Sunday, June 8, 2008

LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE: Clint Eastwood versus Spike Lee

This could be the fight of the centruy. This fight could be as big a Ali-Frazier. This could be a fight the people could talk about for years and years to come. It is Eastwwod versus Lee. It is Dirty Harry versus Mars Blackmon.

It all started when Spike Lee complained that there were no black soldiers in either of Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated war films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.

Spike was upset that the African-American contingent didn’t seem to get any acknowledgement whatsoever from Clint, and he spoke up at the Cannes Film Festival in May. He said:

Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen. If you reporters had any balls you’d ask him why. But I know it was pointed out to him and that he could have changed it. It’s not like he didn’t know…
To which Clint Eastwood replied:

A guy like that should shut his face.
A guy like what exactly? Like a black man? Or like a scrawny-faced owl man? We just don’t know. What we do know is that this town is not big enough for the both of them. Yee-haw!

But anyway, Spike Lee has responded to Clint’s comment. He told ABC News:

First of all, the man is not my father and we’re not on a plantation. The thing about it though, I didn’t personally attack him. And a comment like ‘a guy like that should shut his face’ - come on Clint, come on. He sounds like an angry, old man right there. It’s just that there’s not one black in either film. And because I know my history, that’s why I made that observation.
Lee is currently in the midst of post-production on his own WWII epic, Miracle as St. Anna, which, according to, ‘chronicles the story of four black American soldiers who are members of the US Army as part of the all-black 92nd Buffalo Soldier Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy, during World War II’.

Did we read that correctly; the ‘all-black’ division? Not even a token white boy to occasionally "honky up the proceedings"? Outrageous.

Spike furthered:

Many veterans, African-Americans, who survived that war are upset at Clint Eastwood. In his vision of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist. Simple as that. I have a different version.
Clint was initially reluctant to respond to Spike’s remarks, but eventually told the Guardian:

The story is ‘Flags of Our Fathers,’ the famous flag-raising picture. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people’d go, ‘This guy’s lost his mind.’ I mean, it’s not accurate.
Anybody know any war historians to clear this up?

As it currently stands, Spike has had the last word, and here it is:

Even though he’s trying to have a Dirty Harry flashback, I’m going to take the Obama high road and end it right here.

I hope these two go to blows. It would be fun to see Dirty Harry kick the shit out of Mars Blackmon.

"I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" - Harry Callahan (aka Dirty Harry) as played by Clint Eastwood in the movie "Dirty Harry"


Law and Order Teacher said...

It would appear that Lee is making a mountain out of a molehill. Blacks ran ammunition to white Marines as they were making their assaults. I would be the last to minimize anyone's role in a war, but it is a fact that Clint depicted the roles of each accurately in the film. Some black Marines were depicted in the film, but they were in a support role. In a war, anyone who is there is a hero. Lee is just trying to pick a fight. As Clint says, he should just shut his face. Lee should make a movie about the 92nd division in the First World War if he wants to talk about some serious African American heroes. They fought bravely and were awarded medals by the French government. Tell that story Mr. Lee.

Law and Order Teacher said...

There were African American units in every war. They all fought bravely and are heroes. Mr. Lee should read a little history and would be able to do justice the African Americans in all of America's wars.

Isn't it interesting that Lee has a movie coming out and he chooses now to pick a fight with Eastwood? Great timing.

Anonymous said...


"Isn't it interesting that Lee has a movie coming out and he chooses now to pick a fight with Eastwood? Great timing."

That's showbiz...

But I agree that the Eastwood film appears to portray the event as it happened, not like Spike Lee would want it remembered.

Texas Truth said...

Law and Order Teacher: Spike Lee always tries to start problems when his name is falling out of the public eye. If he had not been a movie director, he may have been a radical preacher.

Texas Truth said...

Law and Order Teacher: Yes there were. I really liked the movie "The Tuskegee Airmen." That was a great story of their contributions.

Texas Truth said...

nunoftheabove: I Clint Eastwood movie makes more money on opening day that a Spike Lee movie makes for its entire run. I do not see why anyone thinks this guy is a great movie maker.