After the failure of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, Clint Eastwood returns to the camera for “Found Guilty”, for which he also signs the staging. A captivating drama but which received mixed reviews and marked a slump in the filmmaker’s career before his big comeback.
found guilty : Clint Eastwood against the death penalty
In 1999, Clint Eastwood reappeared in front of the camera after stepping back to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In found guiltythe actor and filmmaker lends his features to Steve Everett, a former glory of New York journalism who settled in California to work in a small daily newspaper in Oakland.
While working hard to make his alcoholism a thing of the past, Averett is assigned by his editor Alan Mann (James Woods) to take over the investigation of a colleague who died in a car accident. She was convinced that Frank Beechum (Isaiah Washington) sentenced to death for the murder of a grocer, is innocent.
A few hours before his execution, Everett goes to meet Beechum to collect his final testimony. After having exchanged with the prisoner, the journalist thinks in turn that he is not an assassin. But he has very little time left to prove it…
Denis Leary, Diane Venora, LisaGay Hamilton, Bernard Hill and Michael Jeter round out the cast of found guilty. A feature film which, like the political thriller Full powersis far from the most quoted of Clint Eastwood. He is still well worth a look, if only for his character’s humor and cynicism.
A little slump before the big comeback
When found guilty arrives in dark rooms, Clint Eastwood has just suffered the commercial failure of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which only brings in $25 million on US soil. A score well below those of his two previous films, On the road to Madison and Full powerswhich raked in $71 million and $50 million, respectively, in the United States.
But found guilty does worse than its predecessor. Faced with mixed reviews, the drama does not exceed the bar of 17 million dollars of budget while it nevertheless benefits froma massive kind on more than 1800 screensas author Patrick McGilligan explains in the biography Clint Eastwood – A Legend. The feature film therefore stands out as the least popular of its director and main actor over the decade.
Moreover, during this period, the press scrutinizes the personal life of Clint Eastwood. How many children does he have? How many affairs has he had? These questions often come up in the newspapers, which are also interested in the trial between him and his ex-wife Sondra Locke or his union with presenter Dina Ruiz, who is 35 years younger than him. In found guiltythe sacred monster also plays on its image as a seducer and the devastation it can cause.
In 2002, after the success of Space Cowboys two years earlier, Clint Eastwood suffered the failure of the thriller Blood claim. The career of the filmmaker then seems to be in decline. Until his comeback a year later with Mystic River, then a new consecration with Million Dollar Baby.
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Found guilty: why does the film mark a slump for Clint Eastwood? – CineSeries