Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Clint Eastwood Once Told This A-List Director to ‘Shut His Face’

Clint Eastwood Once Told This A-List Director to ‘Shut His Face’

While Clint Eastwood is one of the most respected actors and directors of his time, it does not mean that he’s immune to critics. Oh no, on the contrary. Eastwood is known to get kind of prickly when it comes to his own films. Let’s be clear, though. Eastwood has established himself as one of the film industry’s giants. And that’s because of all the hard work and effort he has put into it.

Still, though, as we said, it doesn’t keep the High Plains Drifter from getting clipped. While Eastwood does have his fan base, there are the cynical kinds who will raise their voices. Far Out Magazine indicates some of these in that group include Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Moore, and John Wayne. What? The Duke? Oh yeah, Duke didn’t like all the violence in some of Eastwood’s 1970s movies.

Clint Eastwood Receives Barbs From Spike Lee

Yet the target of Eastwood’s ire is not any of these people. It happens to be director Spike Lee, who has directed Do the Right Thing, Bamboozled, and other films. Lee is absolutely no fan of Eastwood at all. He took his sharp nails out and scratched up Eastwood’s war movies Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers.

“Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen,” Lee said about both flicks. “If you reporters had any balls, you’d ask him why. There’s no way I know why he did that. But I know it was pointed out to him and that he could have changed it. It’s not like he didn’t know.”

Well, did you think that Eastwood was going to take that sitting down? Hardly! In response to Lee, Eastwood said, “The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn’t do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people would go: ‘This guy’s lost his mind.’ I mean, it’s not accurate. A guy like him should shut his face.”

World War II Soldier Backs Up Lee’s Argument

And a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Sheesh! Eastwood brings the hammer to this verbal jousting. But Lee’s own complaints were not done in isolation. Oh no. Thomas McPhatter, an African-American veteran of World War II, served at Iwo Jima.

“Well, just speaking offhand, if we had been given the opportunity to have participated as I feel we should have,” McPhatter said, “I can see nothing more than a greater illustrious performance of black troopers. Wherever that happened and wherever they were allowed, the tide came out in all of their involvement in battles during World War II. They didn’t get in the Marine Corps to get on a plantation. They got into a fight for rights that they did not have back home, and hoped that it would make a different world for them once they came back home.”

Nothing between Eastwood and Lee probably got settled in this dust-up. Still, it looks like Eastwood will continue to produce his own style of movies.