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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Contdown to Skyfall - Dirty Bond

Clint Eastwood as James Bond - can anyone imagine that? No didn,t think so but the actor recently confirmed in an interview that he was indeed offered the role of the British secret agent way back in 1971 and if, all had gone to plan, Eastwood would have gone onto film Live and Let Die directly after Dirty Harry. Least that' s the way I imagine the timeline would have went since Eastwood doesn't specify when the offer was made other than saying, "After Sean Connery left."

For the full interview go HERE

It's almost impossible to imagine what kind of Bond Eastwood would have made - on the surface no one would be able to take his casting seriously, he has too much baggage, there are too many pre-conceived notions of what an Eastwood movie is but back in the day Eastwood, although a big star, was not the much loved legend he is today. And in 1971 James Bond was probably bigger than Clint Eastwood.

Live and Let Die (1973) was, of course, the début for Roger Moore in the role and took place largely in the US as Bond tracks down a group of drug smugglers led by the mysterious Mr. Big.
There are scenes in the latter section of the movie where Bond used a Magnum 44 (popularised by Eastwood in Dirty Harry) so maybe Clint wouldn't have been totally out of place in the tux. He could certainly handle a Magnum better than anyone else around.

Live and Let Die contains a lot of comedy which Eastwood was never really know for but the actor was not averse to comedic roles during the period. In fact in many episodes of Rawhide there were  character moments played for laughs and Clint would never totally shy away from semi comedic roles - Two Mules for Sister Sarah, Kelly's Heroes, Bronco Billy, Any Which Way you Can and its sequel. And that's not even touching on Paint your Wagon or City Heat. And the first person who mentions the dire Pink Cadillac can leave the room.

Clint, of course declined the role of Bond, explaining:

"I thought that James Bond should be British. I’m of British descent but by the same token I thought that it [Bond] should be more of the culture there and also, it was not my thing, it was somebody’s else’s thing."

Eastwood did play a James Bond-alike character in the Eiger Sanction (1975) but the least said about that the better.

Myself, I'm kinda glad it didn't happen - I'm a huge Eastwood fan and  maybe Eastwood would have carried Bond off but if he had taken the role and made several other Bond's then we may not have had High Plains Drifter, Josey Wales and Dirty Harry certainly wouldn't have gone to five movies.

And what would Eastwood's Man with the Golden Gun, Spy who Loved Me and Moonraker have been like?

It's a tantalizing idea.

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