Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Clint Eastwood Thought This Western Classic Would Be ‘The Greatest Flop of All Time’

Clint Eastwood Thought This Western Classic Would Be ‘The Greatest Flop of All Time’

Clint Eastwood has been a star of both TV and movies for a long time and has created characters that we all know. You can look at his resume and it’s really something. TV work on Rawhide, movies like the “Spaghetti Westerns” of Sergio Leone, and even Gran Torino. As it turns out, Eastwood made a tweak or two to his Man With No Name character and it worked.

Yet he did have his reservations about the work being done on A Fistful of Dollars. “I’m on a 28-year-old horse and I look like a refugee hermit,” Eastwood said in a 1964 interview, per MeTV. “I settle all arguments with gunfire. I think I do one good deed in the whole picture. When I read the script, I told the director and producers that either this picture is the greatest flop of all time — or else it’s the best Western satire yet. I played it as satire, a little tongue-in-cheek. Apparently, we succeeded in Italy, at least. They’re sharp audiences.”

Clint Eastwood’s ‘Fistful of Dollars’ Was Hit With Audiences

The movie was a hit overseas and played a big role in establishing Eastwood as a top movie talent. There were other movies from Leone that continued to cement Eastwood’s place in film work.

When talking about A Fistful of Dollars specifically, Eastwood said, “It’s so far out that I guess you could call it a James Bond Western. I’m supposed to be the hero, but there’s only a thin line between me and the heavy. In fact, I kill 25 people in the movie and end up burning down the whole town. I’m no Sir Galahad like Shane.”

This movie was made in 1964 and set the tone for Leone’s movies with Clint Eastwood. He became known for his work as Rowdy Yates on the TV screen but just didn’t want to be known for that.

Throughout his career, Eastwood has played different characters so that he might not get typecast. As many know, he established the role of San Francisco police officer Harry Callahan, or “Dirty Harry” with his gun. He’s also remained active in the Western genre with flicks like Hang ‘Em High, High Plains Drifter, and Unforgiven.

Obviously, working the Westerns has proven to be quite valuable for him. Working with Leone and doing those types of movies tested Eastwood’s skills.

He’s always been one actor who cares about the entire movie process. That would make sense since he’s one of Hollywood’s most powerful directors. Eastwood makes it clear that he’s not there to mess around. Some actors have found working that way to be restrictive. But Eastwood is happy with his “one take” mindset on the set.