Clint Eastwood attempted to ride to the rescue of Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee found himself mired in a crisis.
Mr Trump faced a burgeoning civil war within his party, plots to unseat him, the prospect of a reality-show style "intervention" by friends and family, and accusations that he has a "screw loose".
New polls showed him 10 points behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and way behind in three key industrial states he hopes to win on Nov 8.
He trailed by 11 points in Pennsylvania, 15 in New Hampshire, and nine in Michigan.
But Eastwood, 86, claimed the billionaire had been wrongly accused of racism, that the media had made a "big hoodoo", and told voters to "just f------ get over" their dislike of Mr Trump.
The Hollywood actor and director, and former mayor of Carmel, California, said the property mogul was "on to something" and lambasted what he called the "kiss-ass generation".
He told Esquire magazine: "Secretly, everybody's getting tired of political correctness. Everybody's walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren't called racist. What Trump is on to is he's just saying what's on his mind. I can understand where he's coming from."
The Dirty Harry star did not endorse Mr Trump but said he would "have to go for Trump" over Mrs Clinton, who was "boring".
He added: "She would be a tough voice to listen to for four years. She's made a lot of dough out of being a politician."
Mr Trump saw a surge in fundraising last month put him nearly level with Mrs Clinton. Two thirds of the
$64 million he raised came from small online donations, suggesting increased enthusiasm among supporters.
But senior Republicans remained furious with him over an ongoing feud with Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim US soldier who was killed in Iraq.
Speaker Paul Ryan, the most senior elected Republican, called Mr Trump's feud with Mr Khan "beyond the pale" but reaffirmed his support for his party's nominee.