Old School Americana & Nostalgia


How Clint Eastwood’s Westerns Influenced Quentin Tarantino

How Clint Eastwood’s Westerns Influenced Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino has been one of the busiest, most influential names in cinema but he bows to Clint Eastwood. Yes, the Django Unchanged director states that Eastwood played a significant role in how Tarantino sees movies.

A Fistful of Dollars is one of the greatest auteur pieces of all time, but one of the things that makes the film so great is that you have to sing the praises of Clint Eastwood,” Tarantino said, per Far Out Magazine. “The way we think of the Western icon that Clint Eastwood has become for 50 years straight to today started 50 years ago with this movie.”

Movie fans know that A Fistful of Dollars was part of director Sergio Leone’s trilogy of “Spaghetti Westerns” with Eastwood playing the main character. Tarantino understands the role that Leone also owned up too as well. Still, it was Eastwood who was front and center. It also probably helped Quentin Tarantino to see how Clint Eastwood directed a Western, as he did with Unforgiven.

Quentin Tarantino Remembers ‘Wow’ Moment for Clint Eastwood

But it is obvious there was a “wow” moment for Quentin Tarantino when watching Clint Eastwood on the big screen.

“You need no more proof than to watch his big introduction scene,” the director said. “When he kills Baxter’s men right at the beginning with one of the coolest, badass f—king speeches in the history of action cinema. That is why a hero was born that day.”

Clint Eastwood embodied this “hero” persona in Westerns, but he transposed this idea onto other characters. A little of this can be seen in “Dirty Harry” Callahan, notably Eastwood’s greatest character.

Speaking of Westerns, though, what about William Munny, Eastwood’s role in Unforgiven? Is there a level of hero that Clint Eastwood brings out in this character? That’s up to each moviegoer or movie watcher for this flick. Of course, Leone’s films showcase Eastwood as “the Man with No Name,” a quiet but deadly force to be reckoned with in the movies.

In the midst of these evaluations of Clint Eastwood’s movies and roles, Quentin Tarantino also points out how hot Eastwood looked in his Westerns.

“He was one of the sexiest motherf—kers,” Tarantino said. “During this time, western heroes weren’t sexy. They didn’t look cool. They looked badass, and they looked tough, and they looked heroic, but they didn’t look cool. (And) They didn’t look sexy.”

Clint Eastwood Commanded Viewers’ Attention for Decades

With his somewhat stoic appearance on the big screen, Clint Eastwood commanded attention. That’s another way to be real sexy. Let everyone else stay busy and run around like wild people…except for Eastwood. He didn’t have to do much in Leone’s films, except to show up and have that little gleam in his eyes. Clint Eastwood’s face is one in which an entire page of script can be held right in the palm of his hand.

Tarantino took mental notes when observing Eastwood in his key roles. It’s amazing how much of an influence Clint Eastwood had upon Quentin Tarantino’s development as a director.

Both men brought their own personal views around Westerns into projects that drew attention to their work. Clint Eastwood is in the final flickers of his movie career. He’s putting the wraps on Juror No. 2, which also might mark the end of his directing career.

Quentin Tarantino is also working to tighten up the screws around The Movie Critic. This will be Tarantino’s 10th movie behind the cameras and he’s stated that this is his final film.

Clint Eastwood has been on people’s screens, small or big, for nearly 70 years. That’s a strong run for any performer. It’s no wonder that he just wants to go and enjoy life at this time.