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Critiquing Movies and the Folks Who Write About Them : Clint and Role Models

July 31, 1988

Your July 24 Outtakes dig against Clint Eastwood for casting only one black--as a convict--in "The Dead Pool" is unfair. It overlooked the fact that Eastwood's previous project was "Bird," a film about Charlie Parker to be released this fall, a commercially dubious project that got made only because of Eastwood's interest and clout. (Eastwood was reportedly instrumental in Warners' involvement in "Round Midnight" as well.)

And Eastwood has more than paid his dues on the issue of a positive black role model, notably casting Scatman Crothers as the ringmaster in "Broncho Billy" and, most significantly, Vonetta McGee as his love interest in "The Eiger Sanction," a role for which race was not specified in the script.

R. MITCHELL

Los Angeles

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