Clint: The Life and Legend

McGilligan, Patrick

Published by St. Martin's Press 2002, c1999, 2002
ISBN 10: 0312290322 / ISBN 13: 9780312290320
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24 cm, 612, illus., notes, references, filmography, index, some wear and soiling to DJ, pencil erasure on front endpaper. Bookseller Inventory # 35751

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Synopsis: Like The Man With No Name, one of his most famous roles, Clint Eastwood has always had an aura of tight-lipped mystery. He has long been an internationally famous star, first of television and then of the movies, and he has more recently joined a select group of Oscar-winning actor-directors, including Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin and Woody Allen.

But the real Clint has always been an enigma-until now. With this gripping and scrupulously researched biography, Patrick McGilligan, one of America's top film writers, has revealed the man behind the indelible image.

Throughout his remarkable near-half century career, Eastwood has tended to play characters who are cold, hard and morally ambiguous-from Sergio Leone's "spaghetti westerns" through Hang Em High and Dirty Harry to In the Line of Fire and Unforgiven. No star is more the hero to his audience: a symbol of simple solutions, law & order, and rebellion against bureaucracy. But offscreen, Clint Eastwood has always been an arch manipulator: of women, friends and colleagues, publicity and finance.

Always even-handed, managing to steer clear of both fawning over and unfair excoriation of its fascinating subject, this biography sheds definitive light on Clint as actor, director and human being.

Review: As celebrity biographer McGilligan tells it in Clint, Eastwood's career is the classic tale of power and fame corrupting: a small-town boy (who actually grew up in San Francisco) comes to L.A. with a wide grin and an easy manner; is remade by agents and directors (Sergio Leone said, that at first, "Eastwood had only two expressions: with or without a hat"); becomes one of the richest stars in Hollywood; and stops smiling--except wolfishly. McGilligan depicts him as a master of betrayal, casually discarded friendships, and alleged extramarital affairs (which seem to shock the author), complete with alleged children out of wedlock.

Readable though kiss-and-tell breathless, McGilligan's book sometimes overlooks Clint's full significance as a crafter of classics. He should remember the sage words of the French critic who observed, "If you love the films, nothing else matters." --Gregory McNamee

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Clint: The Life and Legend
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 2002, c1999
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: very good, good
Edition: First U.S. Edition. First Printing.

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