‘All in the Family’ Actor Rob Reiner Explained Why Clint Eastwood is a Major Inspiration in Later Years

by Joe Rutland

Rob Reiner, who gained notoriety on TV as Michael Stivic on “All in the Family,” has directed several hit movies. He cites an actor and Outsider favorite as an inspiration.

Whom does Reiner look up to in that actor-turned-director path? Clint Eastwood, who played Rowdy Yates on TV’s “Rawhide” and “Dirty Harry” Callahan on movie screens.

For instance, Reiner said in a 2017 interview with MovieMaker that “I look at people like Clint Eastwood — he’s inspiring because the guy is getting close to 90 and he’s still making movies.” Similarly, Reiner also mentions Woody Allen in the same way.

Reiner Directs Number Of Major Movie Hits In Career

“There’s that crazy nexus between living long enough to have enough wisdom to be able to inform the movies you make,” Reinder said. “And being young enough to have the energy to make them.”

Some of the movies Reiner has directed are ones that have earned awards, respect, and big box-office numbers. Besides “The Princess Bride,” other Reiner hit movies include “When Harry Met Sally,” “This is Spinal Tap!”, and “Stand By Me.”

Thanks to the success of one of these movies, “Stand By Me,” Reiner was able to get in touch with his confidence. Before that happened, though, he felt like it had been lost a bit.

‘All in the Family’ Costar Discovers Success As Director

Reiner admits that he started pouring a lot into making “This is Spinal Tap!” and he began making sacrifices.

“Those were tough years, personally and professionally, waiting for that film to get made,” Reiner said. “My marriage had broken up, I was all alone and all of my old self-doubts had come back.”

Self-doubt plagued Reiner. However, there was one man who, obviously, believed in his passion project and sent it across the finish line: All in the Family creator Norman Lear.

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“Oddly enough,” Reiner said, “after (costars) Chris Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and I had put some of our own money into making a demo reel of the film, the man who gave the final go-ahead on the project turned out to be Norman Lear.”

Lear just bought the film company that had an option on Spinal Tap and that helped Reiner get over the hump.

Above all, Lear went on to fund Reiner’s next two movies, “The Sure Thing” and “Stand By Me.” Those two movies, by the way, helped Reiner rediscover his confidence. In conclusion, he has gone on to build up a successful collection of movies as a director.