Clint Eastwood - Christian Authier
Review by Jack Foley
COUNTLESS books have been written about Clint Eastwood, the iconic actor, director and former Mayor of Carmel.
Christian Authier’s Clint Eastwood attempts to look beyond the actor into the personal life of the celebrity, from his time spent as Mayor of the Californian coastal community, to his passion for golf and the hidden face of the star.
It is a compelling account of a fascinating star and a must-own for any genuine fans of Eastwood, particularly given the number of never-before-seen photos that help to add to the overall experience.
Not that the book ignores his film work – far from it. For Authier charts the career of the superstar from his early days as a prospective pin-up in 1956 (a black and white shot of him posing in shorts) through to his Oscar-winning success in Unforgiven.
In between, fans are treated to rare shots of him in films such as the little-known The Witches (in 1966), a series of shot episodes produced by Dino de Laurentiis that were designed to showcase the talents of his wife, Silvana Mangano.
The shot in question shows a suit-wearing Clint Eastwood, in spectacles, looking through a newspaper, while the text informs readers that the star was cast as a dull and lacklustre banker with a frustrated wife.
There are, of course, iconic images, such as those from his spaghetti westerns and the Dirty Harry series, but many will be familiar to anyone who has charted Eastwood’s career.
The real joy in exploring this book is in the rare shots of Eastwood off-camera, laughing with Don Siegel on the set of The Beguiled or sharing a quiet moment with Geoffrey Lewis on the set of Every Which Way But Loose.
Away from films, there are also choice photos of the star relaxing along the Carmel/Monterey coastline, dancing with his spouse at Fouquet’s following the 23rd Cesars and some intimate black and white shots of him with Dina Ruiz, his current wife, whom he married in March 1996 in Las Vegas.
There’s a nice shot of Eastwood and Dennis Lehane, writer of Mystic River, during the filming of that movie, while he is also seen larking about with a child on the set of White Hunter, Black Heart a little later on.
What Authier succeeds in capturing is the personal side of Eastwood – the fun-lover, the everyday guy, or the happy family man (witness the pictures of him with his daughter, Alison Eastwood), as well as his passion for golf and for flying.
With over 100 rare photos to support his intriguing, fact-filled text, there is plenty to enthrall even the most ardent Eastwood fan.
Clint Eastwood is therefore a book to savour as much as watching a new film from the star himself. It makes an excellent companion to any Clint DVD collection.
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