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"The American Film Institute Salute to Clint Eastwood," as it aired on ABC-TV in May 1996, is a very entertaining hour hosted by a respectful, if still hilarious, Jim Carrey whose best moment is probably his imitation of Frank Sinatra as a singing Dirty Harry. When a wrist injury forced Ol' Blue Eyes off the project, Eastwood, Carrey said, axed Sinatra's songs, not wishing to repeat the debacle of "Paint Your Wagon." Don Rickles, Eastwood's co-star in "Kelly's Heroes," was hilarious describing the guest of honor as a man who likes "to sit on the back of his pickup truck and watch his dog bark." Dylan McDermott, Forest Whitaker, co-host Rene Russo, and Steven Spielberg also offered testimonials in between clips from "A Fistful of Dollars," "Dirty Harry," "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot," "Bird," "In the Line of Fire," "Unforgiven," "The Bridges of Madison County," and even TV's "Rawhide." Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Pierce Brosnan, Ed Harris, Quentin Tarentino, Nicolas Cage, Faye Dunaway, Donald Sutherland, Kevin Spacey, and Quincy Jones were all in attendance, but where, I wondered, was Meryl Streep (from "Bridges"), Kevin Costner (from "A Perfect World"), and the co-stars of "Unforgiven"? Eastwood makes his entrance to the accompaniment of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold" (from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly") and gives a very modest, appreciative acceptance speech that proves what I have long suspected: he's not only a cinema giant, but one of the film world's most decent men. A longer (2 hour) version of this tribute later played on the Arts and Entertainment channel, and was superior to the edited commercial broadcast. The highlight of the entire evening (cut out of the ABC version) can be found there: Donald Sutherland reminiscing about the ordeal of filming "Kelly's Heroes" in Yugoslavia, and of Eastwood's making it so much easier than it would have otherwise been.
I sure hope that this will be a great opportunity for everyone to see some of "Don's Scenes" from his productions of his classic hits "Tales From Kutcharitaville". You know that Rickles and Johnny Carson together produced those comedy hits about their friend "Mr. Kutchie Pelaez" and their wild and crazy exploits of Kutchie's Key West and The World of Key Lime Pies from the perspective of (Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, Kutchie Pelaez and Steve Martins Eyes!) What a Hoot Those Classic Hits Surely Were. Don't miss them, be sure to tune-in next month. We Laughed Until We Cried Watching Those Funny Movies. "The Tales From Kutcharitaville", I Think That They May Still Be Available In A Boxed Set.
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