Clint Eastwood Built His 67-Year Career on Tradition While Changing the Industry Forever

Clint Eastwood Built His 67-Year Career on Tradition While Changing the Industry Forever
Clint Eastwood, 91, opens “Cry Macho” tomorrow in theaters and HBO Max. It’s his 42nd film as a director, and perhaps his last. Reviewing his career reveals a dual nature about his role in film history that is surprising, but also explains his success.

Eastwood has been both one of the most successful and acclaimed directors and actors over the last half century. His commercial peak came in the 1980s, while his biggest acclaim as a director spanned 1992 (“Unforgiven”) through 2006 (“Letters from Iwo Jima”).

He signed his first contract with Universal in 1954, became a TV star with “Rawhide” in 1959, and landed the role that defined his persona in 1964 with Sergio Leone’s “A Fistful of Dollars.”

With 50 years behind the camera, he doesn’t have the longest-running career as a director; Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese started earlier and Agnes Varda’s filmmaking spanned 65 years. But Eastwood’s 51 years of
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