals that he returns to over and over? And, how would you describe his visual style? Has his themes and style been consistent, or has there been change from his first film, Play Misty for Me, to his latest, Invictus?

LK: That’s tricky. For awhile, Eastwood’s themes centered around his persona—mainly issues of masculinity, American identity, and working-class resistance to bourgeois conformity or bureaucratic traction. Then Eastwood did something that few stars would dare attempt—he used his advancing age to question every aspect of his persona and the American experience. In the 1980s Eastwood investigated the role of artists in American life—their attempts to find inspiration (Bronco Billy), salvation (Honkytonk Man), self-destruction (Bird), and escape (White Hunter, Black Heart). With the 1990s Eastwood expanded his reach as he made every effort to retire his persona (The Rookie, Unforgiven, Absolute Power) and confront the dynamics of parenting (A Perfect World), romantic longing (The Bridges of Madison County), and the loss of American innocence in the early 1960s (it is no accident A Perfect World is set days before the JFK assassination). In the 00s, as Eastwood continue his on-screen retirement (Space Cowboys and Blood Work) and eventual demise (Gran Torino), he descended further into mortality and the human condition (Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima), his difficulties with religion (Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino), parenting as a sweet sorrow (Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Changeling), and a post-Obama need for national reconciliation (Invictus).

Eastwood’s visual aesthetic is deceptively simple, although there are several hallmarks, most of which are evident after The Outlaw Josey Wales: a love for location shooting, a penchant for excessive backlighting, a functional editing strategy that focuses on character movement and reaction, and a calm, almost pacific pacing that moves like Eastwood himself on screen—unhurried, casual, a cocksure contemplativeness.

EASTWOOD'S CHARACTER IS FRAMED AGAINST THE MYTHIC MOUNTAIN FROM WHICH HE CAME--AN EXAMPLE OF THE DIRECTOR'S EXQUISITE USE OF LOCATION SHOOTING.

Q: In his films, what is Eastwood’s view of the American West vs. John Ford’s? What do you think his contribution to the western genre is?

LK: As Jim Kitses outlined in Horizon’s West, Eastwood is the last great Western auteur, the true heir of Ford, Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher, Sam Peckinpah, and Leone. Ford’s view of the West paralleled the rise of post-WWII America—his characters fight for civilization even as they try to escape its growth (Stagecoach) or deny its hypocrisies (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance). Eastwood assumed control of the Western after being consecrated by Leone’s spaghetti westerns. Eastwood used his celestial persona to condemn unconditional capitalism (High Plains Drifter, Pale Rider), the mistreatment of Native Americans (The Outlaw Josey Wales), and the misguided idea that the West represented a time when a man could regenerate himself through violence (Unforgiven). The ending of Unforgiven, with the Man With No Name exposed as a serial killer, features Eastwood pointing his rifle point-blank at his audience, damning them for demanding that he “suit up” for another bloodbath.

Q: Eastwood’s visual style, especially his preference for classic continuity editing, pits him against younger generations of action directors (Tony Scott, Michael Bay, Paul Greengrass) who have embraced post-classical editing, aka hyper-editing, in which clarity and logic have been replaced by a montage style of fast-paced, disparate shots that superficially excite the viewer. In the face of this stylistic trend, why do his films still attract a broad audience and do well at the box office?

LK: Because Americans have never abandoned classical continuity. Although our capacity for stylistic innovation has grown exponentially since the mid 1970s, Americans still prefer the classic realist film. Eastwood’s style and narrative storytelling has remained consistent since The Outlaw Josey Wales—as with James Cameron, Eastwood focuses on character psychology, although lately Eastwood has played with time and memory (Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima, Invictus).

Q: How would you describe Eastwood’s female characters? For me, there has been a distinct change from the early films, in which romantic entanglements seem to be a threat (Play Misty for Me) or where women are manhandled or raped for effect (High Plains Drifter), to the later ones in which the women seem independent and more savvy than men (A Perfect World).

JESSICA WALTER PLAYS A WOMAN WHO CAN'T TAKE 'NO' FOR AN ANSWER IN 'PLAY MISTY FOR ME.'

LK: The reason you perceive Eastwood’s fear of castration in The Beguiled [directed by Don Siegel] and Play Misty for Me and his Old Testament use of rape to cow the local prostitute in High Plain Drifter is because Eastwood, like Peckinpah, was honest enough to document his generation’s consternation during the burgeoning Women’s Movement. Unlike Peckinpah, who did not evolve past a Madonna-Whore complex, Eastwood exhibited a growing willingness to critique his own “unreconstructed” masculinity by pairing himself with a series of female characters unafraid to lampoon (The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, Bronco Billy) or heal (Sudden Impact, Tightrope, Heartbreak Ridge) Eastwood’s machismo. By The Bridges of Madison County, Eastwood felt secure enough to share the screen with Meryl Streep and foreground her as the film’s narrator and narrative surrogate. In the 1990s and 2000s, Eastwood’s female characters exist independently of Eastwood’s persona. In Million Dollar Baby Eastwood defers to Hillary Swank’s talent and will. In Changeling, Eastwood recedes from the screen and defers to Angelina Jolie and her Harry Callahan-like female resolve.

Q: What do you think of Eastwood’s depiction of minorities in his films? Native Americans? African Americans? Other races?

 

'GRAN TORINO': EASTWOOD TAKES ON ISSUES OF RACE.

LK: Eastwood may be a libertarian when it comes to fiscal matters, but he’s as liberal as Bobby Kennedy when it comes to minorities. Despite his status as a totemic White Male, Eastwood considers African-Americans almost holy because of his love for jazz. While some may find Dirty Harry racially insensitive, pay careful attention to the third Dirty Harry film The Enforcer, when Eastwood establishes a bond with the local Black Panther leader. Eastwood’s affectionate ties to the African-American community can be seen in Gran Torino when he tells the three black teenagers to “take care.” Native Americans fare just as well in Eastwood’s oeuvre. His westerns reflect the revisionist trends of the 1970s (Little Big Man, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee). The Outlaw Josey Wales celebrates the Native American as a key part of the American experience—Wales establishes a blood kinship with an Indian chief, one that he does not share with the Union troops that pursue him. In the 00s Eastwood has shown increasing awareness of Mexican-Americans (Blood Work) and the Japanese experience (Letters from Iwo Jima). Gran Torino represents Eastwood’s desire to transcend his own whiteness and embrace an urban Asian-American youth as the face of 21st century America.

Q:  Of all of the films Eastwood has directed, which do you feel is the most un-Eastwood-like?

EASTWOOD'S DAUGHTER ALLISON COSTARRED WITH JOHN CUSACK IN 'MIDNIGHT.' FOLLOWING IN HER FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS, ALLISON HAS ALSO TAKEN UP DIRECTING.

LK: All of Eastwood’s films feature protagonists who struggle with themselves and/or some element of society they cannot control or understand, but if one film stands out as an anomaly, it must be Eastwood’s amiable adaptation of John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. With Midnight, Eastwood captures the unmistakable charm (and volatility) of Savannah, Georgia by allowing his film to mingle with dozens of characters and mosey through a series of vignettes that spotlight the mystery, and glory, of being Southern. Who would have expected this from a native Californian?

Q: Which Eastwood films are your personal favorites, and why?

 

LK: The Gauntlet: Long before Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis metastasized the action film into shameless spectacle, Eastwood took the 1970s conspiracy film (Three Days of the Condor) and refashioned it as an anti-Dirty Harry screwball road comedy—Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriske Point meets Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night. Eastwood reduces Harry Callahan to a hapless drunk who forms an unlikely bond with a streetwise prostitute played by an acerbic Sondra Locke. The climax, with Eastwood driving a bus through Phoenix as hundreds of police officers open fire, offers Eastwood’s surreal, cynical view of Watergate-era America.

Heartbreak Ridge: Yes, the invasion of Grenada plays like an afterthought, but that’s because Eastwood is more interested in the battle of the sexes as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Highway realizes that his hyper-masculinity (and Eastwood’s persona) has left him in a self-imposed jail cell. Few films have presented testosterone with such joyful excess—even as Eastwood critiques our warrior culture, he also basks in Highway’s braggadocio and penchant for vulgar insults. An unapologetic “guy’s flick” that encourages men to laugh at our foibles and acknowledge the reality of our inner feminine mystique.

'WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART'

White Hunter, Black Heart: Prior to this film, Eastwood relied on paperback bestsellers for his screenplays. White Hunter, Black Heart is his first literary project, a canny adaptation of Peter Viertel’s novel of the same name. Eastwood plays egocentric film director John Wilson (a thinly veiled John Huston), who agrees to shoot The African Queen so he play Hemingway, impersonate a Great White Hunter, and hunt an elephant. Critics did not appreciate Eastwood’s ruse—his Wilson is a series of poses, a reckless artist who refuses to take responsibility for his actions until tragedy occurs. Eastwood does not resume his customary acting style until the end of the film, when Wilson is dumbfounded by his post-colonial hubris.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: John Cusak learns what it means to be a Southerner: Don’t believe anything you see or hear, even as you have a damn good time watching the shenanigans. Eastwood’s use of the real-life Lady Chablis approaches the sublime.

Gran Torino: No film star has ever staged such a poignant swan song, not even Charlie Chaplin in Limelight. Ave Maria indeed.

18 Responses Clint Eastwood: Not an Auteur, but a Starteur
Posted By David Ehrenstein : May 31, 2010 3:32 pm

A very good run-down. To me Eastwood has gradually eased his way through his persona (“Unforgiven” being its high water mark) pretty much discarding it with “Gran Torino.” He began his directing career as genre filmmkaer, taking his cues from his masters Siegel and Leone. But his interests began to expand into unchartered territory with “Brid” (very personal to him because of his ove of jazz) and continued with “Midnight in the Garden of Good and EviL” and the marvelous Iwo Jima diptych.

He’s hired Dustin Lance Black to script the “Hoover” project. That should be REALLY interesting.

Posted By David Ehrenstein : May 31, 2010 3:32 pm

A very good run-down. To me Eastwood has gradually eased his way through his persona (“Unforgiven” being its high water mark) pretty much discarding it with “Gran Torino.” He began his directing career as genre filmmkaer, taking his cues from his masters Siegel and Leone. But his interests began to expand into unchartered territory with “Brid” (very personal to him because of his ove of jazz) and continued with “Midnight in the Garden of Good and EviL” and the marvelous Iwo Jima diptych.

He’s hired Dustin Lance Black to script the “Hoover” project. That should be REALLY interesting.

Posted By debbe : May 31, 2010 4:06 pm

excellent. i recently saw invictus and loved it. And i loved changeling.. i think you are absolutely right to spotlight clint eastwood suzidoll.. i have seen almost all of his movies and this is a wonderful blog to contemplate the variety and depth of his work. i loved midnight in the garden of good and evil as well..

Posted By debbe : May 31, 2010 4:06 pm

excellent. i recently saw invictus and loved it. And i loved changeling.. i think you are absolutely right to spotlight clint eastwood suzidoll.. i have seen almost all of his movies and this is a wonderful blog to contemplate the variety and depth of his work. i loved midnight in the garden of good and evil as well..

Posted By Joel Burman : May 31, 2010 5:47 pm

Great article! Happy Birthday Clint!

Posted By Joel Burman : May 31, 2010 5:47 pm

Great article! Happy Birthday Clint!

Posted By michaelgsmith : May 31, 2010 7:45 pm

As a lifelong Eastwoodian, this was a treat to read on the man’s 80th birthday. Cheers to you and Dr. Knapp.

Posted By michaelgsmith : May 31, 2010 7:45 pm

As a lifelong Eastwoodian, this was a treat to read on the man’s 80th birthday. Cheers to you and Dr. Knapp.

Posted By David Ehrenstein : May 31, 2010 10:29 pm

Being a journalist I’ve had the opportunity to actually meet Clint in person. He’s utterly delightful. Charming and very low-key casual.

Posted By David Ehrenstein : May 31, 2010 10:29 pm

Being a journalist I’ve had the opportunity to actually meet Clint in person. He’s utterly delightful. Charming and very low-key casual.

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 10:41 am

(*-always denotes *OSCAR winner) To Suzie, glad your back!!! & to David, cool to see you on this one as well. (NOTE: just curios, what field of journalism are you in by the way? & again, you seem to have lots of cinematic info, so as I wrote on the previous NATALIE-BURR topic, would love to hear from you too off of these superb forums & all! Hope she won’t mind & if so (SUZIE always tell me up front) She’s yet another I’m glad to always correspond with on & off of here. (NEAT GAL)
Not much more to add on *Cint-(check out forums, I started a thread-(hate these comp. terms & prefer topic)
“on his 80th birthday”

2 BIG QUESTIONS THOUGH & again to David, I’d love to know more about meeting *Clint, please??? SO PLEESE CONTACT ME PAL

I’ve been out to whats left of an empire called HOLLYWOODLAND 3 times to date & ironically didn’t get to meet any celbs GO-FIGURE. Though I must admit I mostly visited legendary places where the heavyweights picked as final resting place-
(“Hollywood forever, cem” 62 acres & only is blocks from the motel-(on Vine) I always stayed on on all 3 times too.
It borders Paramount & ol’ RKO)-(NOTE: TCM did a segment on it with B. Mankiewiz, plus it was the focus of a documentary movie “Too Young to Die”)-(P.S. Most people find it mordid in visiting some of these historic pkaces, my reaction is, these stars’ arguably spent more time selection they’re final resting place then at many other locales, example is Columbia ‘Mogul” *Harry Cohn-(l884-l959) Or to quote many, including the legendary Hollywood columnist: James Bacon-(l9l4-)-(of whom should be the topic of another TCM docu. & to date still-alive & kicking!)
*Mr. Cohn really spent time choosing his & even chose it stating “Great, from here” I can still my studio” unquote

(“F. Lawn,cem” in Glendale & not to be confused with the other in the H. Hills) 320 massive acres & up huge hills. & (for any fellow fans, just watch out for the coyotes at dusk!!!)
Which is a legend in itself-(mainly got it’s rep with Harlow’s l937 funeral. 1000′s were packed outside it’s now legendary gates & approx 80% of our fav. TCM stars chose as final resting place-(*”The King: Gable” *”The Great: Tracy” *Bogie-(blocked off section), Harlow, Lombard, Chaney, Sr., W.C. Fields, *Selznick, *Thalberg, *Norma Shearer, *Marie Dressler, Harold Llyod Plus, they say>Michael Jackson. *James Stewart-(whom easily coulda’ chose “Arlingon, cem”), *Samuel Goldwyn, *Wyler, *Curtiz, *Cukor, *Minnelli, Samnmy Davis, Jr., Robert Taylor, Tom Mix, *Pickford, *Wallace Beery-(also known as the biggest sob in town) (*ACADEMY AWARD CHAMP: *Walt Disney-(NOTE: I’ve known the family of A #1 Idol: *Spence almost a decade now & they thought for yrs. *”Uncle Walt” was technically laid to rest near *Tracy. Unfortunately not entirely true though, his ashes are located on other side of “Freedoman maus.”-(located at very top)
Although Errol Flynn-(TRIVIA: He was so $broke$ upon early demise at only 50 in ’59, is only approx 35ft. from his large garden grave, as is Ida Lupino. Flynn couldn’t even afford a headstone, so his fan-club yr later had one installed) Others interred at Gelandale’s “F. Lawn” Alan “Shane” Ladd, *Burns & Allen, Nat “King” Cole, D. Dabdrige-(orig. owner did not want blacks mixed in, so the 1/2 he size & at veeeery top “FM” was where they were once only permitteted) Harpo & Chico Marx, Clara Bow, Larry Fine & many, many, others)
Thing is, for us “Golden Age Fans’ this is literally a trip trhoughout HOLLYWOOD history.-(though unlike the forementioned “Hollywood forever” & above all tiny 3 & 1/2 acre “Westwood, cem” Which welcome people, it’s well-documented for it’s somewhat rudeness to visitors)

& though there are many,the tiny “Westwood, park”-(a term I prefer) is literally “Thee lace most now seem to select”
Most notably is whats said to be the #2nd most visited on this planet, only after Elvis’ in Memphis. That of Marilyn Monroe.-(EXAMPLE: Someone just pd $4.6 million for the niche above her!)
& also that of TCM’s “STOTM’>(NATALIE)-(it really, really, made this guy feel tremendous on this day because she actually had a lot more flowers than MM) plus, of course her “pennies” & an example of some others that musta’ given thought & also chose tiny>”Westwood” *George C., Dino, *Lemmon, *Matthau & *Wilder, *Donna Reed, R. Stack, *Coburn & tragicly Farrah & many others)

I didn’t visit oters one’s though & did get around of course to seeing lots of other jazz-(WB’s VIP Tour is an absolute must, Paramount tour-(which they deliberately neglect to tell most was sheared with RKO Radio. Though s. stages teel the truth, that of “Kane” & “Kong”-(actually only 3ft tall)) Fred & *Ginger & many others., Mulholland, dr.,-(5 & 1/2 acres “FOLKS” & for “STOTM” Natalie, I saw her Canon Dr. humble home though the damn driver wasn’t gonna’even go up her street, I had to nag him. he said no others celebs resided there???)

So when it came to meeting current celbs-(“O. Farmer’s Market” & sev. of “The Coffeee Bean Places” are said to be good for that, though I as at the former) Plus, hung out-(though it’s extremely $expensive$ at the also legendary “Musso & Franks”-(another 1 B. Mankiewicz showcased) did see>A. Bening-(seemingly the woman that finally calmed down *W. Beatty), *C.Theron, J. Depp, Tim Burton & a couple others, though from a lil’ distance.
“Grauman’S” “Roosevelt Hotel”-(spent buckoo time there all 3 times) Virtually all the “Museum’s’ & could write a book of the “Walk of-Fame”-(Suzie, know I digressed, but others & you may like some of these cinefancts. Again our “STOTM” was finally given her own “Star” posthumously in l987 & where she always wanted it, in frt of “The Roosevelt Hotel”)

& yet, during the filming of “Cocoon” in l984-(down here), met most of it’s cast>literalkly spent the day watching: *Ron Howard film exteriors. & then walked with him awhile & to his limo. he likes to toss a nurf football around by the way. *Maureen Stapleton-(GRAND GAL!), Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Gwen Verdon, *Jessca Tandy-(was just 19 then & learning moves, so didn’t know her history, or verdon’s) & though she never hit the high note like her mamma, spent the 8hrs with & around>Tahnee Welch. Unfortunately, Brimley, Cronyn & eventual OSCR victor: Ameche were not present on this day. Though *Ameche’s chir was?)

(P.S. For those more interested in *Eastwood’s latest, go to (www.goldderby.com; imdb.com & a couple others)

& as I was telling Suzie, both *Clint & B. Reynolds were once sacked from Universal in the l950′s.
This then boss’ reason was *Clint’s, his addams apple was too large & I forget his rational for firing Burt’s?
Burt always teels the story of both & the somewhat vegeance they got in the ’70′s

Suzie, Mr. Eherstein & others, check out forementioned forums post, please

& I THANK YOU

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 10:41 am

(*-always denotes *OSCAR winner) To Suzie, glad your back!!! & to David, cool to see you on this one as well. (NOTE: just curios, what field of journalism are you in by the way? & again, you seem to have lots of cinematic info, so as I wrote on the previous NATALIE-BURR topic, would love to hear from you too off of these superb forums & all! Hope she won’t mind & if so (SUZIE always tell me up front) She’s yet another I’m glad to always correspond with on & off of here. (NEAT GAL)
Not much more to add on *Cint-(check out forums, I started a thread-(hate these comp. terms & prefer topic)
“on his 80th birthday”

2 BIG QUESTIONS THOUGH & again to David, I’d love to know more about meeting *Clint, please??? SO PLEESE CONTACT ME PAL

I’ve been out to whats left of an empire called HOLLYWOODLAND 3 times to date & ironically didn’t get to meet any celbs GO-FIGURE. Though I must admit I mostly visited legendary places where the heavyweights picked as final resting place-
(“Hollywood forever, cem” 62 acres & only is blocks from the motel-(on Vine) I always stayed on on all 3 times too.
It borders Paramount & ol’ RKO)-(NOTE: TCM did a segment on it with B. Mankiewiz, plus it was the focus of a documentary movie “Too Young to Die”)-(P.S. Most people find it mordid in visiting some of these historic pkaces, my reaction is, these stars’ arguably spent more time selection they’re final resting place then at many other locales, example is Columbia ‘Mogul” *Harry Cohn-(l884-l959) Or to quote many, including the legendary Hollywood columnist: James Bacon-(l9l4-)-(of whom should be the topic of another TCM docu. & to date still-alive & kicking!)
*Mr. Cohn really spent time choosing his & even chose it stating “Great, from here” I can still my studio” unquote

(“F. Lawn,cem” in Glendale & not to be confused with the other in the H. Hills) 320 massive acres & up huge hills. & (for any fellow fans, just watch out for the coyotes at dusk!!!)
Which is a legend in itself-(mainly got it’s rep with Harlow’s l937 funeral. 1000′s were packed outside it’s now legendary gates & approx 80% of our fav. TCM stars chose as final resting place-(*”The King: Gable” *”The Great: Tracy” *Bogie-(blocked off section), Harlow, Lombard, Chaney, Sr., W.C. Fields, *Selznick, *Thalberg, *Norma Shearer, *Marie Dressler, Harold Llyod Plus, they say>Michael Jackson. *James Stewart-(whom easily coulda’ chose “Arlingon, cem”), *Samuel Goldwyn, *Wyler, *Curtiz, *Cukor, *Minnelli, Samnmy Davis, Jr., Robert Taylor, Tom Mix, *Pickford, *Wallace Beery-(also known as the biggest sob in town) (*ACADEMY AWARD CHAMP: *Walt Disney-(NOTE: I’ve known the family of A #1 Idol: *Spence almost a decade now & they thought for yrs. *”Uncle Walt” was technically laid to rest near *Tracy. Unfortunately not entirely true though, his ashes are located on other side of “Freedoman maus.”-(located at very top)
Although Errol Flynn-(TRIVIA: He was so $broke$ upon early demise at only 50 in ’59, is only approx 35ft. from his large garden grave, as is Ida Lupino. Flynn couldn’t even afford a headstone, so his fan-club yr later had one installed) Others interred at Gelandale’s “F. Lawn” Alan “Shane” Ladd, *Burns & Allen, Nat “King” Cole, D. Dabdrige-(orig. owner did not want blacks mixed in, so the 1/2 he size & at veeeery top “FM” was where they were once only permitteted) Harpo & Chico Marx, Clara Bow, Larry Fine & many, many, others)
Thing is, for us “Golden Age Fans’ this is literally a trip trhoughout HOLLYWOOD history.-(though unlike the forementioned “Hollywood forever” & above all tiny 3 & 1/2 acre “Westwood, cem” Which welcome people, it’s well-documented for it’s somewhat rudeness to visitors)

& though there are many,the tiny “Westwood, park”-(a term I prefer) is literally “Thee lace most now seem to select”
Most notably is whats said to be the #2nd most visited on this planet, only after Elvis’ in Memphis. That of Marilyn Monroe.-(EXAMPLE: Someone just pd $4.6 million for the niche above her!)
& also that of TCM’s “STOTM’>(NATALIE)-(it really, really, made this guy feel tremendous on this day because she actually had a lot more flowers than MM) plus, of course her “pennies” & an example of some others that musta’ given thought & also chose tiny>”Westwood” *George C., Dino, *Lemmon, *Matthau & *Wilder, *Donna Reed, R. Stack, *Coburn & tragicly Farrah & many others)

I didn’t visit oters one’s though & did get around of course to seeing lots of other jazz-(WB’s VIP Tour is an absolute must, Paramount tour-(which they deliberately neglect to tell most was sheared with RKO Radio. Though s. stages teel the truth, that of “Kane” & “Kong”-(actually only 3ft tall)) Fred & *Ginger & many others., Mulholland, dr.,-(5 & 1/2 acres “FOLKS” & for “STOTM” Natalie, I saw her Canon Dr. humble home though the damn driver wasn’t gonna’even go up her street, I had to nag him. he said no others celebs resided there???)

So when it came to meeting current celbs-(“O. Farmer’s Market” & sev. of “The Coffeee Bean Places” are said to be good for that, though I as at the former) Plus, hung out-(though it’s extremely $expensive$ at the also legendary “Musso & Franks”-(another 1 B. Mankiewicz showcased) did see>A. Bening-(seemingly the woman that finally calmed down *W. Beatty), *C.Theron, J. Depp, Tim Burton & a couple others, though from a lil’ distance.
“Grauman’S” “Roosevelt Hotel”-(spent buckoo time there all 3 times) Virtually all the “Museum’s’ & could write a book of the “Walk of-Fame”-(Suzie, know I digressed, but others & you may like some of these cinefancts. Again our “STOTM” was finally given her own “Star” posthumously in l987 & where she always wanted it, in frt of “The Roosevelt Hotel”)

& yet, during the filming of “Cocoon” in l984-(down here), met most of it’s cast>literalkly spent the day watching: *Ron Howard film exteriors. & then walked with him awhile & to his limo. he likes to toss a nurf football around by the way. *Maureen Stapleton-(GRAND GAL!), Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Gwen Verdon, *Jessca Tandy-(was just 19 then & learning moves, so didn’t know her history, or verdon’s) & though she never hit the high note like her mamma, spent the 8hrs with & around>Tahnee Welch. Unfortunately, Brimley, Cronyn & eventual OSCR victor: Ameche were not present on this day. Though *Ameche’s chir was?)

(P.S. For those more interested in *Eastwood’s latest, go to (www.goldderby.com; imdb.com & a couple others)

& as I was telling Suzie, both *Clint & B. Reynolds were once sacked from Universal in the l950′s.
This then boss’ reason was *Clint’s, his addams apple was too large & I forget his rational for firing Burt’s?
Burt always teels the story of both & the somewhat vegeance they got in the ’70′s

Suzie, Mr. Eherstein & others, check out forementioned forums post, please

& I THANK YOU

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 10:49 am

Somemore trivia> Once Burt was finally even up for an *OSCAR 1997′s “Boogie Nights”-(s. acor nom.) his long time pal *Eastwood warned him-(knowing Burt) just keep your mouth shut until actual *ACADEMY AWARDS evening & don’t do much publicity.

Well, Reynolds did it & even said he hated hiswn film, among other negative things, plus signing a 5 picture deal with TNT & it’s tv movies,etc The *APMAS pays apt attention to this kind of things, especially the latter concept.

In meantime was now 4 time contender & yet to walk down the aisle either>*Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting”
So, all know what eventually happened

Winner was: *ROBIN WILLIAMS instead, despite Burt winning almost every post *OSCAR Award.

& the rest is history

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 10:49 am

Somemore trivia> Once Burt was finally even up for an *OSCAR 1997′s “Boogie Nights”-(s. acor nom.) his long time pal *Eastwood warned him-(knowing Burt) just keep your mouth shut until actual *ACADEMY AWARDS evening & don’t do much publicity.

Well, Reynolds did it & even said he hated hiswn film, among other negative things, plus signing a 5 picture deal with TNT & it’s tv movies,etc The *APMAS pays apt attention to this kind of things, especially the latter concept.

In meantime was now 4 time contender & yet to walk down the aisle either>*Robin Williams in “Good Will Hunting”
So, all know what eventually happened

Winner was: *ROBIN WILLIAMS instead, despite Burt winning almost every post *OSCAR Award.

& the rest is history

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 11:29 am

Again good going to Suziedoll!!! Almost nobody even recalls what I rank as *Costner finest hour of acting-(not his best pic.) but his all-around best performance in *ckint 1993 “A Perfect World” (***1/2) & probably due to the fact of *Clint’s powerful-(though Wolfgang Peterson helmed) “In the Line if Fire” which grossed $l02m & *Kevin coming off of his l992 smash hit “The Bodyguard” $l22m-(his last to go over $100m. & a specific role that “King of Movie Cool: Steve McQueen-(l930-l980) had been somewhat interested in as far back as 1972. Hence: *Kevin’s tribute haircut. & as the scripted kick-around Tinsel-Town, *Cher was gonna’ do it with Steve. Obviously never happened though, unfortunately.

Most & or it appears majority of moviegoers expected something different from this vasty underrated ’93 “Crime-Drama & it only sold $31 million in tickets?

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 11:29 am

Again good going to Suziedoll!!! Almost nobody even recalls what I rank as *Costner finest hour of acting-(not his best pic.) but his all-around best performance in *ckint 1993 “A Perfect World” (***1/2) & probably due to the fact of *Clint’s powerful-(though Wolfgang Peterson helmed) “In the Line if Fire” which grossed $l02m & *Kevin coming off of his l992 smash hit “The Bodyguard” $l22m-(his last to go over $100m. & a specific role that “King of Movie Cool: Steve McQueen-(l930-l980) had been somewhat interested in as far back as 1972. Hence: *Kevin’s tribute haircut. & as the scripted kick-around Tinsel-Town, *Cher was gonna’ do it with Steve. Obviously never happened though, unfortunately.

Most & or it appears majority of moviegoers expected something different from this vasty underrated ’93 “Crime-Drama & it only sold $31 million in tickets?

Posted By TCM's Classic Movie Blog : July 6, 2010 2:01 pm

[...] (it’s a superb program regardless). It’s in honor of his 80th birthday, which our own Susan Doll celebrated a few months back. With Clint well represented on home video, it’s easy for anyone outside NYC to curate their [...]

Posted By TCM's Classic Movie Blog : July 6, 2010 2:01 pm

[...] (it’s a superb program regardless). It’s in honor of his 80th birthday, which our own Susan Doll celebrated a few months back. With Clint well represented on home video, it’s easy for anyone outside NYC to curate their [...]

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