It’s hard to believe but 2021 marks Clint Eastwood’s 50th year of his partnership with Warner Bros. (Dirty Harry). I’ve been working with my friends at Warner Bros. since 1984, even before we started The Lee County Courier.
Those friends sent Clint’s latest drama Cry Macho.
In the film, it’s 1979 — Mike Milo (Eastwood) has seen better days. Back in his glory days he was a rodeo star and a horse breeder. He has become a washed up, grumpy cowpoke who’s get up and go has got up and went.
An ex-boss, Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam) offers Mike a job to bring back his young son from Mexico. Mike isn’t interested but Howard reminds him “you owe me” from some other misadventure in their past.
The boy is in the custody of his mother Leta (Fernanda Urrejola), who is obviously a gold-digger and has found a new man.
She doesn’t have much real love for the 13-year-old son, Rafo (Eduardo Minett) who’s basically become a street kid. His best friend is his cockfighting rooster, Macho.
Cry Macho is basically a road movie, with Mike, Rafo and Macho trying to make their way back to the boy’s father. Slowly but surely, Mike develops a likeing to the boy and even the rooster.
There are a couple of unbelievable moments, one when Eastwood (supposedly) is breaking in a wild horse. Clint is 91. Another when he does the rumba with a younger señora.
But for the most part, Cry Macho is a heartwarming story of how a man without purpose, can be rejuvenated by helping a boy make that journey to a man. For the boy, it’s getting to see what real love looks like.
Unlike some of Eastwood’s recent projects, this western drama is not based on a true story or historical event, but adapted from the novel of the same name by N. Richard Nash.
Oscar winner Eastwood directed from a screenplay by Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash. Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy, Tim Moore and Jessica Meier produced the film, with David M. Bernstein serving as executive producer.
The filmmaker’s creative team behind the scenes included BAFTA-nominated director of photography Ben Davis (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Captain Marvel”), production designer Ron Reiss (set decorator, “Richard Jewell” and “The Mule”), Oscar-winning editor Joel Cox (“Unforgiven”), who has cut most of director Eastwood’s films, and editor David Cox (“Den of Thieves,” assistant editor on “Richard Jewell” and “The Mule”), and longtime collaborator costume designer Deborah Hopper. The music is by Mark Mancina (“Moana”).