Why Clint Eastwood Hates the Only Musical Movie He’s Ever Made
Paint Your Wagon was Clint Eastwood’s first and last foray into the musical genre. Here’s why he hates the movie and why the experience was so bad.
Clint Eastwood hates his first and only foray into the musical genre, which was Paint your wagon. Released in 1969, Paint your wagon was an off-brand project for the actor, who had made a name for himself as Hollywood”badass” and one of its biggest Western stars. The film was one of many films he made over the years that contrasted with his iconic image.
The 1969 musical was one of the few films Eastwood starred in after The dollar trilogy which he made in Italy with critically acclaimed director Sergio Leone. The success he achieved with A fistful of dollars, For a few dollars moreand The good the bad and the ugly, culminated with Eastwood landing quite a few starring roles in major Hollywood movies. Most involved Eastwood playing protagonists who shared qualities made popular by his Man With No Name character. This was certainly the case for films like Hang ’em highbut that certainly did not apply to Paint your wagonan Eastwood-directed musical starring Jean Seberg and fellow western icon Lee Marvin.
Paint your wagon is universally loathed by Eastwood fans and critics. Many felt that a singing role just didn’t work for Eastwood (or Marvin). For the most part, this opinion on the film is shared by the actor, whose comments on the subject made it abundantly clear how unhappy he was with the film. Eastwood signed on to the picture with high expectations for the film. Unfortunately, the script rewrites ruined what he originally thought would have been a good movie. [Empire Online]. Eastwood was incredibly frustrated with the filming process, as production took much longer than expected. Numerous problems slowed down filming, causing it to take six months.
At the beginning, the A handful of dollars star felt like Paint your wagon was going to be a musical like he had never seen before. Early drafts told him it would be a dark story that would revolve around an interracial romance, which wasn’t that common at the time. This interested Eastwood, but during filming When eagles darehe discovered that the plan of Paint your wagon no longer had these items. He strongly considered withdrawing, but eventually agreed to go through with the project.
Looking at the finished product, it’s easy to see why the actor found Paint your wagon so disappointing. The actor who played brooding, unstoppable bandits like the Man With No Name seemed grossly miscast as a singing cowboy. It was a terrible contrast to the image he had cultivated throughout the 1960s. Plus, the light tone is so different from the roles. Clint Eastwood is usually associated with. We don’t know what Paint your wagon might have been had it remained the dark, musical western the studio sold it in the first place.
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