Robert Duvall Shines in the No Spin Zone

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 22, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, on Sunday and Monday, the AMC network will run a movie entitled "Broken Trail" starring Robert Duvall, perhaps America's finest actor. His resume is amazing, and the man himself is an independent thinker and not a Kool-Aid thinker. I like "Broken Trail" and talked to Mr. Duvall last week.


O'REILLY: Now, you've been in some unbelievable films: "M*A*S*H", all right, the two "Godfathers", "Apocalypse Now", I mean, films that stand the test of time. What film, if you had to pick one, would you want to watch? What would it be?

ROBERT DUVALL, ACTOR: Same ones I'm proud of, "Godfather " and"Godfather II."

O'REILLY: They were the best?

DUVALL: I was fortunate in the last century to be in the two biggest hits film-wise, "Godfather I" and "Godfather II," and "Lonesome Dove". The overall arc of "Lonesome Dove" carried it. It was wonderful. But "The Godfather" was more brilliantly directed by Coppola. That was brilliantly conceived. Great story telling.

O'REILLY: When you have that many actors on the set, collaborative, and they're all brilliant actors, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, yourself, Diane Keaton, is there any rivalry that makes you better?

DUVALL: It's not the kind of rivalry that comes out of jealous, but it's a fun kind of rivalry, you know.

O'REILLY: But Brando is crazy. I mean, or was.

DUVALL: So's Jimmy Caan. He's crazy.

O'REILLY: They're all nutty.

DUVALL: Yes, but a good nutty.

O'REILLY: Now you didn't do "Godfather III"?



DUVALL: Money.

O'REILLY: They didn't pay you enough?

DUVALL: Well, to be honest, with you and anybody, if they were going to offer Pacino twice what they offered me, that's fine. But four and five times as much.

O'REILLY: OK. So you just...

DUVALL: That's it. I didn't need that.

O'REILLY: You're a man of principle, and we know that because you watch "The Factor" all the time. Right?

DUVALL: There you go.

O'REILLY: Now, if you watch "The Factor," what is it with the Hollywood pinheads on the left? I mean, we're getting it — you're not like that and a lot of the actors call me themselves and say, "Look, we're not all crazy left-wingers. How did that happen in Hollywood, where it got the reputation of being a far-left enclave?

DUVALL: I think that's true in every country. I think that's true in all of Europe. Everybody when they go left, extreme left, it's kind of assuages the guilt. Because then it's done with and they can get on with their lives.

O'REILLY: What guilt?

DUVALL: Well, of having money, of having, you know, more privileges than the underdog. I think it's kind of a bubble out there. But there're very good people that are liberals, and they're very good people that are in the middle of — it's a capitalistic society out there.

O'REILLY: Do any of the other younger actors, maybe like Sean Penn, these people, ever challenge you because you're more traditional in your thinking?

DUVALL: No. I don't see those guys. I mean, I know Sean. You know, he's never been on the show here.

O'REILLY: No, no. But I talk to him on the phone every now and then. He's fine. I don't mind him.

DUVALL: He mouths off a lot. Yes, he does.

O'REILLY: But guys like Alec Baldwin, you know them. Do they ever get mad at you?

DUVALL: No, no. I don't mix with those guys too much, you know.

O'REILLY: So show biz guys don't hang together?

DUVALL: No, but when you see each other, you pick up like...

O'REILLY: Like it was yesterday.

DUVALL: Exactly.

O'REILLY: Right. What was the most fun thing you've done in your career in the movies? What was the most fun movie?

DUVALL: The most fun?


DUVALL: The most rewarding was — I don't know if it was fun — was my part in "Lonesome Dove". That was a great part. It was like my "Hamlet" in a way. It was a great part.

O'REILLY: Right.

DUVALL: Fun, "Godfather I" was a lot of fun, because whenever Jimmy Caan's on the set, it was a lot of fun.

O'REILLY: Right.

DUVALL: A lot of fun.

O'REILLY: But you guys didn't know it was going to become what it did, obviously, when you were shooting it?

DUVALL: We were halfway through the first one when I said we're in something special here. I knew it. And others knew it, too.

O'REILLY: "Broken Trail" is a cable movie. AMC, all right. Is that different for you than a big screen theatrical film?

DUVALL: The process of work is the same. Sometimes when it's edited, they go into too many close-ups. But like I said, when the "Godfather" was shown on television, it wasn't shot for television so you don't have close-ups. You keep the camera and just keep it natural, you know?

O'REILLY: You spent a lot of money on this "Broken Trail". The scenery is fabulous.

DUVALL: Yes, but it was only $14 million, with an $80 million look.

O'REILLY: Because it's a two-parter. You've got a three-and-a-half hour movie out of $14 million.

DUVALL: Lloyd Ahern's photography was brilliant.

O'REILLY: Right. That's because you were in charge. And you're...

DUVALL: I wasn't in complete charge.

O'REILLY: You said, we're going to have...

DUVALL: Sometimes I didn't think I was in charge of anything. Things were going on that I didn't know about, but I had to find out quickly what was going on.

O'REILLY: Right. Well, I enjoyed it very much. We appreciate you coming on.


O'REILLY: It is a good flick. So if you have the time, "Broken Trail" on AMC Monday and Tuesday.

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