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Clint Eastwood Movies: The Bridges of Madison County

4 minutes read

Clint Eastwood The Bridges of Madison County Meryl Streep
Clint Eastwood in The Bridges of Madison County, with Meryl Streep.
Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Clint Eastwood is the last star to be featured in Turner Classic Movies’ “Summer Under the Stars” series, 2010 edition. (See below TCM’s Clint Eastwood movie schedule.)

TCM is showing the Western The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), one of Eastwood’s early directorial efforts. Chief Dan George and Sondra Locke, with whom Eastwood had a highly publicized and highly acrimonious split off-screen, co-star.

Next, is Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (1964), one of the Italian Westerns that helped to turn Eastwood into an international star. Gian Maria Volontè, who’d become one of the greatest film actors of the late 20th century, has a featured role.

A Fistful of Dollars will be followed by Eastwood’s The Bridges of Madison County (1995), a romantic tearjerker based on Robert James Waller’s bestseller, and starring Eastwood and Best Actress Oscar nominee Meryl Streep (playing an Italian woman named Francesca) as star-crossed lovers.

Following a presentation of the 2010 documentary The Eastwood Factor, TCM will show Don Siegel’s prison drama Escape from Alcatraz (1979), hardly one of Siegel’s greatest efforts.

And finally, Clint Eastwood Day will come to a close with Arthur Lubin’s widely disliked The First Traveling Saleslady (1956), one of the very last movies to be released by the moribund RKO.

Yet The First Traveling Saleslady is worth a look for several reasons:

  • Despite its reputation, this “feminist” Old West comedy written by Devery Freeman and Stephen Longstreet is surprisingly entertaining.
  • Ginger Rogers is excellent in the title role and Barry Nelson is just as good as the leading man.
  • Clint Eastwood and Carol Channing not only look and sound human on screen, but they make a good (odd) couple as well.

Besides, it’s curious that somehow Arthur Lubin, a gay man (and Eastwood’s early mentor), managed to squeeze so many big men into tight pants in one single movie.

One assumes the anti-gay/anti-sex censors at the Production Code office were too busy, what with more high-profile fare such as Elia Kazan’s Baby Doll and Vincente Minnelli’s Tea and Sympathy coming out that same year.

Clint Eastwood movies

Clint Eastwood movie schedule (PT) and synopses from the TCM website:

3:00 AM Escapade in Japan (1957)
After his plane crashes in Tokyo, an American boy tries to find his way home. Cast: Cameron Mitchell. Teresa Wright. Jon Provost. Philip Ober. Clint Eastwood. Director: Arthur Lubin. Color. 93 min.

4:45 AM Paint Your Wagon (1970)
Two California miners share a gold claim and a wife. Cast: Lee Marvin. Clint Eastwood. Jean Seberg. Harve Presnell. Ray Walston. Director: Joshua Logan. Color. 159 min.

7:30 AM Hang ‘Em High (1968)
A mysterious drifter survives a lynching then goes back for revenge. Cast: Clint Eastwood. Ed Begley. Inger Stevens. Pat Hingle. Ben Johnson. Charles McGraw. Bruce Dern. Director: Ted Post. Color. 115 min.

9:30 AM For a Few Dollars More (1965)
Two bounty hunters join forces to bring an outlaw to justice. Cast: Clint Eastwood. Lee Van Cleef. Gian Maria Volontè. Director: Sergio Leone. Color. 132 min.

11:45 AM The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Three men seek hidden loot during the Civil War. Cast: Clint Eastwood. Eli Wallach. Lee Van Cleef. Director: Sergio Leone. Color. 179 min.

2:30 PM The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
A peaceful farmer turns vigilante when soldiers murder his family. Cast: Clint Eastwood. Chief Dan George. Sondra Locke. Director: Clint Eastwood. Color. 136 min.

5:00 PM A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
A mysterious stranger plays dueling families against each other in a Mexican border town. Cast: Clint Eastwood. Gian Maria Volontè. Marianne Koch. Director: Sergio Leone. Color. 100 min.

6:45 PM The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
A photojournalist and a farmer’s wife share a four-day romance. Cast: Clint Eastwood. Meryl Streep. Debra Monk. Director: Clint Eastwood. Color. 135 min.

9:15 PM The Eastwood Factor (2010)
Film clips and interviews detail the career of actor-director Clint Eastwood. Cast: Morgan Freeman narrates. Director: Richard Schickel. Black and white. 88 min.

11:00 PM Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
A prison lifer attempts to tunnel his way out of the inescapable island fortress. Cast: Clint Eastwood. Patrick McGoohan. Roberts Blossom. Director: Don Siegel. Color. 112 min.

1:00 AM The First Traveling Saleslady (1956)
A corset designer takes a job selling barbed wire in the wild West. Cast: Ginger Rogers. Barry Nelson. Carol Channing. James Arness. David Brian. Clint Eastwood. Director: Arthur Lubin. Color. 92 min.

Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood The Bridges of Madison County image: Warner Bros.

TCM website.

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