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On Seeing and Being Overlooked: Clint Eastwood and the Academy Awards

Twenty-two years after his directorial debut Play Misty for Me (1971), Clint Eastwood was for the first time nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the category Best Director, and for the first time one of his films was nominated for Best Picture. His Western Unforgiven (1992) won both awards, and […]

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Duplicitous Games in Donald Siegel’s The Beguiled

In 1971, three films with Clint Eastwood were released within eight months: the actor’s directorial début Play Misty for Me and two films directed by Don Siegel – The Beguiled and Dirty Harry. The last confirmed Eastwood’s screen persona as the violent loner and law enforcer whereas the two other films challenged it as Siegel’s […]

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The escape motif in Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven

Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992), set in 1881, is a complex film about violence in American history and, by extension, in present-day America. It also presents multifaceted reflections on human nature and the construction of legends. William Munny (Eastwood), a former gunfighter and notorious killer, is now a pig farmer in Kansas. In the opening credits […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Thousand Words: The Dark Side of the All-American Hero (White Hunter, Black Heart)

The heroic (white) male is at the core of Clint Eastwood’s cinematic oeuvre. However, the victory over evil is always overshadowed by the hero’s ambiguity. Harry Callahan’s (Dirty Harry, 1971, Don Siegel) chase of the criminal is an inner journey which results in a confrontation with the cop’s own violent impulsions. The serial killer Scorpio […]