The Legend Who Is Clint Eastwood

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The Legend Who Is Clint Eastwood

With J.Edgar being released on 11th June, Warner Bros are celebrating their 37 year partnership with Clint Eastwood by looking back at his long career.

Where Eagles Dare (1968)

Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood go Where Eagles Dare in this twisty World War II thriller, known for fiery dramatic roles, Burton ventures into the realm of movie pyrotechnics with dynamic efficiency. And Eastwood’s cool fire presence heightens one searing action sequence after another. The film became Eastwood’s then-largest hit and its studios #1 money-maker of the year.

Dirty Harry (1971)

Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood stars as no-holds-barred San Francisco cop Dirty Harry Callahan in this action thriller. When detective Harry Callahan is assigned to pay extortion money to a serial murderer, the payoff goes wrong. Now with the life of a 14-year-old girl at stake, Callahan refuses to allow anything, including the law, to keep him from stopping the killer. Filming on location, director Don Siegel made the City by the Bay a vital part of one of the best police thrillers ever made.

Magnum Force (1973)

Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood headlines this solid sequel pitting Det. Harry Callahan against an unexpected lawbreaker: one who carries a badge. Investigating the assassinations of crime bosses, Dirty Harry discovers the killers are police who, frustrated by the judicial system, have vowed to rid the city of crime by any means, even killing fellow police officers. Written by future directors John Milius and Michael Cimino, it’s suspenseful, power-packed entertainment.

Every Which Way but Loose (1978)

Clint Eastwood stars as an easy-going trucker with a loyal primate companion and a talent for fighting, which earns him money on the side as well as more than a few enemies, while he roams the American Southwest in search of the woman he loves. Every Which Way but Loose was a change of pace for Clint Eastwood and it proved to be one of his most popular films.

Honkytonk Man (1982)

Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood directs and stars with his real-life son, Kyle, in this heartwarming coming-of-age story about a 14-year-old farm boy and the hard-drinking, hard-living uncle he idolizes. When ailing singer Red Stovall (Clint Eastwood) gets a chance to perform at the Grand Ol Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, he realizes this could be his last chance to make something of his life. On his way to Tennessee, he visits his sister in Oklahoma and enlists his nephew to drive his aging limousine and to help keep him on the straight and narrow.

Sudden Impact (1983)

Sensitive to outcries of police brutality, San Francisco Detective Harry Callahan’s bosses send him on an out-of-town assignment until events cool down. But wherever Harry goes, things just get hotter. Clint Eastwood scores again in Harry’s fourth film, tracking a traumatized rape victim who coldly guns down her bygone attackers and, as secrets come to light, starts striking an empathetic chord in the pursuing lawman.

Pale Rider (1985)

In Pale Rider, Clint Eastwood returned to the saddle after nine years – and Western movies rode high again. Here the star/director crafted an exciting film in the suspenseful tradition of Shane and High Noon. Clint Eastwood stars as a nameless stranger who rides into a small California Gold Rush town directly into the middle of a violent feud between a mining syndicate and a group of independent prospectors.

Unforgiven (1992)

Unforgiven is a modern classic that “summarizes everything I feel about the Western,” director/star Clint Eastwood told the Los Angeles Times. This American Film Institute Top-100 American Movies selection rode off with four 1992 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and editing. Eastwood and Morgan Freeman play retired outlaws who pick up their guns one last time to collect a bounty.

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

World-travelling National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid and Iowa housewife Francesca Johnson aren’t looking to turn their lives upside down. Each is at a point in life where expectations are behind them. Yet four days after they meet, they don’t want to lose the love they’ve found. Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood bring blazing starpower and powerful conviction to the lovers chronicled in Robert James Waller’s rhapsodic bestseller.

Space Cowboys (2000)

Screen icons Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner are Team Daedalus. They were the bravest, boldest and fastest test pilots, ready to serve their country as the first American’s in space when they were cruelly pushed aside and a chimpanzee got the honour. The team retired, now over four decades later, they are back in action when an ageing Russian satellite suffers a system failure.

Mystic River (2003)

Three friends who grew up in working-class Boston drift apart after a terrible tragedy. Years later, brutal events reconnect them, Jimmy’s 19 year old daughter is coldly murdered and Dave is a suspect. And Sean, now a cop, scrambles to solve the crime before volatile Jimmy takes the law into his own hands. Working from Brian Helgeland’s adaption of Dennis Lehane’s novel, director Clint Eastwood shapes a masterful, brooding thriller built on family, friends and innocence lost.

Flags of our Fathers/ Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

Clint Eastwood directed the untold story of the Japanese soldiers who defended their homeland against invading American forces during World War II. The companion to this film, Flags of Our Fathers, tells the story of the same battle from the American side.

Gran Torino (2008)

Retired auto worker, Korean War veteran and widower Walt Kowalski (Eastwood) is waiting out the rest of his life. His neighbours have all moved or passed away, replaced by Hmong immigrants he despises and aimless gangs of African American and Latino teenagers. Then someone tries to steal his prized Gran Torino, the car he helped built on his own assembly line. And by standing up to the thieves, Walt Kowalski becomes the unintended hero who changes the lives of his neighbours, of a boy being pushed into crime by local gangs and of his own life as well.

Invictus (2009)

Two-time Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood directs Academy Award winners Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman in a deeply moving true story of two men who unite to heal the wounds of a nation. South Africa, 1995, after surviving years in prison for his efforts to end injustice, Nelson Mandela (Freeman) has led his country to defeat apartheid and been elected President, but the legacy of 50 years of hatred still threatens to tear South Africa apart. Now, Mandela reaches out to Francois Pienaar (Damon), captain of the Springboks, South Africa’s national rugby team, long a symbol of white oppression. By championing the Springboks’ thousand-to-one chance, Mandela, Pienaar and the Springboks unite 43 million South Africans into one nation dreaming of winning the World Cup of Rugby.

Hereafter (2010)

Oscar winner Matt Damon reunites with Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood for this supernatural thriller which tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. Matt Damon stars as George, a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie, a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might or must exist in the hereafter.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.


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