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Underestimating Clint

“Being underestimated is, for some people, a misfortune. For Eastwood, it became a weapon. Certainly, no one meeting him in his twenties, before his movie career began, would have seen much more than a good-looking Californian who loved beer, women, cars, and noodling at the piano—a fun guy to hang out with. Since those unprepossessing days, he has done the following: starred in a hit TV show, ‘Rawhide’; appeared in more than fifty movies and directed thirty-one, often acting, directing, and producing at the same time; added several menacingly ironic locutions to the language, such as ‘Make my day,’ which Ronald Reagan quoted in the face of a congressional movement to raise taxes; become a kind of mythic-heroic-redemptive figure, interacting with public desire in a way that no actor has done since John Wayne; served as the mayor of Carmel; won four Oscars and received many other awards, including a hug from Nicolas Sarkozy while becoming commander of the Légion d’Honneur, last November. Those who were skeptical of Eastwood forty years ago (I’m one of them) have long since capitulated, retired, or died. He has outlasted everyone.”
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