First released while Clint Eastwood's Space Cowboys was still enjoying a successful theatrical run in the fall of 2000, this edition of The Directors serves as a satisfying retrospective of Eastwood's career. The legendary actor-director had appeared in 68 films by this time, and although he hints at retirement at the end of this hour-long profile, he also mentions future projects and shows no signs of slowing down. With Eastwood as the primary interview subject, the program covers all the salient points, most importantly the inspiration and influence of directors Don Siegel and Sergio Leone, who had fostered Eastwood's early career and encouraged him to direct. To that end, Eastwood's directorial debut Play Misty for Me is given thorough coverage, in addition to Eastwood's views on the importance of music (as long as it's balanced and not "bombastic"), and his well-known skill at delivering all of his films on time and on (or under) budget. "I was brought up to respect the financier's money," Eastwood says, explaining the methods he uses to work within a given production timeframe.
Interviewees range from A-list stars like Meryl Streep and Morgan Freeman to such veteran character actors (and Eastwood regulars) as Geoffrey Lewis and Pat Hingle. Extra time is appropriately devoted to Unforgiven, which Eastwood describes as "not an anti-Western, but a myth-breaking Western" in its handling of violence. Rounding out with Space Cowboys and some closing comments by Eastwood and his daughter, Alison, this edition of The Directors is, like many of the others, a concise and informative overview for anyone who wants to learn more about this great American filmmaker. --Jeff Shannon