Clint Eastwood Returns in ‘Cry Macho,’ Continuing a Legendary Career That Began With a Film That Shouldn’t Have Worked at All
A lone wanderer with hard-won fighting skills drifts into a town. There he finds two factions vying for power and devises a way to play one off of the other while keeping his own skin intact through his wits and his otherworldly prowess with weapons, but few words. Lots of stares and squints, more than a few bullets flying, but very few words.
If that simple plot sounds familiar it’s because it powers three titanic tentpoles in pop culture spanning the last 60 years, right up to the present, and launched one of the most iconic careers in film. It first turned up in Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961). Sergio Leone melted it down from Kurosawa and turned the lone samurai into The Man With No Name, who is neither a vintage cowboy nor a classic Western lawman, played by a young TV star named Clint Eastwood.
A Fistful of Dollars (1964) should not have worked, not with that budget (about $200,000), not with a TV actor Hollywood didn’t want (Eastwood), and not by moving the Western epic popularized by the likes of Roy Rogers and John Wayne out of the United States. The film was moved to Italy and Spain for production, where local crews argued over who was paying for what and local actors played townspeople and villains without speaking a word of English. The two actors Ameri
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