Eastwood Hair Days are Coming Soon

There are things on Netflix that you would hardly even know were there.

One of the best ways of catching a glimpse of some of this ‘less found' stuff is to look at the recommendations at the bottom of the screen when you select something or (and this is a good one) try searching for something that you know for sure isn’t on there and see what alternatives Netflix throws up for you.

That’s how I found the film ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ the other night. God knows what I was looking for, at the time, it could have been anything. I would have never known it was there if my search had not been in vain.

Now, wait, wait a minute, come back, sit down… I’m not actually recommending ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ to you as a viewing experience. I’m saying it’s there and I’m saying I found it and I watched it… again. And, once again, no, I’m not recommending it. I don’t think I can comfortably send you over to Netlfix to watch it. I’d be afraid you might come back and start giving out to me and I can’t be doing with that just now.

So… not a recommendation. Got that? Good.

Now that we’re clear on that, I can say to you that I kind-of love ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ and I have done for the longest time. It’s one of those films from my childhood/teenage years that made a mark on me that never quite went away. And, just in case that last sentence stops you in your tracks, just in case you’re wondering how a film with a huge ‘X’ certificate on the poster can evoke childhood memories, let me explain once more about that slightly odd ‘grown up movie’ aspect of my formative years.

I blame Bruce Lee, of course. All of Bruce Lee’s films were ‘Over 18’s’ but we had to get in to see our hero so we developed resources and guile and skills and, most importantly, a ‘brass neck’ about getting in flicks that were patently too old for us to see. As a result, it became the norm to see grown up movies when we were twelve or thirteen. It didn’t do me any harm (twitch) and it definitely gave me a head start on my love of movies which, otherwise, might have faded away if my diet had been restricted to stuff like Disney and ‘Carry On’s.

‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ was one such grown up movie. I remember a Friday night in the Savoy. I don’t think it was the first time it played there. It was a popular show and it came back for a couple of nights as a double feature from time to time. I loved it because it was a ‘Road Movie’ and it was funny and naughty and adult and violent and so many of the things I knew I shouldn’t really be seeing. Watching it again, the other night, I was struck by the glorious Panavision-lensed countryside and the gentle warmth of the developing relationship between the two main characters. It has a certain pedigree too, with Michael Cimino as Director and Screenwriter. (I’m still not recommending it). What starts out as quirky and funny and hugely male-centric becomes something much more gently ironic and ultimately tragic. (Maybe you should watch it.)

And, hey, this isn’t even meant to be a movie review blog post. Look back at the title. Yup, it’s meant to be about hair. I haven’t even mentioned hair yet… well, I just did but I’m nearly at the end now, for pity’s sake.

Here we go now though, hair.

I’m in lockdown, just like everybody else, and so I can’t get my hair cut. When I suggested I might take my beard trimmer to my head, some fine day, my friend, who does that with his hair, looked at me for the twat that I often am and said, “you won’t ever do that.” He’s probably right, it’s just going to grow and grow, isn’t it?

And here’s the thing. Looking at Clint Eastwood in ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot’ the other night, the thought popped clearly into my head. That’s what my hair is going to do, now that I can't cut it. It’s going to turn into Clint Eastwood’s hair.

I’ve always got the brushed-back ‘widow’s peak’ action that my Dad left me but usually it’s cut short enough not to matter. Not anymore, baby. I reckon I’m going to hit ‘peak’ Eastwood within a month or so and then all the wrongdoers and ne’er-do-wells of my little town had better just watch the hell out. (“Go ahead, Pat, make my day.”) I even got my old Ray-ban sunglasses out and washed them with Fairy Liquid. They're not much practical use to me, 'cos they're not prescription but, man, they look the part. 

Have you spotted it yet? The basic misconception that pervades the latter half of this post.

Yup, somewhere deep in my head, I don’t just think I’m going to have Clint Eastwood hair, I actually think I’m going to become Clint Eastwood.

But, deep down, I know. I know…

I’m not going to become Clint Eastwood. I’m a middle aged paunchy not-too-statuesque dude and Clint is lean and mean and seven-and-a-half foot bloody tall. Hell, I’m not even going to have Clint Eastwood hair. It’s just going to become an unruly clusterfuck up there on the top of my head and fall down in bangs on my nose. To hell with it. Maybe I actually will beard-trim it all off after all.

(You won’t, Ken.)

You’re right, I won’t.

Maybe I’ll just go and see what else I can find down the back of Netflix. Maybe I’ll unearth a more achievable hair-aspiration something in there.

Kojak reruns, maybe…


Marc Paterson said...

I'm in the fortunate position to have a set of barber's clippers and my willing wife to keep my barnet under control but I still leave it way too long between cuts.

I also have the misfortune to be balding in the worst way, polo mint style, like Cadfael. This is why I clipper it down to the scalp, pretty short. I probably need to do it soon before it looks like Edward Scissorhands took a bit too much off the top and nothing round the sides and back.

Jim Murdoch said...

My second wife was a huge Clint Eastwood fan. I had enjoyed most of his work up until then but had it not been for her I woulnd’t’ve gone out of my way to watch any film simply because he was in it. I’m not actually sure there are any actors I love so much I’d watch anything they did although there a few musicians (Pink Floyd and Fish jump to mind) who can do no wrong. Like most people—certainly those too young for Rawhide that is--I became aware of Eastwood through his work with Sergio Leone and Christ knows how many times I’ve watched the Dollars Trilogy but I could happily sit down and watch any of the films right now. The same cannot be said for all the films he starred in but, fair’s fair, even a bad film with Clint Eastwood in it is more watchable than many good films without him with the possible exception of White Hunter Black Heart which is the only Eastwood film I’ve never made it all the way through. (The same is true of Carrie too I’ve since learned.) Looking at a list of his films, however, it’s the westerns than stand out for me; his cops can be a bit hit and miss despite the fact Harry Callahan’s become iconic; his comedies are not his best work. I’m not actually sure how I feel about him as a director. I know he works quickly, often only requires one of two takes to be happy with a scene and he uses the same crew on an ongoing basis. He, surprisingly, has more in common with Woody Allen as a director than the likes of Sam Peckinpah or Michael Bay.

Hair has always been a bit of a sore point with me especially during the early seventies when I actually had enough hair to do something with it but no sooner did my hair reach my collar than my dad started calling me a “mad professor” and it was off to the barber with me. I’ve never had long hair and I so wanted it back then when fitting it was so important that even I couldn’t resist its pull. The longest I’ve ever grown my hair was actually a few months back when I posted my last profile picture. I just left everything go to pot for a few months and ended up doing a passable impression of Gandalf. The odd thing was the long—long-ish—hair actually annoyed me more than I expected and rather than toughing it out until I had enough for a ponytail I got Carrie to give me a haircut and be done with it. The beard too. I’ve not been to a barber in almost fifteen years and Carrie has never been to a hairdresser in this country; she’s always looked after her own hair which impresses the hell out of me I have to say.