Clint Eastwood - Out of the Shadows Cover The Man with No Name – Dirty Harry – Rowdy Yates – and that tall guy with the punching monkey, Clint Eastwood is the man who has managed to act for a lifetime without saying who he really is – or has he? Now if you want to know the answer to this pontificating prose, then please watch this 87 minute documentary made in 2000.

Clint Eastwood - Out of the Shadows

The name of the man is Clint Eastwood, and the subject matter within this program is he and he alone.

Now to help chronicle the rise of this actor / director extraordinaire, is narrator, Morgan Freeman, as well as a whole host of actors, directors, and film critics alike. James Garner, Gene Hackman, Geoffrey Lewis, Walter Mosley, Richard Schickle, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn, and Forest Whitaker, are but a few of the people whom sing Clint’s praise. Plus, on top of that, on show are a plethora of stock photography, archive footage, and exerts of Clint’s films as well.

So what do you get if you mix all of this up and then spit it out on celluloid? Hmmm?

A BOY ON THE TRAIL: Born in San Francisco in 1930, Clint was the son of hardworking parents in search for work – and he traveled around from town to town with them, living a somewhat reclusive life in the West Coast of America. However, after shying away from academia, and then being forced into a brief military role in Koria, Clint went on into a vocation that he will always be synonymous with – acting. He learnt this craft within a studio system – he honed his talents in minor film roles and through his love for jazz – and he began to perfect his ability in the television series 'Rawhide' to boot.

SERGIO LEONE COMES A CALLING: As a favor to the Rome office, whilst taking a sabbatical from Rawhide, Clint took a look at a script which eventually propelled him into infamy and beyond. Now for simplicity's sake we will call this proposal 'The Dollars Trilogy', which was a venture that eventually developed into a three-film deal that gave Clint a platform to take on a myth and then come out on top – spaghetti-western style.

MALPASO IS BORN: Clint’s next stepping stone up the showbiz ladder began once he formed a production company called 'Malpaso', which was a stalwart that allowed him to carve out his own career path with some degree of control. Granted, he did have to do a number of studio films to appease his agent – such as 'Paint Your Wagon' and 'Kelly's Heroes' – but he was also able to become a director and make some more personable films too – such as 'Play Misty For Me' and 'The Beguiled'. Moreover, to help him additionally steer his career path in the direction he wanted, Clint was able to glean knowledge from film director, Don Siegel (Dirty Harry), as well as gather a family of actors around him to star in his movies - like Bill McKinney and Geoffrey Lewis.(The Monkey Films).

THE REFLECTIVE YEARS: After a brief stint as the mayor of Carmel, Clint started to develop a plethora of reflective movies that mirrored him in his more formative years. 'Unforgiven', 'In The Line Of Fire', and 'The Bridges Of Madison County', to name but a few. And with each movie he made, a more wiser and respected man was born – highlighted due to the many accolades he has received ever since.

Now what can you say about a man who has instilled so much joy into the world for so-so long? Hmm? Quite a lot actually – and this 90 minute documentary really does try its best to do just that. Its structure is a simple one to follow, and does manage to distil a life’s work within the time frame allotted to it. Plus, in addition to this, all the people whom have something to say about the great man, Clint Eastwood, (including Clint himself) are very proficient in giving incites that are thoughtful, productive, and somewhat revealing too.

Clint Eastwood

My personal favorite incite used in this documentary, is Clint’s comparison to legendary Hollywood actor, John Wayne – as the similarities between the two are somewhat strange and diametrically opposed when you come to think about it. You see, Clint – whom is perceived as being ‘the mysterious urban legend’ – is in fact the subliminal critique of America’s dubious past. Whereas John – whom is perceived as being ‘the routing tooting all American hero’ – is in fact a smokescreen to America’s dubious past. Moreover, there is the similarities in there ties and work ethic also – with both actors having the uncanny ability to change with the times, sustain longevity, and maintain a working relationship with those around them.

Clint in Dirty Harry

Another thing that I like about 'Clint Eastwood – Out Of The Shadows', is the way in which Clint’s movies say more about Clint than Clint does about himself. There was a quote that I remember an actor once said – Peter Sellers I think it was – that stated ‘For you to understand who I am, look at my work’. And do you know what? I surmise that a more truthful saying cannot be applied to our buddy Clint here.

Well, except for “Go ahead, make my day” – which he constantly does.

All in all I really did enjoy watching this documentary – as it honors a man without it being overly critical, overly sentimental, and overly ‘hype’. I particularly liked the voice over narration by Morgan (sexy voice) Freeman, as well as the constructive incites given by Walter Mosley, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Richard Schickle. Heck, I love this documentary so much, that I want to end this review as if I was the main-man himself...


If you like it – watch it. If you don’t – then don’t. But please, don’t go away angry – just go away. BANG!

Clint in Grand Torino

Class documentary, like the man himself.


CLINT EASTWOOD - OUT OF THE SHADOWS CLINT EASTWOOD - OUT OF THE SHADOWS Reviewed by David Andrews on August 23, 2011 Rating: 5
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