Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, And The Great Anti-Hero

I'm a huge fan of Don Siegel's crime films with actor Clint Eastwood, such as Dirty Harry and Coogan's Bluff.

So I was interested in reading Aliya Whitely's piece at the web site denofgeek.com on the films of Clint Eastwood and Don Siegel.

Between them, director Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood created some classic movie anti-heroes, including one Dirty Harry...

Let’s start at the end of this story.

Unforgiven (1992) is a film that builds on the groundwork of others, and takes the ideas of the past to a new level. In it, Clint Eastwood plays a once-vicious killer, William Munny, who chooses to return to the role of bounty-hunter in his old age.

It's no wonder that the film is dedicated to the two directors who shaped the public image of Eastwood to such an extent that we can view Unforgiven as an extension of the mythology of his classic role- the anti-hero. One is Sergio Leone, who turned Eastwood into the Man With No Name. The other director is Don Siegel.

Siegel directed five films that starred Eastwood and was a great influence on him when he started to direct his own films, even playing a small part in Eastwood's directorial debut, Play Misty For Me (1971). The movies they made together relied heavily on Eastwood's silent sneer (Leone said of Eastwood – “As an actor, he has two expressions: with, and without the hat”) but also began to stretch him as an actor in interesting directions.

These films shaped the crime movies and the Westerns that followed, and are still incredibly entertaining and iconic today.

You can read the rest of the piece and watch video clips via the below link:


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