Subject: A Fistful of Westerns
From: Christopher W. Thomas (
Date: Mon May 31, 1999 at 7:18PM

A Fistful of Westerns

Topping the birthdays on this Memorial Day is Clint Eastwood
Who's provided more memorable characters than anyone should
Including The Man wih No Name - threading thru three westerns
A Fistful of Dollars, and For a Few Dollars More - Leone's invention

And then came - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Which was the last pairing of the two - done smugly
From then on, Eastwood would be his own man
Making his own pictures, and as fast as he can

Malpaso Productions has now made some forty-odd
Including five westerns with characters who evolve
The first - Jed Cooper in sixty-eight's Hang 'em High
Who survives a hanging and returns to get the guys

Then was Joe Kidd - where Clint's a hired gun ...
With Stroud, Duvall, Wainwright and Saxon ...
Then he's The Stranger in High Plains Drifter
A sort of a return to Leone's inventive sifter ...

And then Clint was The Outlaw - Josey Wales
As a peaceful farmer who truly turns quite pale
When Union soldiers murder his family and friends
And he spends the next two hours, making amends

Then Clint repeated the Good Samaritan character
In Pale Rider ... a film kinda moody, and quite tragic
And then came nineteen ninety-five's Unforgiven ...
For which Clint would get multiple nominations ...

Including ones for Best Picture and Best Direction
Both of which he won (it also got the one for Editing)
As well as the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award
For Gene Hackman's character who died to applause

Making five specifically Western-oriented features
Clint has made since those spaghetti-ized reachers
So-called since they were made by Italians in Spain
On the cheap, made to look like the West's plains

But so well-remembered we tend to think of them alone
When we refer to Clint's accomplishments at home
But now it can be seen clearly this is off-balance ...
Since his films number well over fifty now standing

Of which only these five and those three and one or two more
Can be seen strictly as westerns - for he's provided films galore
Covering comedy, road films, war films, espionage
Musicals, romances, mysteries - a veritable barrage

Since his first four - all released in nineteen fifty-five
Revenge of the Creature began Clint's film lives
And Tarantula - two horror films (a category omitted)
And Lady Godiva and Francis in the Navy (twitters)

Then he'd do another four the following year ...
Then begin the Rawhide series, a direction clear
Which cast him in a role endearing to many ...
Allowing him to call the shots ... and the pennies!!!

- Tristram

Christopher W. Thomas
5pm Memorial Day, 1999


Clint Eastwood's 69th

Prince Ranier's 76th
Shirley Verrett's 66th
Keir Dullea's 63rd
Johnny Paycheck's 61st
Peter Yarrow's 61st
Terry Waite's 60th
Augie Myers' 59th
Sharon Gless's 56th
Joe Namath's 56th
Tom Berenger's 49th
Gregory Harrison's 49th
Colm Meaney's 46th
Chris Elliott's 40th
Kyle Secor's 39th
Lea Thompson's 38th
Corey Hart's 37th
Brooke Shields' 34th