WATCH: Historical KRTV Interview With Young Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood on KRTV with Norma Ashby
Source: Montana Historical Society, Youtube

The Montana Historical Society has uploaded a wealth of material to their Youtube channel lately, including a number of televised interviews originally broadcast on KRTV in decades past.  It's a veritable treasure trove of great conversations and fascinating pop culture moments with celebrities big and small.  From Dr. Joyce Brothers to comedy legend Red Skelton, from horror stalwart Vincent Price (my favorite!) to footage of Pat Nixon at Yellowstone National Park, wading through it all feels a little like stepping into a time machine. 

But the one we just had to share with you is a 1973 interview with Clint Eastwood, conducted in Great Falls by local legend Norma Ashby, who seems excited to be talking to Dirty Harry himself.  For his part, Clint (this is Clint 50 years ago, which means he was only in his... forties?) is a gracious and charming guest.  He demures when Ashby calls him the "number one box office star in the world", and immediately answers "water skiing" when she asks him his favorite part about filming in Montana. 

Clint Eastwood on KRTV with Norma Ashby
Source: Montana Historical Society and Youtube

Eastwood was in town to shoot the film "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot", a buddy-crime caper also starring Jeff Bridges.  It would be an auspicious occasion for Mr. Bridges, too.  He would return to Montana the next year to shoot the cult-classic "Rancho Deluxe", during the filming of which he would meet his future wife, then a waitress at Chico Hot Springs. 

In the interview Eastwood mentions "country up by Augusta" as being particularly to his liking before discussing his burgeoning directorial career.  At that time he had only directed a handful of pictures (and only made one "Dirty Harry" film; there would eventually be five).  

See the interview below, and be sure to check out the incredible wealth of other historical KRTV interviews in the Montana Historical Society archives. 

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