Friday, August 21, 2009

Eli dines with Clint

From THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND ME In My Anecdotage
by Eli Wallach

During the weeks that followed, Clint continued guiding me through the emotional explosions that were yet to take place. When I was a little boy, my mother used to tell me, "You only have so many words programmed into you. Don't use up your quota; don't waste them." So I didn't talk much as a child. I wondered if Clint's mother had told him the same thing. I often thought that Clint didn't do much acting. He seemed to underplay every speech he made. But when I saw the rushes, I realized that he showed more through his silence than most actors do with a page of dialogue. The week before we finished filming, we sat and had dinner together. "This will be my last spaghetti Western," he told me. "I'm going back to California and I'll form my own company and I'll act and direct my own movies."
"Oh sure," I thought. "That'll be the day." Little did I know.
He certainly succeeded in making his dream come true. Years later, in the film UNFORGIVEN, in which he starred and won an Academy Award for direction, a card flashed on the screen. the film was dedicated to Don Siegel, who directed Clint in DIRTY HARRY and me in THE LINEUP, and to Sergio Leone. I thought that was a lovely gesture by a classy man.

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