Persistence of Double Vision: Essays on Clint Eastwood


193 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-88864-356-X
DDC 791.43'092




M. Wayne Cunningham is a past executive director of the Saskatchewan
Arts Board and the former director of Academic and Career Programs at
East Kootenay Community College.


The author’s objective in this study is to demystify Clint
Eastwood’s film persona by exploring “the reflexive and
deconstructive elements whose action undercuts its stature.”
Eastwood’s “utterly strange dualism—a figure who is simultaneously
marmoreally powerful and compulsively self-deconstructing” is the
book’s central theme.

In eight chapters. Beard explores Eastwood’s place within the
1960–90 Hollywood cinematic output, and the ways in which the
actor’s persona both adapted to and initiated cultural change;
Eastwood’s “heroic deconstruction” as evidenced in the Dirty Harry
role and such films as Tightrope, Bronco Billy, and Pale Rider;
Unforgiven as an example of the Western genre; the Eastwood persona as
father or father-substitute; the father-figure theme as expressed in A
Perfect World; fatherhood and heroism in Absolute Power and True Crime;
Eastwood as a “woman’s man”; and the “authorial” aspects of
the Eastwood persona.

Film scholars, critics, and historians, as well as general readers with
an interest in the subject, will find this book a rewarding and valuable


Beard, William., “Persistence of Double Vision: Essays on Clint Eastwood,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,