"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'
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
and Steven Spielberg also offered testimonials in between clips from "A
Fistful of Dollars," "Dirty Harry," "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot," "Bird,"
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
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
can be found there: Donald Sutherland reminiscing about the ordeal of
filming "Kelly's Heroes" in Yugoslavia, and of Eastwood's making it so
easier than it would have otherwise been.
Add another review