Clint Eastwood’s Co-star Was Poisoned, Strangled, and Nearly Decapitated While Filming Iconic 1966 Western

Clint Eastwood’s co-star in a legendary movie almost died a few times while filming

Clint Eastwood’s Co-star Was Poisoned, Strangled, and Nearly Decapitated While Filming Iconic 1966 Western


  • Clint Eastwood has been part of numerous iconic films over the years
  • Clint Eastwood’s co-star in one major classic almost died on set for various reasons
  • Thankfully, the co-star lived to tell the tale about the iconic movie
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Clint Eastwood is one of Hollywood’s most masterful and skilled directors, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t acted in several iconic films as well. This included his legendary role as Blondie in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Unfortunately, one of his co-stars in the film suffered a lot during the filming process and almost lost his life.

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Clint Eastwood has also been part of other iconic films such as Dirty HarryA Fistful of Dollars and many more. That said, there is no doubt just how dedicated he has been to all of his films so far in his career.


Also read: From Clint Eastwood to Jason Statham, 5 Hollywood Badass Who Would Never be a MCU Superhero

Cool outlaw with cigarette
Clint Eastwod in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Clint Eastwood’s Co-star In The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Suffered Many Unfortunate Mishaps During Shooting

Clint Eastwood’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly(1966) stands as the quintessential spaghetti western epic, with actor Eli Wallach delivering a memorable performance that made him an icon in films. However, behind the scenes, Wallach faced many dangerous situations that brought him close to life-threatening incidents. One such instance involved a misfired stunt with a horse, which dragged him dangerously across the set.

Sussy man
Eli Wallach before his near-death experience

The truly death-defying scene unfolded as Wallach’s character tried to use a passing locomotive to break the chain of handcuffs after escaping a POW camp. The train, equipped with low steel steps overlooked during planning, was nothing short of death. During the scene, Wallach, chained to a soldier he had just killed, found himself in a life-threatening situation as the lowered metal steps on the oncoming train were dangerously close to decapitating him.

In another instance, Wallach was almost poisoned during shooting when he accidentally drank from a bottle of acid that a film technician had set next to his soda bottle – something that no one was aware of at the time.


In yet another near-mishap, Wallach’s character was supposed to be hanged, and the horse beneath him was intended to bolt in response to a pistol being fired. However, the execution of the scene didn’t go as planned. The horse instead galloped for about a mile with Wallach still mounted and his hands bound behind his back – strangling him and almost killing him in the process.

Also read: “I was throwing that out”: Clint Eastwood Had to Fight With Director to Enforce His One Suggestion That Immortalized The Man With No Name


Clint Eastwood Didn’t Initially Want To Do The Film

By the mid-1960s, Clint Eastwood had already established himself in the Western genre and was seeking new challenges in his career. When initially asked to appear in the film, he declined for several reasons.

Iconic staredown
Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach

One factor was Eastwood’s disappointment in sharing the screen with two established actors, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef. He wasn’t happy about Wallach’s character being given the best dialogues. On top of that, Eastwood was offered lesser pay, as his status as a major star in the United States wasn’t really established then.


Thankfully, the producers were eager to have Eastwood on board for the film. Therefore, they offered him a $250,000 salary, 10% of the profits and a new Ferrari 275 GTB. In the end, Eastwood accepted and the rest is history.

Also read: “It’s for somebody, but not me”: Clint Eastwood’s Biggest Regret Might Be Not Able to Play Fantastic Four’s Most Personal Nemesis


Written by Subhojeet Mookherjee

Subhojeet Mookherjee is a Freelance Entertainment Writer for FandomWire. A lover and expert in all things movies, games, TV shows, music and more. I've been in the writing business for over five years now, covering various topics all over the world. I love engaging in deep conversations with like-minded people.