“I should have gotten the full credit”: Clint Eastwood Warned ‘Apocalypse Now’ Writer to Take His Advice While Filming ‘Dirty Harry’ That Later Came Back to Haunt Him

Clint Eastwood Warned 'Apocalypse Now' Writer to Take His Advice While Filming 'Dirty Harry' That Later Came Back to Haunt Him
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One of the most famous Clint Eastwood characters was made possible by the writing skills of John Milius. Known for his amazing screenwriting, Milius has been part of some of the most well-known movies in history. So, when he joined the team working on Dirty Harry, he added fresh energy to the series that everyone noticed. But things got complicated when it came to giving credit for the work. He feels that because he did not understand how everything was put together in legal terms, his contributions were unfairly downplayed.

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In a 2015 article, the writer expressed his frustration and discussed how concentrating solely on the creative side isn’t enough in the industry. This was a lesson Clint Eastwood had warned him about, but unfortunately, he didn’t pay much attention to that advice, and therefore later regretted it.

Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry

Also Read: “Clint Eastwood is my hero”: Denzel Washington Bows Down to 93-Year-Old Hollywood Legend For His Gutsy Move After a Successful Acting Career

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John Milius Regretted Not Taking Heed of Clint Eastwood’s Advice

When questioned about his contributions to Clint Eastwood‘s Dirty Harry screenplay, John Milius was very direct about his experiences. The excitement of creating the artistic side of the film captivated him so much that he temporarily overlooked the complex legal details hidden underneath. He elaborated, that he almost pursued legal action through the Writers Guild during the time. His strong creative passion, caused him to unintentionally ignore the complicated legal details and official processes, He said,

“I should have gotten the full credit. That’s another one of my great Writers Guild complaints — I didn’t send in my letter for the arbitration. I didn’t even know in those days that if you didn’t consent to the agreed credits that you should send in something. And that’s why I didn’t get credit. “I was off making Judge Roy Bean.’ Clint always asked me, ‘Do you want to take your name off?’ That’s what he always thought.” 

John Milius
John Milius

Despite being cautioned by Eastwood on multiple occasions, the writer disregarded these warnings and didn’t take any action. He was so absorbed in his creative work that he didn’t give due attention to the advice he was given. As a result, he missed the opportunity to address the potential legal issues that were looming and thus later regretted it.

Also Read: Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Idea Of Reviving His $22M Franchise Starring Liam Neeson Failed Miserably Despite His Best Efforts

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Another Writer Who Went Uncredited For His Work in Dirty Harry

According to Milius, Terrence Malick was one such fellow who got uncredited for his contributions. He often had a hand in crafting several noteworthy screenplays, often using the pseudonyms David Whitney and Lingard Jervey. One of these works was allegedly Dirty Harry. It’s worth noting that Malick’s own artistic expressions and convictions differed significantly from the themes and perspectives conveyed in the Clint Eastwood film series.  Nevertheless, his involvement in the films was reportedly considerable, contributing a substantial amount to its development and trajectory according to the Apocalypse Now writer. He stated,

“You know who else did a draft after me and probably should have gotten credit? Terry Malick.”

Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick

Despite not receiving the proper credit for his contributions, Milius aimed to ensure that everyone knew the names of those who played a role in bringing the project to fruition. While there’s been no official confirmation from Malick, Milius’ unwavering conviction seemingly lends enough credibility to this statement.

Also Read: “It’s okay, I’ll shake his hand”: Clint Eastwood’s Son Had A Strange Response After Finding Out Ashton Kutcher Slept With His Girlfriend While Married To Demi Moore

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Source: Creative Screenwriting

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Written by Sampurna Banerjee

Articles Published: 816

Sampurna Banerjee, an ardent enthusiast of pop culture and movies, pours her passion into her role as a writer for FandomWire. With a penchant for Marvel, DC, and sitcoms, she has contributed over 400 articles, staying up-to-date to the entertainment industry's latest buzz. Moreover, she's penned over 300 articles for Animated Times and shared her work across several Instagram pages. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calcutta University.