Every Which Way But Loose (1978) certainly came out of left field for Clint Eastwood but it was a huge success, as was its 1980 sequel Any Which Way You Can. Eastwood was actually advised against making the first movie - it was felt that the public wouldn't accept him in a light comedy role after all the grim westerns and Dirty Harry pics, however the films remain today two of Eastwood's highest grossing vehicles.
also great fun, in a leave your brain at the door kind of way. Hey what
could be better than watching Clint fist fighting while his pet ape
shits in a police car? This is a full out redneck comedy with Clint
playing the kind of thick head his critics had always claimed him to be,
but then what did the critics know?
The project arrived at
Malpaso in a roundabout way - the script was originally called The
Coming of Philo Beddoe and was based on a real person - a truck driver
with a pet monkey who was a phenomenal fist fighter. Writer Jeremy
the script with his own songs - the script was turned down over 50
times before arriving with Clint Eastwood who saw in it a chance to
broaden his range.`
In the original script Eastwood's character
was aged 29, while the actor was closing in on fifty. Writer Kronsberg
joked that he would do some rewriting and make the character 35.
the first movie was released it's astonishing success took both the
studio and Clint by surprise - in fact, allowing for inflation, the
movie still stands as Clint's most lucrative movie ever. It cost $4.5
million to make and took an impressive $123.5 million on its initial US
The follow up - Any Which Way You Can was far less
successful and only took $10 million at the box office, which meant the
end for Philo Beddoe and the plans for a series of movies was scrapped.
follow up is actually a better made movie than the original but it
lacked the good nature and the comedy scenes were basically a retread of
those in the original movie.
After that Clint shot the monkey.