Blogs » Movies Matters » "Pink Cadillac": Proof that even Clint Eastwood can make a stinker

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Image For years, I have been blown away not only by Clint Eastwood's canny ability to perform successfully on the silver screen, but by his show-biz shrewdness. Here's the thing: Any number of good-looking, mellifluous actors have come and gone. They may have a decent run -- maybe a few years, possibly more than that. But for the most part, they ultimately find themselves nudged out of the spotlight, supplanted by younger and fresher faces. It is as remorseless, and as cruel, as a law of nature. Clint Eastwood, however, has become a gaudy and enduring exception to that law. He is more than an actor: He is a Hollywood institution. His trademarks have set him apart from the common run: the squinty eyes, the laconic manner, the cynical approach to criminals, wealthy no-goods and other sleazes. He is not a respecter of big shots: It comes through in virtually every movie he makes. Has it worked for him? Merely like gangbusters, and he continues to ply the neighborhood he has made his own. He'd be nuts if he were to do otherwise, wouldn't he? However, even Hollywood's biggest and most knowledgeable luminaries can trip over their shoestrings. Take an Eastwood vehicle that I stumbled across a while back. Please. It's a little-known vehicle (for good reasons, I suspect) called "Pink Cadillac." Suffice it to say that this is not one of the loftier of Eastwood's collection of cinematic offerings. As has been the case in more than a few of Eastwood's offerings, we find our tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold coming to the aid of a damsel in trouble. So far, so good. Or at least OK. But it just . . . doesn't work. Y'see, our Clint is a guy who makes his living by tracking down low-lifes and consigning to them to the slammer. Hard as knife. And yet . . . he just goes totally ga-ga for little ol' Bernette Peters, a damsel in trouble whose idiot husband has gotten enlisted into a bunch of neo-Nazis. (She is, by the way, the one with the Caddy.) Will the cold-as-nails Clint throw everything to the winds to free Bernette's adorable baby? And did I mention that the bad guys are all toting machine guns? On the unlikely possibility that you might want to see this opus yourself, I won't say any more about how the thing works out. Just suffice it to say that even the movie monsters occasionally make some dubious calls. One supposes, and hopes, that ol' Clint will resist more of such expeditions. We need him tough as bricks and absolutely devoid of saccarin sentimentality. OK with this, Clint? An occasional mistake is no big deal, but any more of this kind of stuff might lead what a worried nation doesn't need: a touchy-feely tough- guy-in-chief.