Go ahead, make my (birth)day' is exactly what Clint Eastwood would say to all those who are excited about him turning 91 this year.
He began his career as The Man With No Name in the 1960s, turned to Dirty Harry in the 1970s and 1980s, found himself In the Line of Fire in the 1990s and found himself in a Mystic River when it came to his Gran Torino in the new millennium. Winning Oscars might be his thing since the 1990s, but before that, he was known for his dialogue delivery, that changed the very definition of ‘machismo’ in Hollywood.
Let’s take a trip down the memory lane and find out more about the Eastwood way, which still reigns supreme through Han Solo in Star Wars, Special Agent Gibbs in NCIS, and Din Djarin in The Mandalorian!
When Town folks refused to apologize to his Mule …
In his first major Western A Fistful of Dollars, Clint Eastwood makes his entry as ‘The Man With No Name’ in a town that is ruled (read ruined) by two rival smugglers. As a Cowboy passing through, he decides to make some money even if it involves killing a few guys here, a few guys there. And how does he introduce himself to the first lot of bad guys he sees? By first asking the Undertaker to ‘get three coffins ready’ and then sending the very four people to the grave who refused to apologize to his mule. Yes, four … his bad!
‘You see, my mule don’t like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you’re laughin’ at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you’re going to, I might convince him that you really didn’t mean it.’
There is two kinds of people in this world, my friend!
This line ranks amongst the most famous ones delivered by Clint Eastwood; in fact, it is the most uttered line by his character in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly where he plays the ‘good’, on a mission of his own. Here, just before the big shoot-out, he finds the Ugly (Eli Wallach) and makes him dig because … there is two kinds of people in this world, my friend!
‘In this world, there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.’
When Dirty Harry interrupts a robbery that disrupted his breakfast!
Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry was not the first detective in Hollywood, but he changed the way detectives worked around the world. After that, every detective had a flaw, a death wish, a backstory and one must credit Blondie for that! In this scene, he breaks up a bank robbery while having breakfast, and then delivers a speech to a confused robber who was down, but not out.
‘I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Now, to tell you the truth, I’ve forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and it will blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: ‘Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?’
When Dirty Harry gets too much sugar in his coffee
No Clint Eastwood tribute would ever be complete without this Sudden Impact dialogue that had so much impact on Bollywood that they repeatedly had the scene copied in the late 1980s and 1990s. Here, Dirty Harry gets alerted to something fishy in a café after drinking his over sugary coffee and interrupts the robbery. The shooter takes the cafe staff hostage and threatens to kill her if he is not allowed a free passage. Eastwood’s response was this epic dialogue that not just sent shivers down the robber but also made him stand down.
‘Go ahead, make my day!’
When he mixes ‘The Man With No Name’ and ‘Dirty Harry’
What if Clint Eastwood was in his late 70s when he acted and directed Gran Torino; he was at his usual best, jumping away from attacking cars and scaring people off his property! However, when a bunch of hoodlums tries to harass one of his neighbors, who was also one of the few people who were friendly with him, he ditches the old man look, and threatens them in a way that they forget machismo, forever.
‘Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have f*cked with? That’s me.’