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Clint Eastwood’s Every Which Way But Loose Films Are His Worst Franchise

Of the handful of movie franchises Clint Eastwood starred in, the Every Which Way But Loose films have aged the worst. Even at the height of movie stardom, Eastwood tended to avoid sequels in favor of working on original projects. Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy acted as his screen breakthrough, and he returned for four sequels to Dirty Harry. Towards the end of the ’70s, he wanted to shake up his image and make a full-on comedy. The result was Eastwood’s most successful film, Every Which Way But Loose. This cast Clint as a down-on-his-luck bare-knuckle brawler who owns a pet orangutan named Clyde.

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Eastwood has stated his agents strongly advised him against Every Which Way But Loose, and it was met with terrible reviews. Yet, audiences flocked to see the movie, with Clyde being a big part of its appeal. Eastwood returned shortly after for Any Which Way You Can, which was another big success. Sadly, the duology hasn’t aged well. Clint himself does surprisingly well with a lighter-hearted role, though both rely heavily on his orangutan co-star for laughs. Both Every Which Way But Loose movies suffer from wildly uneven tones, cartoonish characters and dated humor.

Related: Every Clint Eastwood Franchise, Ranked


Every Which Way But Loose Is STILL Clint’s Biggest Film

Clint and Clyde in Every Which Way But Loose

Eastwood was good friends with Burt Reynolds, who during the ’70s fronted many successful comedies like the Smokey And The Bandit films. The hit Every Which Way But Loose was originally pitched to Reynolds, but after he passed, Eastwood took a liking to it. Still, the star had made his name with Westerns and action movies, so such a radical turn to comedy shocked many viewers. However, since Every Which Way But Loose was rated PG, that meant families could see it together. This combination of factors accounts for the film’s success, despite the bad reviews.

Adjusted for inflation, Every Which Way But Loose grossed over $320 million. It also broke a record for being the first film to make over $10 million during its opening weekend, beating out the likes of the prior year’s Star Wars. Any Which Way You Can arrived soon after in 1980 to even worse reviews but still made an adjusted $230 million. Despite those numbers, Clint felt the premise had already been tapped clean, so a third outing didn’t happen. Dirty Harry movie The Dead Pool marked the final time the actor reprised a character.

Every Which Way But Loose’s Future

Clint Eastwood and Clyde in Every Which Way But Loose

Every Which Way But Loose was helmed by James Fargo, who also directed Eastwood in the third Dirty Harry movie The Enforcer. In 2017, Fargo announced he was producing an Every Which Way But Loose remake, with Anthony G. Cohen set to direct. Filming was set to commence in Spring that year, but work on the project went quiet. It appears the reboot is no longer happening, and it’s doubtful any studios would try to convince Eastwood to return for a belated third outing. The Every Which Way But Loose saga is best left alone, as they’re unique to a certain era.

Next: Clint Eastwood’s Final Action Movie Role Was One Of His Worst

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