Clint Eastwood

Posted Saturday, May 15, 2010, at 9:59 AM
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  • I met Clint Eastwood in Miami in 1969. I was installing a telephone for Jose Ferrer (The Caine Mutiny), when he walked in and asked if Jose was at home. He had stepped out for a while I told him. Then he asked what I was up to. I told him what I was doing. He asked if he could help out. I said sure, I needed a little help running wire under the house. He held the box of wire while I crawled on my belly under the house to run the wire under the floor. I thanked him as he left & said for me tell Jose he'd come back later. It may seem like a chance meeting, but one I'll never forget.

    -- Posted by marcus elvis erogenous on Sat, May 15, 2010, at 10:39 PM
  • El Senior,

    Clint started his career as a jazz pianist, working wherever people would let him in high school.

    Even today, the dining room at his Mission Ranch behind Carmel Mission features a grand piano,with steady gigs for pianists every night.

    What many guests don't realize is that quite often the boss has slipped in at the keyboard and is allowing the help a dinner break.

    Clint has produced many movies under various company names, where his fans and the general movie-going public aren't aware of his connection.

    William Holden and Kay Lenz starred in "Breezy,"; Forrest Whittaker played Jazz great Charley Parker

    in "BIRD" -- which remains a cult classic in Europe and died at the U.S. box office.

    Clint financed and produced the movie simply because he became a dedicated fan of Parker's music in his teens.

    Aside from scoring "Mystic River," he has composed the themes for many of his movies, virtually everything since "Bridges of Madison County."

    He is so thoroughly recognized and known for his violence-filled action acting roles, many fail to realize it is ACTING.

    Clint is nothing like Sergio Leone's dynamite hurling "Man With No Name," or Harry Callahan, or Joe Kidd, Josey Wales, or "Unforgiven's" ruthless killer.

    As a producer/director, he has earned total respect industry wide for how quietly his sets operate and how efficient the schedules are.

    He will ask his actors to give a scene a complete run through, quietly signaling the cameras to begin shooting.

    After what some of the actors think is a dress rehearsal, he'll tell them "That's good, let's do the next scene."

    The folks at Ketchum, Idaho (Sun Valley) were expecting a full summer of income from the "Pale Rider" production.

    Clint rented one motel and a warehouse for two weeks. The cast and crew had two days at the end to go fishing. All the outdoor production was finished after 12 days.

    When he directed "Misty" at Warner Brothers for FREE to get his first directorial shot, Clint hand-picked his crew. Many are still with him -- at least those still working or alive. Those who have retired, became wealthy working with him.

    His "Honky Tonk Man" could have delivered his first acting Oscar, except he was trying to showcase his son, Kyle.

    Without that decision, he could easily have won the Oscar as the tubercular Dust Bowl country singer. (He had a scene at the piano with a Beale Street Black Blues/Jazz band in that one, and many scenes picking and singing under the big hat.)

    Donald Sutherland says Clint sent him the script for"Kelly's Heroes" with the "Odd Ball" role highlighted.

    Sutherland claims Clint called to advise, "Don, I have you penciled in for the 'Odd Ball' role at $100,000, what do you think?"

    Sutherland claims, he answered "It'll take me a few days to raise that much, but I want the part, so I can have the money for you next week."

    Both Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman are among a group of actors with a "Permanent YES" on file for anything Clint wants them to do.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Sat, May 15, 2010, at 10:46 PM
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    Of course don't forget the latest and one of the greatest in Clint's career..."Gran Torino".

    -- Posted by Mickel on Sun, May 16, 2010, at 10:03 AM
  • Mickel,

    On your say-so, I just recorded it last night and will watch it.

    Of course, in between the 35 hours of MODERN MARVELS already on the DVR.

    ICE ROAD TRUCKERS is getting repetitive, but MODERN MARVELS always has something new and intriguing.


    By the way, the background of how Clint got to be a famous politician.

    Trying to build his new office building adjacent to the HOG'S BREATH INN, with room to move the INN's kitchen into the basement of the new building -- he encountered "Queen Charlotte Townsend and Her Court" -- Mayor and Council for Carmel at the time.

    Clint was asking for an 18" extra height variation for a 30" square elevator "bull wheel" structure atop the building. It could not be seen from anywhere in town, so did not in reality detract.

    The Queen and her Court didn't just say no -- They very loudly and insultingly said "Hell No."

    Clint started asking if this was standard for them to be so abrasive to taxpayers and citizens.

    The answer was uniformly -- YES!!

    But that crowd used the full power of the city government so ruthlessly against anyone who they went after -- everyone was afraid to run or campaign against them.

    The only way anyone would run, was if Clint ran for mayor. So he financed the campaigns for a slate and personally walked every street in town, knocked on every door, asking for votes.

    Once elected, he hired a personal assistant to work in City Hall, working at whatever the City Manager needed done and keeping him posted at least twice daily.

    Served two years, chaired every council meeting and any citizen who did not respect him before, became a forever Clint Fanatic.

    Citizens were not shut off from speaking.

    Everyone was heard and respected.

    Carmel progressed ten times as much in Clint's two years as in the previous ten years.

    Heck, you could even buy an ice cream cone on Ocean Avenue.

    Nice side benefit --- suddenly all mayors within Monterey County were being invited to events no mayor had ever come close to. Little farm towns of 2,500 to 5,000 people had their mayors attending international conferences at Pebble Beach and Monterey.

    Clint made a point of showing up for most of these, even if just to walk through and shake hands -- so his fellow mayors would continue receiving invitations.

    As a side-bar, he had some of his staff call on every merchant to advise -- "Clint won't object to any souvenir shirts or hats, or coffee mugs or anything else -- Images of the Dollars's character, Dirty Harry, or whatever -- so long as they are in reasonably good taste.

    "He wants nothing out of it -- Only 50 cents from every item sold goes to the Carmel Boys and Girls Club. Short the kids and he will come after you with every lawyer he can hire."

    The man is a class act....only it ain't no act.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 1:06 PM
  • *

    Hank - what I liked about Gran Torino was the way that Eastwood's character could stay true to his core principles while ebracing those who had stark differences in culture, norms and mores, yet who also shared similar core principles.

    I believe that the ability to do just that is what is glaringly missing in the world today. In the instance of this film, Eastwood longed for commaraderie and ultimately accepted his neighbors as his 'family'. At the same time he rejected the twisted aspects of the unprincipled or the 'lawless' including the slanted principles he perceived in his own sons and their families.

    There are definitely some similarities in the underlying theme of this film and "The Outlaw Josey Wales" etc.

    -- Posted by Mickel on Wed, May 19, 2010, at 2:25 PM
  • *

    Hank - the Carmel story is a good one. I spent some time in that area and can honestly say that it is on my list of potential retirement settlements. The former city council reminds me of some of the little towns around McCook that get a little heavy handed in their "good old boy" network. McCook not excluded of course.

    I think many small towns go through those type of phases. Perhaps it helps residents by persuading them to not let it happen again?

    -- Posted by Mickel on Wed, May 19, 2010, at 2:31 PM
  • Mickel,

    Principally based out of Monterey County for more than 35 years and could have "retired" there as economically as anyone.

    But, not in Carmel, the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel Valley or anywhere along the coast from Tijuana to Coos Bay/Bend, Oregon.

    California has daunting water shortages and until Prop. 13 is repealed, there will be no solving their government funding disaster.

    The Monterey Peninsula will be running Salinas Valley Sewage water through their new hyper-expensive desalinization plant very soon.

    Wow, what a thrill. I can just see the stickers on public toilets in those farming communities -- "Flush Often, Pebble Beach Needs Water."

    Southern California has grown to require far more water than is available. The courts have severely limited how much water L.A. can take out of the Owens Valley and Northern California.

    SoCal's share of the Colorado River has been slashed.

    Highways are falling apart. The multi-billion-dollar Bay Bridge replacement is behind schedule and more than double estimates.

    If the certain "Big One" hits along the Hayward Fault, it could be years before the Bay Area is intact again.

    A half million fertile acres are idle in the Central Valley because of water.

    Thank you, I'll stick in North Carolina., maybe invest in a few other locations, but stick in the TarHeel state -- besides they play awesome basketball and drive the Hell out of the NasCar tracks back here.

    Gassed up real early one morning outside Statesville on I-40 -- got invited to breakfast over at Junior Johnson's garage. Had forgotten how much food hard working men put away at breakfast, Junior usually helps cook and everyone gets invited.

    We sat and swapped lies about shinin' and real sippin' whiskey.

    Learned congressman Heath Shuler often stops by for breakfast enroute to the Greensboro Airport returning to D.C.

    Political comment -- "Heath is a good ol' boy, but he shore has a lot to learn. That steel rod up his butt thinkin', don't get the job done."

    By the way, I discovered the former president from Texas ain't that popular in NasCar country.

    Every racing garage has cut its crew and operation by about 50% to balance budgets from the reduction in sponsorships and race purses, after the financial meltdown and loss of all the Detroit racing budgets.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Wed, May 19, 2010, at 10:38 PM
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    Water shortage...hmm...oh well; there's always Costa Rica! No water shortage, and a veritable delve of old mafia types. They may not have a glamorous vocabulary, but they at least have manners.

    Get a chance to see Gran Torino yet?

    I loved the film High Plains Drifter. One of the funniest lines: "Isn't rape in broad daylight still a misdemeanor in this town?" Funny not at the expense of the female in questions plight; but funny as in she had to bring the question up to try to prompt action from the room full of metrosexuals.

    Actually, there are a lot of quirky little stabs at sterotypes in that film. Definitely in the top five.

    -- Posted by Mickel on Thu, May 20, 2010, at 1:55 PM
  • Dear Mr. McCook: I am contacting you because of your admiration for CLINT EASTWOOD -- an actor and film-maker admired by millions, who has passed into his twilight years making one successful movie after the other. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Clint five times during my career as an entertainment writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, and I have now chronicled those unique adventures in THE GANG THAT SHOT UP HOLLYWOOD, a book that is just coming into play in the bookstore trade. I first met Clint on the set of RAWHIDE, was present the day he "shot and killed" the Scorpio Killer in DIRTY HARRY, met "Harry Callahan" again during the making of MAGNUM FORCE, and had the pleasure of dining with Clint just before the release of UNFORGIVEN at his Mission Ranch in Carmel. Our final conforntation came with the release of FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS / SANDS OF IWO JIMA. All these are part of GANG. Although I'm in some bookstores, I am struggling to get the book recognized, and hence am turning to you for help, or "social networking" as it's called. I would like to send you a copy. If you enjoy the book, perhaps we could get better acquainted for an interview. I met and wrote about an estimated 800 TV and movie celebrities during my career, and there's plenty to talk about.

    But the book also has my exclusive interviews with ROBERT MITCHUM, JAMES STEWART, KARL MALDEN, JANE RUSSELL, LAUREN BACALL and many many others. You'll find more material on my website, Did I mention GANG has 750 photographs and 18 original caricatures?

    Simply send me your mailing address and a book will be coming your way. You are under no obligation after that.

    But if you do like it, if you are like me and amazed at how Clint has survived as long as he has, and the philosophy that has enabled him to pull it off, I think we could have a great talk . . . the book is also available as an e-book download on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And it was reviewed by Amazon's third highest-ranking book reviewer, Grady Harp. And it was a good write-up.

    Almost forgot to tell you -- GANG also has a page devoted to "The Lost Eastwood Classic." You gotta see this to believe it. Thanks for your time, JOHN STANLEY

    -- Posted by creaturehost on Sat, Nov 26, 2011, at 8:03 PM
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