Clint: The Life and Legend

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9780006383543: Clint: The Life and Legend

Now fully updated for 2014, one of the most revealing and hard-hitting biographies of a Hollywood film star; this book discloses the controversial truth about Clint Eastwood and dispels the carefully preserved mysteries of his past.

Fully updated for 2014, this revised paperback edition is the definitive word on the life and career (warts and all) of a Hollywood icon.

For more than 30 years, Clint has topped the box-office again and again. Like so many of the characters he plays, typified perhaps by The Man With No Name, Clint Eastwood is secretive about himself, his past and his private life. Now approaching the end of his glittering career, he has tended to play characters who are cold, hard and morally ambiguous: from Sergio Leone’s ‘spaghetti westerns’ (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) through Hang Em High and Dirty Harry to Pale Rider and Unforgiven.

Alternately enticing and intimidating the press, Clint Eastwood has always been an arch manipulator: of women (he is a notorious philanderer and has at least 7 children out of wedlock), friends and colleagues, publicity and finance. Yet, in a violent, sometimes bewildering age, perhaps no star is more the hero to his audience: a symbol of simple solutions, law and order, ‘de-fashioned’ values, and no-bullshit rebellion against bureaucracy.

With up-to-the minute chapters on Clint’s later career, Patrick McGilligan’s unsparing, ruthlessly exposing biography is a classic of Hollywood biography.

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Product Description:

One of the most revealing and hard-hitting biographies of a Hollywood film star in recent times, this book discloses the controversial truth about Clint Eastwood and dispels the carefully preserved mysteries of his past.

For nearly 30 years, Clint has topped the box-office again and again. Like so many of the characters he plays, typified perhaps by The Man With No Name, Clint Eastwood is secretive about himself, his past and his private life. Now approaching 70, he has tended to play characters who are cold, hard and morally ambiguous: from Sergio Leone’s ‘spaghetti westerns’ (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) through Hang Em High and Dirty Harry to Pale Rider and Unforgiven.

Alternately stroking and intimidating the press, Clint Eastwood has always been an arch manipulator: of women (he is a notorious philanderer and has at least 7 children out of wedlock), friends and colleagues, publicity and finance. Yet, in a violent, sometimes bewildering age, perhaps no star is more the hero to his audience: a symbol of simple solutions, law and order, ‘de-fashioned’ values, and no-bullshit rebellion against bureaucracy.

Review:

In the opening lines of this authoritative debunking of a Hollywood legend, Patrick McGilligan explains that Clint Eastwood is "not so much secretive, more selective" when it comes to revealing details about his past. During the four years he spent researching and writing Clint, the author discovered that almost every major event in the actor's life had been misrepresented at one time or another. Faced with the results of McGilligan's investigations, the reader can only conclude that "selective" is a rather generous appraisal of Clint's self-mythologising.

The book opens long before the birth of its subject: starting with the earliest Eastwoods to settle in America, McGilligan traces a solidly bourgeois lineage for the star, deflating Clint's oft-repeated claim that he had a tough, working class upbringing. In the ensuing chapters, the author meticulously details Eastwood's career and personal life, delving beneath the public image of the star to reveal an unpleasant man obsessed with amassing power and chasing women.

Whilst this kind of revelatory biography can often leave a bad taste in the mouth, in this case the author is no muck-raking hack, but a well respected film biographer and historian who happened to discover that "I was struck by how many people I encountered who really hated Clint and made no bones about it". The result of McGilligan's combination of scholarship and curiosity is a book which will enthrall and shock Eastwood's fans in equal measure. --John Oates

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