Turning Clint Eastwood Into A Cowboy Took Some ‘Trickery’ From The Rawhide Crew

“Fresh Air” host Terry Gross pointed out that she was a longtime fan of “Rawhide” and was particularly taken by its theme song. Gross was careful to quote the passage above and asked Eastwood if the experience of working on “Rawhide” was as memorable as the theme. Eastwood said that he did have enough roping and riding skills to perform the actions convincingly, but that he wasn’t as skilled as the camera made him look. He was also careful to point out that no actual cattle branding took place on set. Branding scenes were always achieved via cutaway. Eastwood said: 

“Well, I did it periodically, most of the time it was done by trickery, and maybe you’d come in and catch a new steer, and it cut to some other thing and come back, and the steer was already branded or something. But it was great fun, that series was a great fun at that time. After I had done about three years of it, I thought maybe, wouldn’t it be nice to go on and do something else, but I just sort of said it in my mind that this was a great experience. I have no regrets. It was great learning ground.” 

If Eastwood had been tired of filming “Rawhide,” he didn’t show it. The actor remained a main part of the cast for all eight of its seasons and became a household name. In 1962, Eastwood even appeared on the notorious talking horse sitcom “Mr. Ed” playing a version of himself. “Rawhide” ended in 1965, and Eastwood was already starring in Leone’s “Man With No Name” movies. By 1971, Eastwood has begun directing. 

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