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Clint Eastwood promotes ‘A Fistful of Dollars’

The Story

"You don't even realize he's the hero until practically the last third of the film," says actor Clint Eastwood, describing his lead part in A Fistful of Dollars to CBC Radio's Assignment in 1967. An "offbeat" western by a "young, new, interesting director" (Sergio Leone), the movie has been a box-office winner in Europe and Asia. Three years after its premiere in Sicily, Fistful is opening with high hopes in North America, and Eastwood is an actor on his way up.

Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Jan. 3, 1967
Guest(s): Clint Eastwood
Interviewer: Bill McNeil
Duration: 4:12
Photo: Movie poster, A Fistful of Dollars, United Artists

Did You know?

• Born in San Francisco in 1930, Clint Eastwood began acting in his early 20s after a stint in the U.S. Army. He was slated to fight in the Korean War but, after surviving a military flight crash, he remained in the United States to testify at an inquiry into the incident.

• As he mentions in this clip, Eastwood was on TV's Rawhide for eight years, from 1959 to 1966, during which he landed the role of The Man With No Name in A Fistful of Dollars. The film's producers considered a long list of actors for the role, including Richard Harrison, who turned it down but recommended Eastwood for the part.

• For his audition, Eastwood himself bought the poncho, black jeans and cigars (seen in this movie poster) that would go on to make his character instantly recognizable.

• In 1988 the movie's director, Sergio Leone, told an Italian interviewer why he chose Eastwood for the role: "I like Clint Eastwood because he has only two facial expressions: one with the hat, and one without it."

• Eastwood started directing movies in the 1970s and has won an Academy Award as best director twice, for 1992's Unforgiven and 2004's Million Dollar Baby





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