The iconic ‘man with no name’, Clint Eastwood was the actor behind the mystic western hero, an actor widely considered to be one of the biggest stars of 20th-century filmmaking. A hugely influential actor known for Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western trilogy, including the A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Eastman has since also enjoyed considerable success behind the camera with films such as his Oscar-winning western Unforgiven.
Cry Macho is the latest film for Clint Eastwood to direct and star, with Eastwood returning to the genre that helped to define him, telling the story of a rodeo star turned horse breeder who’s tasked with retrieving a man’s son from across the country. In an interview, Eastwood once said: “For me, because I’ve directed myself so often, I go back and forth. I always carry a certain amount of it, but I can live and think about other things. The character is sort of seated in your mind before you do the picture. It’s like doing a play”.
One of director Quentin Tarantino’s most treasured film stars, the filmmaker behind Reservoir Dogs and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood… often notes The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as one of his all-time most favourites. Speaking about the film in 2019, Quentin Tarantino reported to The Spectator, “There is realism in his presentation of the Civil War in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly that was missing from all the Civil War movies that happened before him,” he said, before adding: “Wild and grandiose as it was, there was never a sentimental streak”.
As one of the most influential films of Quentin Tarantino’s life, it no doubt had a stylistic effect on the director’s second feature film, Pulp Fiction starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and Harvey Keitel. Showered in silverware, Pulp Fiction was nominated for several Academy Awards and crucially won the Palme d’Or in 1994 for his efforts.
Fatefully the jury president for the Cannes Film Festival in 1994 was none other than Clint Eastwood, the very same icon that Quentin Tarantino was so heavily influenced by. In an interview from the American Film Institute (AFI), Eastwood reveals the first reactions of the film from the jury. “We sat there and watched it and it sort of drew everybody in pretty well…I was amazed, it was the European guys on the jury that really jumped up…a couple of them turned around and said ‘that’s the best picture, ‘that’s the picture of this festival,’” the filmmaker recalled.
Whilst the director of American Sniper and Million Dollar Baby was “amazed” by the film, he also reports that he “didn’t jump, I was still weighing things in my mind”. As Eastwood further recalls, “It’s definitely interesting and it was exciting and it came at a time when we needed a little excitement…when they got into the jury room, everyone was unanimous that that would be the picture”.