Here’s How Much Clint Eastwood Was Paid for ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’

by Joe Rutland
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(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Clint Eastwood is a mega movie star and director who has made millions of dollars. Yet he almost didn’t make this movie. The story goes that he was in the middle of a run of success thanks to the “Spaghetti westerns” he played in at the time. Thanks to director Sergio Leone, the Man With No Name became a megastar in Europe. Eastwood played that man in A Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More. He made a decent salary in those movies but Eastwood wanted more.

Plus, Clint Eastwood wasn’t so sure about doing another movie with Leone. It almost cost him his role there as it might have landed with Charles Bronson. Whoops. Well, thankfully for us movie fans that didn’t happen. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly would be the third of this trilogy.

Clint Eastwood Paid $250,000 For Appearing One Last Time In Iconic Role

Author Richard Schickel, who wrote Clint Eastwood: A Biography, shares that it took $250,000 to bring Eastwood back one last time. Oh, Clint was going to be getting more than just a salary. His deal gave him about 10% of box-office profit in the West. The first two movies perform so well at the box office. So, this third deal receives approval from the movie studio. Could you imagine anyone else playing the Man With No Name? No, we could not either.

Let’s also take a look at who is the inspiration for this iconic movie character. Leone happens to draw inspiration from Yojimbo, a Japanese samurai movie by Akira Kurosawa. Leone borrows so much from the movie. A Fistful of Dollars is sometimes referred to as an unofficial remake of Yojimbo. The Man With No Name is essentially a carbon copy of the main character of Yojimbo.

John Wayne, Eastwood Never Made A Movie Together. Why?

Here is another riddle to ponder. If Western movies and the genre happen to be inspired by John Wayne, then it makes sense that he and Clint Eastwood cross paths. They could have been in a movie together and, man, that would have been major box-office money. Wayne and Eastwood never were in a movie together. Why? Eastwood offers some insight.

“John Wayne once wrote me a letter saying he didn’t like High Plains Drifter,” Eastwood said in an interview. “He said it wasn’t really about the people who pioneered the West. I realized that there’s two different generations, and he wouldn’t understand what I was doing.” Eastwood says that High Plains Drifter was “meant to be a fable. It wasn’t meant to show the hours of pioneering drudgery. It wasn’t supposed to be anything about settling the West.”

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