Tag Archives: Clint Eastwood

Movie Wisdom – Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez Edition

14 Jan

Last week, my wife and I saw The Mule, the latest movie starring and directed by Clint Eastwood. It kind of plodded along, but we cannot expect too much action from Clint these days. At some point in the movie, I noticed an actor that I recognized. However, I could not figure out why. That is when I went to the trusty Internet Movie Database to do some research.

The actor was Clifton Collins, Jr., and I knew him from Westworld, the HBO series based on the 1970s movie. When I started reading about him, I ran into an interesting fact. Clifton Collins, Jr. is the grandson of Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, the character actor who played in several John Wayne movies. He is great as Carlos in Rio Bravo.

Gonzalez Gonzalez was “discovered” by Groucho Marx on You Bet Your Life. I put quotations around discovered because he had been a performer with his family since childhood.

To honor Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, here is some wisdom that can be found from his movies.

From Rio Bravo

Man gets shot that’s got a gun, there’s room for reasonable doubt. Man gets shot that hasn’t got a gun, what would you call it?

From Hellfighters

There’s no mystery. There just seems to be.

From The Love Bug

Everything explains itself one way or the other.

Money serves to ease the pain.

From The Love God?

When will the government stop interfering with private business?

If you love your country, you’ll publish a filthy magazine.

The public wants sex, sex and more sex!

From Chisum

No matter where people go, sooner or later there’s the law. And sooner or later they find God’s already been there.

From Support Your Local Gunfighter

Everybody winds up dead sooner or later.

A man’s gotta’ be numb on both ends to earn his livin’ sittin’ on a horse.

You can’t gunfight a man sitting on your ass!

There are some things a man just can’t ride around.

We share the same ancestors as far back as Adam and Eve.

A man should spread happiness as he walks through life.

Love don’t work unless both people give.

 

 

 

Movie Wisdom – Sondra Locke Edition

16 Dec

A few days ago, the death of Sondra Locke was reported by sites across the Internet. Each one that I read focused on her relationship with Clint Eastwood. However, she was more than a side note in his career.

Sondra Locke was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee, a town about 60 miles from where I live. From there, she made her way to Nashville and finally to Hollywood, where she was nominated for an Academy Award in her first movie role. That type of beginning is a double-edged sword of great accomplishment and great expectation. However, her career would not be defined by either. It was defined by a relationship with one of the biggest stars in the history of Hollywood.

This post is not an examination of that relationship. It is a tribute to Sondra Locke by studying words of wisdom that can be found in her films.

From The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Well, the country may be free, but the beer ain’t!

Everything’s going much faster now.

Strange how life works itself out.

From The Outlaw Josey Wales

Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’.

Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean.

It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues.

Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

Without a doubt, those are wise words.

From Every Which Way But Loose

You never know what you’re gonna find out.

From Bronco Billy

Every kid in America ought to go to school… at least up to the eighth grade.

You can be anything you want. All you have to do is go out and become it.

Don’t ever tell a lie.

From Any Which Way You Can

A hand out is what you get from the government, a hand up is what you get from a friend.

 

Talking About Acting in a University Cafeteria

15 Mar

Today, I had lunch in our campus cafeteria. The big crowds had yet to arrive, and I saw our Theater Director eating alone. I loaded up with my grilled cheese sandwich and french fries and sat at his table. We have had many conversations through the years, but I had never asked what everyone should ask a Theater Director.

Who, in your opinion, is the greatest actor of all time?

His immediate answer was Laurence Olivier. He also thinks that James Dean was a natural and that Marlon Brando tried too hard. When I asked about current actors, he said that Denzel Washington is at the top of the list along with Meryl Streep. Although, Streep probably gets nominated for awards when she should not because of who she is.

It was an interesting conversation that delved into acting styles, acting teachers and the mistakes that he feels people have made with each. However, it got really interesting when he asked this question.

Have I ever told you about my older brother?

This is the story that followed.

His older brother dropped out of college and went to Hollywood. He was a handsome guy with dark hair, green eyes and a great smile. In short, he fit the mold. Like most people, he struggled for work and was constantly being turned down at auditions. However, there was a time when everything clicked.

He auditioned for a new television series and got the call. He had a role in the show.

Unfortunately, he received another call from a friend with news that he did not want to hear. His name had come up, and he was going to receive his draft letter. The friend said that there was no way to stop it. If he wanted to get out of being drafted, then he had to immediately sign up for the National Guard. That meant giving up the role in the new television series.

The decision was made. He turned down the role and went into training with the National Guard. The producers of the show replaced him with a slightly older actor who was beyond draft age.

The television show was Rawhide. The role was Rowdy Yates. The replacement actor was Clint Eastwood.

Our Theater Director’s brother returned home to Nashville, fell in love and got married.

Clint went on to a modicum of fame.

Call Me the Over Analyzer

6 Mar

My wife just read my last post, and she was not happy with it. She says that I ruin sappy movies by over analyzing them. She is probably right. I tend to over analyze movies.caution

Jeremiah Johnson is one of my favorite Westerns, and I critique it because it is not a true portrayal of  mountain man life. They never show him doing his job, which should be trapping beaver for a fur trading company. That is what I loved about The Revenant. It actually showed the bloody and grueling work of mountain men. Of course, they also filmed a movie in the Canadian Rockies even though the actual story took place in the Dakotas. Those are two places that do not look the same.

There is a long list of movies that I have over analyzed, but there is one that I could not get my head around. In The Bridges of Madison County, Meryl Streep watched her husband and kids leave town to show a cow at the state fair. Then, Clint Eastwood shows up and sweeps her off of her feet. Most people walked out of the movie thinking about this love that could never be fulfilled. I left the movie thinking about her poor husband showing the cow at the state fair. He would never know that his wife was screwing around while audiences cried over her heartbreak.

Anyway, I guess I am bad about over analyzing movies. I look for the inconsistencies. Heck, I have my classes watch movies based on historic events and make them write papers about how wrong the movies are.

Maybe I am taking this movie thing too far. I expect movies to tell me what really happened, and movies are not going to do that. Many of them are going to be entertaining. Many of them are going to be thought-provoking. A bunch of them are going to suck. I just need to understand that they are rarely going to be realistic.

 

The Third Most Interesting Man in the World

7 Jul

Over the holiday weekend, we did a lot of sitting around. We did other stuff, too. However, lounging was the primary activity. During this time of leisure, I found myself wandering down the Internet rabbit hole to occupy my mind and found an interesting bit of information.

It all started with a Dos Equis commercial that did not include the Most Interesting Man in the World. In fact, it was about the soon-to-be unveiling of the new Most Interesting Man in the World. That is when my mind started wondering. What happened to the old one? Was there a contract dispute? Did he die? Did he stop being interesting?Most Interesting

I did the Google thing and found out that Dos Equis decided that it was time to revamp the advertising campaign. I am not sure that will work, but there are a bunch of highly paid advertising executives who think differently. I also found out something else.

This is another picture of the Most Interesting Man in the World.Tommy

Those of you who watch Westerns may recognize him as Tommy, one of the gang that lynched Clint Eastwood in Hang ‘Em High. Clint did not die, and he spends the rest of the movie chasing down everyone who tried to kill him. This includes Bruce Dern, the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, Ed Begley and Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor who is the Most Interesting Man in the World.

That is not all. I also found out that Jonathan Goldsmith tried to kill John Wayne in The Shootist. As you can see from this clip, that did not go well for him.

What did I learn from my holiday weekend research?

He may be able to speak Russian in French.

He may be able to kill two stones with one bird.

He may have won the lifetime achievement award twice.

However, the Most Interesting Man in the World could not measure up to Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.

If These Movies Are On Television, Then I Will Watch Them

30 Jul

The other day, I wrote a post about the BBC and its list of the 100 best American films, and a commenter said that I should provide my own list of top movies. Unfortunately, I am not a movie critic and cannot delve into the intricacies of acting and directing. I only know what movies I like and do not like.

With that in mind, I decided to take this challenge into a different direction. When I am scrolling through the guide, there are some things that I will automatically click on and watch for a while. This includes a few movies with different levels of quality. If I cannot make a list of the greatest movies of all time, then I can make a list of the 10 movies I will always watch if I see them on the television guide.

They are coming at you in the order that I thought of them.

Manhunter (1986) – This was on last night and led me to write this post. It is the first movie about Hannibal Lecter and is directed by Michael Mann. In other words, it is Silence of the Lambs meets Miami Vice. You may have seen its remake, Red Dragon, but this one is a lot more entertaining.

Flash Gordon (1980) – Let Dino de Laurentiis try to capitalize on the Star Wars phenomenon, and this is what you get. It has some great actors and some not-so-great actors, but they are all having a good time. It would have been awesome to been in the room when Flash attacked Ming’s guards by playing football. On top of that, Ornella Muti is there in all her glory.Ornella

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991) – Two stars of the 1980s, Don Johnson and Mickey Rourke, try to make their transition into the next decade. They ride motorcycles. They go after drug dealers. They act cool. Well, acting might be too strong of a word. I have already written about this one and will move on down the line.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) – When I become king, a new law will make its way across the land. As a testament to its greatness, everyone must watch this movie. Clint Eastwood is awesome, and it is filled with awesome quotes. I should know because I have them all memorized. In the early days of this blog, I wrote an extensive post about this one.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – As with the previous movies, I have already written about this one. Burt Reynolds is at his peak. Jackie Gleason is hilarious. I saw it five times when it was in release and can never watch it too many times. The only problem is that television cleans up the language and, in the process, destroys a lot of the laughs.

El Dorado (1966) – I could have listed a ton of John Wayne movies, but I think I click on this one more than any other. It could be because this one is on regularly. Anyway, it is a script that was filmed several times, but it never gets old. Oh yeah, there is one other thing. As I have written before, it is a poetic movie.

The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) – This is a terrible movie. Klinton Spilsbury never made another movie. Heck, he did not really make this one. James Keach was brought in to dub his lines. However, it has some redeeming qualities. Merle Haggard sings the theme song, and part of it was filmed in Monument Valley.

Logan’s Run (1976) – I am a big fan of dystopian movies, and this is one of my favorites. How can post-apocalyptic life be bad with scantily clad women everywhere? On top of that, a push of a button can make one of the scantily clad women appear instantly in your apartment. The only thing that could go wrong is that Carrousel ride at the age of 30. On second thought, it would probably be better to live with a bunch of cats in a destroyed Washington, D.C.Cats

For Love of the Game (1999) – This is a movie that used to hit me on a deep emotional level. As the years pass, it does not have the same effect. Despite that, it is still a good movie. Kevin Costner has made a bunch of sports movies, but this is my favorite one. It could be because Vin Scully is calling the game.

Legends of the Fall (1994) – This is another movie that reaches me on an emotional level, but it is also interesting in a historical sense. Obviously, it is about a family that goes through years of heartache. However, it is also about rum-running during Prohibition. They talk about the Volstead Act and smuggling alcohol across the Canadian border. I could go deeper into a historical analysis, but I may need that for another post.

Now, let us analyze the list by decade.

1960s – 1

1970s – 3

1980s – 3

1990s – 3

Interestingly, nothing made in the past 16 years has knocked a movie off this list. I wonder what that means.

Then, there is this. Over half of the list was filmed between 1976 and 1986. Those must have been formative movie years for me.

Anyway, those are the movies that I will always watch if I find them on television. What are a few of the movies that would make your list?

The Man Who Shot the Shootist

22 Jan

Earlier, I was flipping through the channels and landed on The Shootist, John Wayne’s last movie. It is not my favorite, but, since it is the Duke’s final film, I have seen it several times. I guess that means I do not have this one memorized like a bunch of the other ones.The Shootist

Despite it not being a favorite, The Shootist has some good parts. James Stewart makes a cameo and having him in a movie is always a good thing. Ron Howard also appears during his transition from Opie Taylor to Richie Cunningham to famous director. Lauren Bacall shows up as Bond, a character named in honor of Ward Bond.

The movie has some good scenes and some good lines, but the ending always gets to me. Perhaps, it is because I know that it is the last time John Wayne appeared on film. The movie is about an era coming to an end and, although they did not realize it, the movie also marks the end of a career.

I have always wonder about the actors who took part in that final shootout. In the years that followed, did they think about that scene? Did they feel honored to be part of it? Did they care?

In short, John Wayne sets up one last gunfight with three people who would like to kill him.

Richard Boone was well-known as Paladin on Have Gun, Will Travel and had been in a bunch of movies, including John Wayne’s Big Jake.

Hugh O’Brian played the title character in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp and had a bit part in In Harm’s Way with John Wayne.

Bill McKinney, a native Tennessean, accomplished something that could be unique. He was killed in the movies by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. The final scene in The Shootist did not work out for him, and, earlier that same year, he played Captain Red Legs Terrill in The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Each one of those actors could challenge John Wayne in a gunfight, but, in true Duke fashion, they could not do him in. Instead, he was shot in the back by the bartender.

That is the whole point of this post. Who was given the role of shooting John Wayne in the back? Who killed John Wayne in his final film? After an extensive search, I discovered that the role went to an uncredited actor named Charles G. Martin.

He had sixteen acting credits, and The Shootist was also his last movie. Unfortunately, more information was hard to come by. I found no pictures and little about his life. He was born in Arlington, Texas in 1912 and passed away in Sarasota, Florida in 1998.

If anyone knows more about Charles G. Martin, then I would be interested to read about it.