American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood
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American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  345 ratings  ·  69 reviews
As an actor, he seduces us with his tough-guy charm. As a director and producer, he amazes us with his artistry and technical savvy. As a Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood, one of film's greatest living legends, represents some of the finest cinematic achievements in the history of American cinema.

In American Rebel, bestselling author and acclaimed film historian Marc Eliot...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Karla (Mossy Love Grotto)
Mar 04, 2010 Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: casual fans of CE
Shelves: film, non-fiction
Unbelievably fast read, and at the end I had to wonder what the point of it was. The author, as far as I could tell, didn't do any original research like interviews with co-stars and acquaintances. All the sources were previously published, so it had a slapdash magazine article feel to the whole thing. It's a stark contrast to Susan Compo's bio of Warren Oates which, despite its flaws, had a hefty chunk of new material and revelations (such as the first, forgotten, Mrs. Oates and many interviews...more
Sean O'Hara
This is a breezy, shallow biography with little in the way of insight or original research.

Discussion of Eastwood's films is virtually non-existent -- Eliot gives a small plot synopsis and a rundown of pre-production, followed by a summary of critical reviews that seems to be gleaned from Rotten Tomatoes. There's hardly any discussion of filming, unless you count rumors about which co-star Eastwood was boffing, and he doesn't seem to've interviewed Eastwood's co-stars, even though most are stil...more
Bill Wren
While any biography is going to be interpretative, American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood feels less interpretative than peppered with a lot of personal opinion. Particularly in the latter half, it continually weaves from a paint-by-numbers recounting of events to a kind of cranky blogger’s ranting.

They aren’t particularly distinctive rants either; they’re fashionable opinions about Hollywood, celebrities and so on. It’s gossip magazine stuff; Perez Hilton with a better facility with languag...more
Martijn Pollmann
In this bio, one thing is made abundantly clear, up until the age of 65 Mr. Eastwood humped everything with a heartbeat. Which makes him sound less like a rebel and more like Paris Hilton. It is interesting how he didn’t care much for the Hollywood establishment and did whatever he wanted in his career. If you have Clint on a high pedestal and regard him as legend though, don’t read this.
On the bio itself, too much gossip and the writer is in love with his subject, turning everything that he’s e...more
Chris
Initially I thought that a biography of a living figure done without his cooperation would be different or interesting but lack meat. This is not the case. It's a very even-handed and compelling book about the man. It's not hagiography, it's not judgmental. It just tells it like it is. Now I don't think a book this good could have been written with the collaboration of the subject. Eastwood is more than a rebel, he's his own man.
Adriene
Pretty shallow read. Marc Eliot reveals nothing new as the book reads like a wikipedia page. Small details on Clint Eastwood's films and very little insight. If you are looking for an in depth biography than this isn't it. However, if you are looking for a book that basically gives you the summaries off the back of dvd cases and petty gossip on who Clint was sleeping with at the time than this book is it.
Raphael
The author has a very strong bias towards Clint Eastwood Ex. Clint successfully convinces his mistress to have second abortion (author doesn't even mention in the same chapter that Clint has a child with another mistress at the same time) and before there's time to think about what just happened the author changes the subject to a Clint accomplishment, and that goes on each time Clint does something controversial. Another example is how the author exaggerates Clint's challenges each time. Ex. Cl...more
Margy
I so admire Clint Eastwood's growth and talent as a director that I wanted to learn all about him. I'm almost sorry i read the book because I learned things that I prefer not to know about his private life. The writing was not terrific, but neither was it distracting.
Don
In an industry with hardly any conservatives, Clint Eastwood is a rare exception. He and his chair were given a high profile speaking slot at the 2012 Republican convention.

Eliot's biography, done without any involvement from Eastwood, covers his life and career through 2009. I was familiar with many of Eastwood's films and saw many of his early westerns. I didn't know hardly anything about Eastwood the man.

From this book I learned that Eastwood's reputation as a conservative comes from the fisc...more
Mika Auramo
Kokonaisuudessaan Marc Eliotin Clint-elämäkerta on tuhti ja onnistunut paketti näyttelijälegendan elämästä.

Vuonna 1930-syntyneen tähden näyttelijäuran päättää upeasti Gran Torino, mutta viisikymmenluvulla oli toisin. Hän sai Universalilta potkut yhdessä Burt Reynoldsin kanssa, koska he olivat niin lahjattomia.

Kaliforniassa varttuneen Clintin isä oli huoltiksella töissä, ja vetelehtivä näyttelijänalku teki vaihtelevia hanttihommia intin jälkeen. Pikkuroolit eivät elättäneet, vaan siivoushommiak...more
James Perkins
Everybody familiar with western culture, whether they live in it or not, knows Clint Eastwood. As a result, it would be difficult for a biographer to provide any surprises, and Marc Eliot does not. What he does provide is a clear, entertaining, well-written portrait of one of the icons of modern Hollywood. From the early beginnings of Eastwood's career as the cattle driver Rowdy Yates on television's Rawhide, through his days in the spaghetti westerns that opened the cinematic doors in Hollywood...more
Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
As a big Eastwood fan I was looking forward to reading this book.

The book is divided into three parts:
Part 1 - From Aimless to Actor - which follows Eastwood from birth until 1979
Part 2 - From Actor to Auteur - which takes place from 1979 to 1990
Part 3 - From Auteur to Oscar - which takes place from 1990 to 2009

The Good:
This book was a fascinating read and reminded me of Mr. Eastwood's body of work in-front and behind the camera. I knew that Eastwood is a cinematic genius and the book ceme...more
Diane
Clint Eastwood has long been a favorite actor of mine, so when I heard about the new biography, I was anxious to read more about this amazing man. Boy did I learn a lot too! Despite the fact that Clint Eastwood was a womanizer, probably a lousy husband and a not very involved father, no one could say that the man did not have talent and that he worked hard to accomplish what he did in his 50 years on screen. Probably one of the most iconic stars in Hollywood, he starred in westerns, thrillers, d...more
Will Jenkins
Elliot's writing is most interesting, and to me, seems to work best when he is following the original thesis of his book; that Eastwood's films reflect the actor's life itself. Looking at Eastwood's life through the lens of his artistic work helps to give a better sense of the inner workings of a notoriously private celebrity. This is not to say that Eliot does not tend to stray away from the point on several occasions, losing sight of what might be the most interesting idea in a book that was m...more
Art
Reading this book, I realized I've seen most of the movies Clint Eastwood has starred in over the years. My father loved Dirty Harry and was exceptionally proud when he found out that the first handgun I purchased (many years ago) was a S&W Model 29. In case you are unfamiliar with Dirty Harry, he carries a S&W Model 29.

This new biography does a very good job of covering Eastwood's movie career and his private life. Untangling Eastwood from the characters he has played on the big screen...more
Justin Watts
American Rebel was a striking look at the life of Clint Eastwood. Many, including me, never knew the very private but tumultuous home life of Clint which is extensively elaborated in this book. I knew from "best of" movie lists, the titles such as "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly", "Dirty Harry", and "The Outlaw Josie Wales" but never really watched his movies. I have seen his most recent films which i absolutely loved: "Million Dollar Baby," "Unforgiven" "Mystic River" and "Gran Torino." The bo...more
Rick
This continues the author's "revisionist study" of the American motion picture industry and examines the life of one of its most iconic members. Because he happened to be able to swim, he was assigned as a life guard at Ft. Ord, Calif., rather than being sent to fight in Korea. There he met up with other soon-to-be actors -- David Janssen, Martin Milner, John Saxon -- and despite having no great desire to be an actor, became the most successful and influential of them all.

Eliot's description of...more
Benjamin Zapata
A decent biography about Clint Eastwood,one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful actors,producers,and directors in the history of American motion pictures.I grew up watching his movies,from the Man With No Name" trilogy,to his latest.A man that kept alive the western genre all by himself for more than 20 years,winner of four Oscars,and multiples awards. In 1954,at age 24,Eastwood was married and working at an Oakland,CA,gas station when he was brought to Universal by dire...more
Beckie
i read the nearly 700 page clint eastwood - american rebel - biography. i have been a fan of his for a very long time. i have never read a biography of anyone before because i just am not a big fan of history - no matter whose life story it is. but i made an exception for clint because i just love him so. i knew a lot about his life, and now i know way too much. some things were a hard pill to swallow, the biggest being that he was quite the womanizer, has 7 kids by 5 women (and has only been ma...more
Maggieh
This book is a fraud. Riddled with so many errors on simple easy-to-check details ---- like which actor played which part, what the main character's job is, who dies, the nominations/awards list is incomplete, although the book claims to be the "only complete" bio of its subject. But it also has 2 major errors: the well-known catchphrase "Do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya?" is given as "Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya? which makes no sense; also, text has Eastwood losing a best-actor Oscar for 2008 for...more
Susan
Okay, so now that I have an iPod, I find myself limited in the available books from my library that are in this format. The reason I hang in with books like this is in hope of finding that the person was in some way redeemed through his "exceptional" life. Clint Eastwood helps maintain the old saw that power (and fame and wealth) corrupt. Since Clint sees himself as larger than life, as do many around him, he has lots of power over the people who care about him. Repugnant to me.

As for the perfor...more
Robert T.  Garcia
I am a big fan of Clint Eastwood for many years. Grew up loving his western movies and Dirty Harry movies. Later in my late teens while serving in the US Army, I discovered that the Dirty Harry character was novelized into a series. I had managed to read all that where published. Later I actually met Mr. Eastwood while working for Pebble Beach Company, he is co-owner of Pebble Beach resort/golf courses. Mr. Eastwood is a regular visitor and I would hand his week Pine Cone Newspaper for Carmel ar...more
Bill
I enjoyed Eliot's Cary Grant book as well as his book on Reagan's years in Hollywood, but I felt this book was a little superficial. It does tell the basic biography of Clint, where he was from, who he married, who was sleeping with, what movies he made; but it is very lacking in analysis and detail. And we learn very little about his filmmaking process other than he works quickly, does few takes, and brings the films in on time. Eastwood deserves a book on the order of Christopher Frayling's bo...more
Kay
Clint Eastwood comes across as so many of his film characters: cold, aloof, ruthless, egotistical, and a man of few words. I remember when his affair with Sandra Locke was made public I was so disgusted with her for breaking up his marriage. What a joke!! He was born a Tomcat and had bedded almost every woman he came across. When she sued him I really thought she was a money grubbing woman trying to use him to further her career. This book certainly proved me wrong! Eastwood has talent, but he's...more
Kay Bates
I found the book entertaining and informative.
Barry Martin Vass
This was a very entertaining look at one of the most creative and long-lasting talents in Hollywood. Marc Eliot is a skilled biographer, and this study of Eastwood is a no-holds-barred portrait of his decades-long quest to 'make it'. From his battles with the early studio system, his struggles with the critics, and even delving into the admitted darkness of his private life, this is not to be missed. Great stuff!
Ann Streetman
This book is as much about movie genres and movie making, as about Clint Eastwood. An unauthorized biography, it is well researched and well documented. Most readers would find it tedious, but I thorouhly enjoyed it. I am not only a movie buff, but also something of a storyteller myself. A person in my family is a professional movie and TV crew member who had the privilege of working on a Clint Eastwood production. My thanks to two good storytellers Marc Eliot and Clint Eastwood.
Joan
A very sexist book if you ask me, but good reading if you must understand Hollywood. Definitely a man's book, but good research for this female mind as it chronicles the journey of an actor who got by in Hollywood by essentially playing himself and learned what Hollywood wanted from him the hard way. I like Clint Eastwood now I must say because I like him better as a director than an actor (plus I don't like westerns). He really does get better with age...
Matt
Book is ok learnt a few bits I didn't know about Clint but it's more like a Wikipedia blog than a serious biography!
Not the best I've read but by no means the worst! Was hoping for more of an insight into his personal life but it goes more into the history of his films and roles with a sprinkling of private life and affairs etc.
Marissa
All in all, pretty interesting. I don't care as much about the Sandra Locke chapter of Clint's life as the author does, but I guess no Eastwood biography would be complete without it. While I’ve always known that Clint was a star and a well-regarded director, I didn’t realize that he was pretty much the #1 box office guy in the 70s and early 80s. I added about 20 Eastwood movies to my Netflix queue as well. Should be a pretty intense fall. :)
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