13 of Clint Eastwood’s Wisest Quotes on War, Women, and Being a Rebel

“The stronger the participation of the female characters, the better the movie.”

Clint EastwoodPhoto: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

We drove around in an old Pontiac…towing a one-wheel trailer. We weren’t itinerant: It wasn’t The Grapes of Wrath, but it wasn’t uptown either. It gives you a sort of conservative background, being raised in an era when everything was scarce. (Source: Rolling Stones)

The whole romance of [Dirty Harry] is the fact that he’s a guy who hates bureaucracy. Well, who doesn’t hate bureaucracy? You go to the [DMV and] fill out form after form. That’s part of the bureaucratic nightmare that mankind has made. (Source: Psychology Today)

I was telling stories on the piano long before I ever directed a movie. I like the image of the piano player: The piano player sits down, plays, tells his story, and then gets up and leaves, letting the music speak for itself. (Source: snappermusic.com)

This picture [American Sniper] was interesting because I’m seeing it from the point of a person who was sort of an American hero. His family and his beliefs were very strong. You have to embrace his philosophy if you’re going to tell a story about him. (Source: Toronto Star)

There’s a rebel lying deep in my soul. Anytime anybody tells me the trend is such and such, I go the opposite direction. I hate the idea of trends. I hate imitation. I have a reverence for individuality. (Source: Wild Open Spaces)

When [my old films are on TV]…I slide slowly under the table in embarrassment. I cringe at having these huge heads of hair, big sideburns, and wearing some terrible bell-bottom pants. (Source: Woman and Home)

Extremism is so easy. You’ve got your position, and that’s it. It doesn’t take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right, you meet the same idiots coming around from the left. (Source: TIME)

Man becomes his most creative during war. Look at the amount of weaponry that was made in four short years of World War II. But that’s kind of a sad statement on mankind. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

My father died very suddenly at 63. For a long time afterward, I’d ask myself, Why didn’t I ask him to play golf more? Why didn’t I spend more time with him? There’s nothing you can do about it. So you just forge on. (Source: Esquire)

It’s too late for vanity. If I was 30, maybe, I’d say, “Hey, that’s not a good angle.” But there is no good angle now. (Source: The Guardian)

The stronger the participation of the female characters, the better the movie. They knew that in the old days, when women stars were equally as important as men. Hepburn, Davis, Colbert: They had great faces and great voices. (Source: rogerebert.com)

I’ve always felt that if I examine myself too much, I’ll find out what I know and don’t know, and I’ll burst the bubble. I’ve gotten so lucky relying on my animal instincts, I’d rather keep a little bit of the animal alive. (Source: Esquire)

I’m Joe Citizen. I’m a moviemaker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there. (Source: Carmel Pinecone)

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest