Today any actor would be glad to take the bad guy role in a movie starring Eastwood. However, in the early stages of his career, only totally desperate actors consented to play villains in his movies. The reason for this is that Eastwood wanted his pistol with real ammunition. There was no point surreptitiously substituting the bullets for blank cartridges: Eastwood could tell by the weight of the gun. When we see the villain flee with a terrified look, sweating and trembling like jelly, in those first films such as “A Fistful of Dollars”, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Dirty Harry”, we are not in presence of a masterful interpretation but of the authentic terror of a poor man who knows that the bullets whistling over his head are live ammunition whose aim is to hit the mark. How many takes had to be redone because the villain pretended to drop dead prematurely! -just after hearing the first gunshot or even before. That was Russian roulette with five bullets in the chamber. Eastwood’s short-sightedness alone prevented anyone from leaving the set feet-first.

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