The Philosophy of Clint Eastwood (Philosophy Of Popular Culture)
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Famous for his masculine swagger and gritty roles, American cultural icon Clint Eastwood has virtually defined the archetype of the tough lawman. Beginning with his first on-screen appearance in the television series Rawhide (1959–1965) and solidified by his portrayal of the "Man with No Name" in Sergio Leone's "Dollars" trilogy (1964–1966), he rocketed to stardom and soon became one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood. The Philosophy of Clint Eastwood examines the philosophy and psychology behind this versatile and controversial figure, exploring his roles as actor, musician, and director.
Led by editors Richard T. McClelland and Brian B. Clayton, the contributors to this timely volume discuss a variety of topics. They explore Eastwood's arresting critique and revision of the traditional western in films such as Unforgiven (1992), as well as his attitudes toward violence and the associated concept of masculinity from the Dirty Harry movies (starting in 1971) to Gran Torino (2008). The essays also chart a shift in Eastwood's thinking about the value of so-called rugged individualism, an element of many of his early films, already questioned in Play Misty for Me (1971) and decisively rejected in Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Clint Eastwood has proven to be a dynamic actor, a perceptive and daring director, as well as an intriguing public figure. Examining subjects such as the role of civil morality and community in his work, his use of themes of self-reliance and religious awareness, and his cinematic sensibility, The Philosophy of Clint Eastwood will provide readers with a deeper sense of Eastwood as an artist and illuminate the philosophical conflicts and resolutions that drive his films.
“We’ve gotta clean up this country.”4 All those failing to be loyal to the Union, like Wales, should be hounded to Hell. The attempt by Wales to escape by going south is slowed by not only opportunistic bushwhackers, bounty hunters, and the Union forces now commanded to hunt him down, but by a gradual collection of followers who find companionship, security, or both in accompanying him on his journey “down Mexico way.” The story ends with the question of whether Wales, having gained a new family
desert, Tuco and his captive stumble across a Confederate coach carrying the dying Carson. Carson whispers the location of the gold to Eastwood’s character, forcing Tuco to nurse Blondie back to life for a share of the gold. The story ends after the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly have all three made their way to the cemetery at Sad Hill. Angel Eyes is killed by a deceptive Blondie, who had unloaded Tuco’s gun before the three-way showdown. With the death of Angel Eyes, Tuco again learns that there
authority, for such a depiction expresses the sort of claim this law has on us, a claim not subordinate to our individual preferences or inclinations. It indicates that the law has a necessity and authority that outstrips our private pursuits, including the vain and selfish ends to which political association and positive law can be put. This is perhaps part of what Marshal Kane finds impossible to explain. When we fail to stand and oppose serious wrongs done to ourselves and others, the kinds of
Tania Modleski, “Clint Eastwood and Male Weepies,” American Literary History 22 (2009): 136–158. The editors of this volume do not find her interpretations of Eastwood’s films very convincing. 4. For a similar view of the philosopher as practitioner of a craft, as embedded in the corresponding tradition of his or her craft, and as potential reviser of that tradition, see Alasdair MacIntyre, Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry (Notre Dame, Ind.: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1990), chapter 6. 5.
gruff to tell her what the phrase means. The contrast in relationships is stark when Maggie has an unpleasant encounter with her family. She tells Frankie afterward “I got nobody,” to which Frankie responds, “Well, you’ve got me.” The friendship of Walt and Thao reaches a similar level of respect, admiration, and mutual affection. In order to get him a job in construction, Walt “vouches” for Thao, but also reminds him not to “lie down” in his interview. In other words, Walt has such faith in