How Clint Eastwood’s ‘Frustration’ With This Classic Western Led One of His Most Iconic Characters

by Joe Rutland
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When it comes to iconic characters, then Clint Eastwood has played his fair share over a career that spans many decades. Of course, many of his fans will connect with playing Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry. Others who have a love for classic TV might even recall him playing Rowdy Yates on Rawhide.

Still, there are those who love his work in the Sergio Leone “Spaghetti Westerns” back in the 1960s. Those fans will remember him playing the fabled “Man with No Name” who just didn’t let his words get in the way of his actions. Why in the world would Eastwood play a character like this one? Especially with limited dialogue taking place? That does not sound like a fun movie to be a part of at all. Yet we don’t know Eastwood’s own intentions for this dude. But he would bring those to light in an interview with an author.

Clint Eastwood Didn’t Have Much Patience Around ‘Rawhide’ Work

An Express report indicates that Clint Eastwood talked about this in the Patrick McGilligan book Clint: The Life and Legend, which came out in 2015. “I wanted to play it with an economy of words and create this whole feeling through attitude and movement,” Eastwood said. “It was just the kind of character I had envisioned for a long time, keep to the mystery and allude to what happened in the past.

“It came about after the frustration of doing Rawhide for so long,” Eastwood said. “I felt the less he said, the stronger he became and the more he grew in the imagination of the audience.” The actor would play the “Man with No Name” in three films, A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The movies came out between 1964 and 1966.

Actor Enjoys Efficiency Of Work As A Director

While we’re talking about his acting work here, it’s also worth mentioning his work as a director. Clint Eastwood likes to keep things moving on his film sets. This would include not doing a lot of takes with different cast members. Once the actors finish up, then he’s going to use the first shot. Why does, as a director, Eastwood enjoy simply using the first take?

“I know some people don’t like to do that,” he told Film Comment in an interview. “And if it doesn’t come out perfect the first time, you have to go onward and upward with it. But you’d be surprised with good performers how interesting something can be the first time they try it.” It can be said that he is a big believer in the power of efficiency while filming his actors on the set.

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