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Clint: The Life and Legend 1st Edition

30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0312290320
ISBN-10: 0312290322
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Hardcover, August 19, 2002
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Editorial Reviews 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

From Publishers Weekly

Certain stars encourage our appetite for scandal, but Clint Eastwood is an actor people identify with and want to like. This presents an acute problem for those who read McGilligan's carefully researched and well-written but highly unflattering unauthorized portrait of the icon's life. McGilligan vilifies Eastwood as a womanizer with two priorities: "fast cars and easy women." The author takes potshots at Eastwood's lack of education, suggesting he lied about finishing high school, then slanders his patriotism by speculating that he romanced a general's daughter to escape service in Korea. When a girlfriend became pregnant and had an abortion, Eastwood claims it "crushed his heart," provoking McGilligan to question whether he was simply trying to evoke sympathy for himself. The book is entertaining when it describes Eastwood's early period as a contract player, thrown into such potboilers as Ambush at Cimarron Pass. His TV years in Rawhide are comprehensively covered, as is his association with director Sergio Leone in the series of spaghetti westerns that launched him to superstardom. McGilligan's analysis of Eastwood's moviemaking points out that he "rips the masks off women and they are revealed as murderous harpies" in such films as Play Misty for Me and High Plains Drifter. His much publicized relationship with Sondra Locke spotlights a streak of cruelty, along with competitive behavior toward directors because "Clint hated anybody who was weak." McGilligan's tome is worth reading, however, when it delves into Eastwood's contributions as an artist who has produced a body of work that's won two Oscars and an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. Illus. not seen by PW.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 634 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (August 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312290322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312290320
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.7 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Kouns on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's ironic that this biography received such poor ratings when it is the only true Eatwood biography among Eastwood books. The reality is that most people interested in Eastwood don't want to accept or consider that one of their favorite cinimatic personalities might actually be human with human failings. After reading 'Clint' I had a detailed picture of Eastwood the man and his career.

The author goes to painstaking detail to capture Eastwood while painting a fascinating portrait of the Hollywood landscape. For such an encompassing biography 'Clint' is suprisingly well paced. Both times I've read 'Clint' I couldn't put it down. I first read 'Clint' 6 years ago when it came out and recently reread it it was so engrossing and enjoyable.

If you want to keep thinking of Eastwood as a 'good guy' don't buy 'Clint.' If you want a clear picture of the man this is a fantastic read and book. 'Clint' is a must for those willing to look beyong the vail of the Hollywood PR machine.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By CD on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a rabid Clint fan who keeps attacking anyone who has a positive view of this book (though even he admits that he only read a small portion of it) but don't let that stop you. This is an obviously well-researched book that attempts to balance the overly-optimistic Schickel/fan boy view into a story of the real Eastwood. What Eastwood did to former friends like Fritz Manes, Bob Daley and girlfriend Sondra Locke is sickening. The writer balances the negative tone by giving surprisingly good reviews for many of his films and includes quotes from currently employed (for the moment) Malpaso employees.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By EnthusiasticReader on June 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am impressed. Here on the Monterey Peninsula Clint is just one more developer.

This book accurately details the uncomfortable years we endured of Eastwood's early Carmel years when he was trying to influence politics purely to make money and won a single two year term as Mayor.

Benjamin Franklin said "Need wants a few things, Greed wants many things -- but Avarice wants everything."

Even if you like his films, McGilligan uncovered that ugly facet of Eastwood that Clint tries so hard to hide.

Good book. I'm going to give it away as presents.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a warts and all biography that is several notches above the tell all/Kitty Kelley genre. The author has a genuine feel for Eastwood's films and his work as a director. Credit is given where credit is due. But that's not the good stuff. When the author digs into Eastwood's personal life, what emerges is a selfish, shallow man who, worst of all, shows no loyalty whatsoever to his old friends. Eastwood seems to have nailed every waitress, starlet and car hop that crossed his path, but that, tho fun, is no reason to discredit the man. It's when you read how he double crossed old friends, fired them, cut them out of deals, etc, that your stomach really turns. Beneath that sombrero and cigar beats the heart of Sammy Glick! In a way this book is as merciless (and readable) as Mommy Dearest. And Clint comes off just a tad better than hanger-weilding Joan Crawford. He didn't beat his kids, you've got to give him that. But when you read what he did to Sondra Locke, who was suffering from breast cancer at the time, it's almost as bad. Eastwood is probably furious about this book, but it is needed, especially when you consider the white wash that Richard Schickle, little more than a paid flack and lackey, published a few years ago. THIS is the definitive Clint Eastwood book. Read it and weep.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By dave on November 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
john steinbeck said that all good books can be described in one sentence.
following that reasoning, i'd say this: "clint eastwood is not a good person".

according to the 4 year research by the author, eastwood always treated women like garbage, is given to attacks of fury, is an egomaniac, a sloppy director, lazy, holds grudges, is a sadist, is stupid, is a total coward, has no character, is a shmuck... etc.

clint was a sort of a teen idol of mine, i've seen all his films. according to the author, clint's career and myth are a triumph of publicity, of projecting a false image to a worldwide audience.
we all know that people under the spotlight of fame are exposed to false accusations, etc. but even steve mcqueen, with all his faults, had, according to at least 2 biographies, a very human side. according to this book, clint is a block of ice without remission. sometimes, it feels the author is not talking about a human being.

like other reviewers said, the author of the book may have a grudge against clint. but many of the episodes and stories contained in the book are checked and confirmed by 2 or 3 sources, on the record. either this is an extremely violent personal attack or, if it's the truth, well, clint eastwood is a despicable individual.

the author writes well, it's a very readable book. but it's not pleasant to know that dirty harry is, in fact, a "rotten clint".

there are 2 misinformed reviewers here. one says clint sued. but the book doesen't say he beat his ex wife. the book is still in circulation and the judge apparently decided that way. and there is another book by sondra locke which confirms many of the facts presented here. other reviewer says that the author of the book didn't get good reviews.
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