Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years [19 Discs] [DVD]

  • SKU: 18746526
  • Release Date: 11/02/2010
  • Rating: R
  • 4.0 (1)
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Overview

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Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

The Outlaw Josey Wales
Clint Eastwood's fifth film as a director and eighth Western as a star (ninth if you count Paint Your Wagon), The Outlaw Josey Wales chronicles the hero's violent journey westward after the Civil War. With fresh memoris of his family's slaughter by Red Leg soldier Terrill (Bill McKinney), Confederate Josey Wales (Eastwood) refuses to join his captain Fletcher (John Vernon) and the rest of his comrades in surrender to a U.S. Army regiment. Deemed a dangerous outlaw after a bloody one-man battle with that regiment, Josey is pursued by U.S. cavalry soldiers led by the unwilling Fletcher and the murderous Terrill, as well as by bounty hunters who eventually learn how coolly lethal Wales can be. Despite his desire to remain a lone fugitive, Josey soon has a crew of travelling companions that includes Cherokee Lone Watie (Chief Dan George) and the pretty Laura Lee (Sondra Locke) and her vigorous Grandma Sarah (Paula Trueman), settlers on their way to a ranch near ghost town Santa Rio. The few Santa Rio residents welcome the group, but their peace and Josey's burgeoning romance with Laura Lee are soon interrupted by Terrill's arrival. A skillfully violent man of few, well-chosen words, Josey Wales resembles Eastwood's previous Western heroes in Sergio Leone's trilogy, A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966). However, the emphasis on friends and family served notice that, in the words of one critic, "the Man With No Name doesn't live here anymore." Indeed, Josey Wales would be Eastwood's last western before 1985's Pale Rider. Although it did not garner similar critical praise when it was released, Eastwood considers The Outlaw Josey Wales to be the equal of the Oscar-winning Unforgiven (1992). ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

The Rookie
In return for Warner Bros. greenlighting his pet project White Hunter, Black Heart (1990), Clint Eastwood directed and starred in this more commercial film, an action caper about a mismatched pair of auto theft cops. Eastwood is grizzled veteran detective Nick Pulovski, who's determined to bring down the chop-shop operation being run by a pair of German crooks, Strom (Raul Julia) and Liesl (Sonia Braga). Although he's been officially removed from the case and partnered with a green, recently promoted detective, David Ackerman (Charlie Sheen), the hard-drinking Nick's not about to let the car thieves get away with murder. David, in the meanwhile, is dealing with his own issues, including the death of his brother (for which he was responsible), his unhappy girlfriend Sarah (Lara Flynn Boyle) and his estrangement from his wealthy father Eugene (Tom Skerritt). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Tightrope
Clint Eastwood plays a New Orleans detective determined to track down a serial killer of prostitutes. Complicating matters is the fact that the unknown culprit is very likely an S&M fetishist....and so is Eastwood. The detective is profoundly disturbed at the likelihood that he and the killer have the same taste in women; this element of the case is equally troublesome for psychologist Genevieve Bujold, who finds herself attracted to Eastwood. The climax involves the killer's attempting to throw Eastwood off the track by kidnapping one of the detective's two daughters (played quite well by Clint's real-life daughter Alison). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Dead Pool
The Dead Pool is the fifth and (thus far) the last of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry movies. A sports pool is placing bets on which famous person will die next. Suddenly a serial killer who preys upon celebrities enters the scene, radically (and perhaps deliberately) changing the odds in the pool. As a celebrity of sorts, maverick cop Dirty Harry Callahan becomes a target of the killer, as does high-profile TV journalist Patricia Clarkson. Surprises are at a minimum in The Dead Pool; the film gets down to business quickly, moves logically if violently towards its climax (with a spectacular car-chase sequence thrown in for good measure), and delivers exactly what its fans expect. One major difference between this film and the earlier Dirty Harry epics is that the murders are committed in so outrageous a fashion that the picture seems at times to be a Freddie Krueger vehicle. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Gran Torino
A racist Korean War veteran living in a crime-ridden Detroit neighborhood is forced to confront his own lingering prejudice when a troubled Hmong teen from his neighborhood attempts to steal his prized Gran Torino. Decades after the Korean War has ended, ageing veteran Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is still haunted by the horrors he witnessed on the battlefield. The two objects that matter most to Kowalski in life are the classic Gran Torino that represents his happier days working in a Ford assembly plant, and the M-1 rifle that saved his life countless times during combat. When Kowalski's teenage neighbor (Bee Vang) attempts to steal his Gran Torino as part of a gang initiation rite, the old man manages to catch the aspiring thief at the business end of his well-maintained semi-automatic rifle. Later, due to the pride of the Asian group, the boy is forced to return to Kowalski's house and perform an act of penance. Despite the fact that Kowalski wants nothing to do with the young troublemaker, he realizes that the quickest way out of the situation is to simply cooperate. In an effort to set the teen on the right path in life and toughen him up, the reluctant vet sets him up with an old crony who now works in construction. In the process, Kowalski discovers that the only way to lay his many painful memories to rest is to finally face his own blinding prejudice head-on. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Any Which Way You Can
This sequel to Every Which Way But Loose finds Philo Beddoe (Clint Eastwood) on the road, orangutan companion Clyde in tow, as he makes his way as a bare-knuckle fighter. The action begins with Philo punching out a new victim while Clyde relieves himself on the seat of a police car, setting the tone for the rest of the story. From there, Philo and Clyde return home, where Philo, who still lives with Ma (Ruth Gordon), is offered a contest with Jack Wilson (William Smith), the Mafia-sponsored East Coast bare-knuckle champ. Philo inadvertently saves Wilson's life, but then the Mafia kidnaps his girlfriend (Sondra Locke) to force him to go ahead with the match. Philo and Wilson team up to battle the Mob, but somehow they end up fighting anyway in a grueling climactic sequence. Country music, bikers, the Mafia, an orangutan, pick-up trucks, defecation jokes, fighting, drinking, and swearing -- it's all here in this lowbrow comic stew. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi

Bronco Billy
Bronco Billy stars Clint Eastwood (who also directed) as the impresario of a seedy wild west show. Going along for the ride is spoiled socialite Sondra Locke, who is "initiated" by being pressed into service as the wrong end of a knife-throwing act. The rest of the troupe, like Eastwood himself, are losers in life who yearn for the freedom and opportunity of the long-gone Old West. Despite its raucous ad campaign, Bronco Billy is at base a wistful character study, avoiding the usual trappings of car chases and redneck villains and offering quiet chuckles instead of belly laughs. Unfortunately it failed to click with the public, compelling Eastwood to temporarily return to his old crash-bang-pow formula in his next few films. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Bridges of Madison County
The brief, illicit love affair between an Iowa housewife and a post-middle-age free-lance photographer is chronicled in this powerful romance based on the best-selling novella by Robert James Waller. The story begins as globetrotting National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid journeys to Madison County in 1965 to film its lovely covered bridges. Upon his arrival, he stops by an old farmhouse to ask directions. There he encounters housewife, Francesca Johnson, whose spouse and two children are out of town. Thus begins their four-day affair, a liaison that fundamentally changes them both. Later Francesca chronicles the affair in a diary which her flabbergasted grown children read; never would they have expected their mother to be capable of the passion she experienced with Kincaid. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Clint Eastwood directed this adaptation of John Berendt's non-fiction best-seller about a Savannah, Georgia, murder case. When this film was released, Berendt's book had been on best-seller lists for four years. As the film begins, New York journalist John Kelso (John Cusack), alter ego of author Berendt, arrives in Savannah to do a brief Town and Country article on the annual Christmas party given by sophisticated, urbane antique dealer Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey), who restored many mansions in Savannah, including the famed Mercer House where he lives. After the party, Williams kills his rude, violent lover Billy Hanson (Jude Law), explaining it as a necessary act of self-defense. Kelso decides to stay in Savannah to cover the trial, encountering a variety of colorful locals, eccentric and otherwise, including black transvestite nightclub performer Lady Chablis (appearing as herself), financially challenged bon vivant Joe Odom (Paul Hipp), vocalist Mandy Nichols (Alison Eastwood), voodoo priestess Minerva (Irma P. Hall), and Williams's deceptively powerful defense attorney Sonny Seiler (Australian actor Jack Thompson with a very convincing Southern accent). Kelso develops a romantic interest in Mandy while tracking the events that led up to the killing. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

Blood Work
A retired detective must battle former colleagues and his own failing health in order to bring a murderer to justice in this action drama produced and directed by its star, Clint Eastwood. Terry McCaleb (Eastwood) was one of the best and most thorough detectives at the FBI's Southern California office, until a massive heart attack sidelined him from police work for good. Following a heart transplant which saved his life, McCaleb has resigned himself to living quietly on a houseboat for the rest of his days, observing a strict health regimen prescribed by his cardiologist, Dr. Bonnie Fox (Anjelica Huston). However, McCaleb is persuaded to take on one last case through the insistence of a woman named Graciela Rivers (Wanda De Jesus). Rivers's sister was murdered in cold blood by a mugger, and her heart was used for McCaleb's transplant; now, Rivers wants McCaleb to find her sister's killer. McCaleb agrees to take on the case, but he quickly discovers his weakened physical condition makes the rigors of handling an investigation far harder and more difficult than its ever been before; he also can no longer drive a car, and must persuade his oddball friend from the marina,Buddy Noone (Jeff Daniels), to ferry him around town. Before long, despite these drawbacks, McCaleb discovers evidence which suggests the murderer may be a serial who uses random street robberies as a cover, but he finds that Ronaldo Arrango (Paul Rodriguez) and John Waller (Dylan Walsh), the police detectives assigned to the case, are not especially interested in sharing the glory (or their legwork) with the former FBI point man. Blood Work was adapted from the novel by Michael Connelly; Brian Helgeland wrote the screenplay. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

True Crime
Investigative reporter Steve Everett (Clint Eastwood) has just relocated to the west coast after getting fired from the New York Times. Thanks to his old friend, Alan Mann (James Woods), the editor-in-chief of The Oakland Tribune, Everett still has a job, but that's hardly the end of his problems. An alcoholic and a womanizer, he's been sober for two months and his marriage to Barbara (Diane Venora) is in as bad a shape as his car. Everett has also earned the hatred of city editor Bob Findley (Denis Leary), and not without reason -- Everett has been sleeping with his wife. One day, when another reporter dies in an automobile accident, Findley asks Everett to take over her assignment -- the final interview of condemned murderer Frank Beachum (Isaiah Washington). Everett researches the case before the interview, and finds Beachum was convicted of a robbery and homicide in an Oakland convenience store. But the reporter finds several discrepancies in the story, and a visit to death row only confirms Everett's suspicions that Beachum was not the killer. The reporter begins a hurried search for information that will stay the execution. Plagued by his inner demons, the reporter has 12 hours left to save the life of a man he knows is innocent. ~ Ron Wells, Rovi

Kelly's Heroes
Like M*A*S*H and Catch-22, both released the same year, this military comedy takes place in an earlier war but is really a thinly disguised treatise on the modern-day insanity and avariciousness then unfolding in Vietnam. Clint Eastwood stars as Kelly, a former lieutenant whose illusions about the glory of war, if he has any, are lost when he is busted in rank for following some poorly considered orders in World War II France. After capturing a friendly German officer, Kelly learns the whereabouts of millions of dollars in gold bars, earmarked to finance a military payroll. Taking advantage of a three-day liberty, Kelly assembles a motley trio of fellow soldiers to help him sneak behind enemy lines and retrieve the booty. They include Big Joe (Telly Savalas), a gruff sergeant; Crapgame (Don Rickles), a supply sergeant already enriching himself as a black marketer and con man; and the hippie-like tank commander Oddball (Donald Sutherland). Since crossing into enemy-held territory means heading in the opposite direction of the retreating Allies, Kelly and his men encounter armed resistance. Receiving word of their campaign, the vain General Colt (Carroll O'Connor) mistakes the quartet of freelancing scam artists for all-American heroes. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Honkytonk Man
Clint Eastwood put his tough-guy image on hold for this personal project, which follows a musician taking one final chance at the big time. Red Stovall (Eastwood) is a would-be country singer who has been bouncing around the margins of the music business for years. With nowhere in particular to go, Red arrives at the failing Oklahoma farm of his sister for an extended visit, where her son Whit (Kyle Eastwood) quickly bonds with his uncle. However, it's obvious that Red is in very poor health, drinking heavily and breathing with difficulty, and when Red is invited to audition for the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, Whit tags along for the road trip to keep an eye on his ailing uncle. En route, Red and Whit are joined by Whit's grandfather (John McIntire) and another hopeful vocalist, Marlene (Alexa Kenin), who like Red is chasing her own dreams of stardom on the Opry. Clint Eastwood performed his own vocals and guitar work for Honkytonk Man, and a number of Nashville legends appear in cameo roles, including Marty Robbins, Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Merle Travis, and Johnny Gimble. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Bird
Forest Whitaker stars as the brilliant jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker in this elegiac biopic. Director Clint Eastwood pays full homage to Parker's musical genius, but also devotes ample time to the musician's twin demons--drugs and alcohol-which accelerated his death at the age of 34. In his struggles to gain widespread acceptance for his music, "Bird" is forever stymied by his own self-destructiveness, and forever bailed out by the love of his life, Chan Richardson Parker (Diane Venora). The film bemoans the decline of the brand of jazz fathered by Parker, which came to be replaced by more conventional material -- as illustrated by the "descent" into the mainstream of Parker's mentor Buster Franklin. Also starring in Bird is Samuel E. Wright as Dizzy Gillespie. That's the real Charlie "Bird" Parker on the film's soundtrack, though most of the background music has been re-orchestrated. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Every Which Way But Loose
Clint Eastwood's first comedy feature proved to be one of his most profitable vehicles. Eastwood plays Philo Beddoe, a bare-knuckle boxer who travels from fight to fight in a beat-up truck, accompanied by his "pal" Clyde, a orangutan with a mean right hook, and his human buddy Orville (Geoffrey Lewis). During a stopover, Philo meets and falls in love with would-be country & western singer Lynn Halsey-Taylor (Sondra Locke). After a while, she wants to break off the relationship, but he doesn't -- a shaky plot peg upon which to hang several reels' worth of zany car chases and confrontations with such opponents as a gang of bikers and a battalion of hostile lawmen. Adding to the fun is Ruth Gordon as Eastwood's don't-mess-with-me octogenarian mother, and Beverly D'Angelo as an ace sharpshooter. The enormous box-office success of Every Which Way But Loose yielded an equally wacky -- and equally lucrative -- sequel, Any Which Way You Can. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Pink Cadillac
For his third film as a director and his third film directing Clint Eastwood, stunt-man Buddy Van Horn helmed this action comedy involving a skip tracer, some neo-nazis, and the titular vehicle. Eastwood stars as Tommy Nowak, a bounty hunter with a knack for catching bail-skippers with an array of costumes and characters. After he captures a young woman (Bernadette Peters), he suddenly finds himself between the woman's good-for-nothing husband and his white supremacist cohorts and the wads of cash hidden in the pink Cadillac she's driving. With the skin-heads hot on their tail, a romance sparks between the skip-tracer and his captive. Written by John Eskow, Pink Cadillac costars Timothy Carhart and Michael Des Barres. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

A Perfect World
Clint Eastwood, hot off of his Academy Award win for Unforgiven, directed this small character study, appearing in the guise of a cops-and-robbers action picture. The film takes place during the fall of 1963. Eight-year old Phillip Perry (T.J. Lowther), the son of a devout Jehovah's Witness mother, is staying home while all the other children are out trick-or-treating. But then prison escapee Butch Haynes (Kevin Costner) appears in his kitchen. Needing a hostage to aid him in his escape from jail, he grabs Phillip. Phillip curiously looks up to Butch and willingly accompanies him. Butch gets rid of his fellow escapee after he tries to molest the child, and Butch and Phillip take to the Texas highway, on the run from the cops. The cop in pursuit in this instance is Police Chief Red Garnett (Clint Eastwood), riding in his sleek Populux Airglide trailer -- his "mobile command headquarters." On the road with Garnett is Sally Gerber (Laura Dern), a pushy pre-feminist criminologist, along with a creepy federal agent who is an expert sharpshooter. Butch is not particularly anxious to make it to the Texas borderline, and neither is Garnett in any particular hurry to catch Butch. As Butch and Phillip form a father-son attachment, the paths of Butch and Garnett gradually come together, in time for a final confrontation, after which Garnett confesses, "I don't know nothing. I don't know a damn thing." ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

The Eastwood Factor
Directed by respected film critic Richard Schickel, this documentary offers an intimate look at screen legend Clint Eastwood. Featuring extensive interviews with the actor/director, the movie traces his evolution from TV star to cinematic icon, while also showcasing his lifelong interest in jazz as well as his stint as the mayor of Carmel, California. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

City Heat
This standard, tongue-in-cheek, gangsters and good guys saga is carried on the star power and screen presence of Clint Eastwood as Lt. Speer, a taciturn, tough, play-it-by-the-book cop, and on Burt Reynolds as Mike Murphy, Speer's old friend in the force, now turned private eye but still a captivating rogue at heart. With a sub-text of playing their well-known screen personas off each other, Eastwood and Reynolds provide more than a surface interpretation of the characters that made them famous. After Murphy's partner is murdered, he focuses on pitting one mob boss against another in an attempt to have both mobsters kill each other. In the meantime, Lt. Speer -- who has never approved of Murphy's private detective business -- does not really know if Murphy is for or against the two top gangsters. Set in the era of speakeasies and Prohibition, an added layer of "film noir" can be discerned under the complex plot, verbal repartée, and episodes of toned-down violence (a kind of parody in themselves). Although this may not be the best film either star has made, it is still interesting to see them together on screen. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Magnum Force
The second Dirty Harry movie, Magnum Force concerns itself with a vigilante group that has targeted notorious scofflaws for extermination. When a prominent gang boss or drug-runner is set free by the airheaded liberal courts, a covert group of "avengers" is soon on hand to blow the miscreant to bits. While detective Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is no great friend of civil liberties, he is dead set against wholesale murder as a solution to legal loopholes. Discovering that all the killings have been committed by the same weapon, Callahan reaches the conclusion that his on-the-edge partner, Charlie McCoy (Mitchell Ryan), is responsible. But the answer is less transparent than that, as Harry learns almost at the cost of his own life. Co-scripted by John Milius and Michael Cimino, Magnum Force was followed by three additional Dirty Harry installments: The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983) and The Dead Pool (1988). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Sudden Impact
In this fourth installment of the Dirty Harry series, Harry has been banished temporarily from San Francisco because his superiors are uncomfortable about his feud with a local crime boss. He goes to an oceanside small town for a little rest and recuperation but finds the town has been traumatized by a series of brutal murders. Harry meets and falls in love with Jennifer Spencer (Sandra Locke), a young artist. Jennifer and her sister were brutally raped a few years previously by a group of men, leaving her sister catatonic and Jennifer filled with a rage that is expressed in her disturbing artworks. Harry investigates the killings and the rapes, and one by one he dispatches Jennifer's rapists, one of whom is the son of the local police chief (which explains why the police have done little investigating). Finally, Harry finds out that Jennifer also dispenses her own brand of justice because she cannot rely on the criminal justice system. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi

White Hunter, Black Heart
Something of a sleeper in its 1990 release, White Hunter, Black Heart is one of Clint Eastwood's most engaging films. It is based on Peter Vietel's novel about the location shoot of John Huston's immortal The African Queen. But the focus is never on Bogie and Hepburn. Egomaniacal director John Wilson (Eastwood) is far more interested in killing an elephant than in making a movie. His old friend and scriptwriter Pete Verrill (Jeff Fahey) and his producer, Paul Landers (George Dzundza), are on hand to try and talk him down from this pursuit. Eastwood's verbose, outlandish performance will be particularly remarkable to fans who tend to think of him as the soft-spoken tough guy. ~ John Voorhees, Rovi

Dirty Harry
"You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" Dirty Harry provoked a critical uproar in 1971 for its "fascist" message about the power of one, as it also elevated Clint Eastwood to superstar status through his most enduring screen persona. Harry Callahan (Eastwood, in a role meant for Frank Sinatra) is a sardonic, hard-working San Francisco cop who can't finish his lunch without having to foil a bank robbery with his 44 Magnum, "the most powerful handgun in the world." When hippie-esque psycho Scorpio (Andy Robinson) goes on a killing spree, Harry and new partner Chico (Reni Santoni) are assigned to hunt him down, but not before the Mayor (John Vernon) and Lt. Bressler (Harry Guardino) admonish Callahan about his heavy-handed tactics. Racing against a deadline to save a kidnap victim from suffocating to death and unbothered by the niceties of Miranda rights and search warrants, Callahan brings in Scorpio, only to see him released on technicalities. "The law's crazy," opines Harry in disgust, before taking it upon himself to ensure that Scorpio doesn't kill again. Directed in violent and efficient fashion by Don Siegel, with a propulsive score by Lalo Schifrin, Dirty Harry was the fourth Siegel-Eastwood collaboration after Coogan's Bluff (1968), Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), and The Beguiled (1970). Critics at the time strongly objected to the heroic image of a cop's violations of a suspect's Miranda rights, forcing Siegel and Eastwood to deny that they were right-wing reactionaries. All the same, Dirty Harry proved to be highly popular and spawned four sequels: Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983), and The Dead Pool (1988). ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Invictus
Actor Morgan Freeman portrays anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela in this Clint Eastwood-helmed political drama adapted from author John Carlin's book The Human Factor: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed the World. Set just after the fall of apartheid and during Mandela's first term in office, The Human Factor explores how the political prisoner-turned-president used the 1995 Rugby World Cup -- which was hosted by South Africa -- as a means of bringing blacks and whites together after decades of violence and mistrust. Matt Damon co-stars in the Warner Bros. production as rugby player Francois Pienaar. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

The Enforcer
Number three in the Dirty Harry series, The Enforcer equips macho cop Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) with a female assistant, Kate Moore (Tyne Daly). Their quarry is a terrorist organization which has kidnapped the mayor of San Francisco (John Crawford). Harry goes undercover, attempting to root out the terrorists by beating up anybody who looks at him cross-eyed. When Harry and Kate discover that the mayor is being held at Alcatraz Island, it is only a matter of time before the climactic bloodbath. The Enforcer cleared enough at the box office to warrant yet another Dirty Harry opus, Sudden Impact. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Absolute Power
In this thriller, an aging cat burglar becomes a crusader embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game involving murder and a government cover-up. Adapted by distinguished scenarist William Goldman from a novel by David Baldacci and featuring a powerful all-star cast, the story works at different levels, not only as a straight-forward thriller but also as an insightful look at the love between the old thief and his estranged daughter, a highly successful prosecuting attorney. The trouble begins when ex-con Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood, who also directed) decides to pull off one last heist before retiring. Just as he finishes looting the vault of a well-fortified mansion, a drunken couple enters the adjoining bedroom apparently eager to start making love. But something goes awry and a violent tussle ensues that abruptly ends when gun-wielding men bust in and shoot down the woman. During the ensuing chaos, Luther slips out. Only later does the audience learn that the would-be lovers were U.S.-President Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman) and Christy Sullivan (Melora Hardin), the young wife of the President's biggest supporter Walter Sullivan (E.G. Marshall). As the investigation and cover-up begins, Luther, who has already been contacted by hard-boiled and suspicious detective Seth Frank (Ed Harris) begins to fear that he will be blamed for the killing and prepares to leave the country. He tries to see his daughter Kate (Laura Linney) to make peace with her for having been absent in prison during most of her life, but she rejects him. Luther goes to the airport, but just before he flies, he sees a press conference in which President Richmond, without so much as a twitch, goes on a tirade concerning his stand against violence. Something inside him snaps and he abruptly decides to stay and fight for justice. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Where Eagles Dare
An expensive but enormously profitable war picture, Where Eagles Dare centers upon a daring rescue and even more daring escape. Disguised as Nazi officers, commandoes Maj. John Smith (Richard Burton), Lt. Morris Schaffer Clint Eastwood and six other courageous souls parachute behind enemy lines. Their mission: to rescue an American general, held captive in a supposedly impenetrable Alpine castle. Aiding and abetting the commandoes are Allied undercover agents Mary (Mary Ure) and Heidi (Ingrid Pitt). Also on hand is a British officer (Patrick Wymark), who masterminded the mission. Somewhere, somehow, someone amongst the Allies is going to turn out to be a traitor. There's also a neat plot twist in store when the commandoes manage to reach the American general -- which leads to yet another twist. The vertigo-inducing climax has made Where Eagles Dare one of the most sought-after of "early" Eastwood starring features. The film was written directly for the screen by espionage novelist Alistair MacLean. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Million Dollar Baby
Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran boxing trainer who has devoted his life to the ring and has precious little to show for it; his daughter never answers his letters, and a fighter he's groomed into contender status has paid him back by signing with another manager, leaving Frankie high and dry. His best friend and faithful employee Eddie Dupris is a former fighter who Frankie trained. In his last fight, Eddie suffered a severe injury, a fact that brings Frankie great guilt. One day, Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) enters Frankie's life, as well as his gym, and announces she needs a trainer. Frankie regards her as a dubious prospect, and isn't afraid to tell her why: he doesn't think much of women boxing, she's too old at 31, she lacks experience, and has no technique. However, Maggie sees boxing as the one part of her life that gives her meaning and won't give up easily. Finally won over by her determination, Frankie takes on Maggie, and as she slowly grows into a viable fighter, an emotional bond develops between them. When a tragedy befalls one of the three characters, each comes to a decision that shows how the relationships in the film have changed them. Adapted from a short story by F.X. Toole, a former corner man with years of experience in the fight game, Million Dollar Baby also stars Morgan Freeman, Anthony Mackie, and Mike Colter. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Gauntlet
Playing police stooge Ben Shockley, Clint Eastwood sends up his Dirty Harry-ness in this 1977 cop film-action movie-romantic comedy. Ben is assigned to escort tough Vegas hooker Gus Mally (Sondra Locke) to Phoenix for a Mob trial because, he thinks, he always "gets the job done." But corrupt commissioner Blakelock (William Prince) chose alcoholic Ben precisely because Ben does not get much done at all, and Blakelock has no intention of letting them get to Phoenix alive. Once Gus figures this out and makes Ben see the truth, Ben resolves to prove Blakelock wrong, even if it means surviving car bombs, a house shot to pieces, a helicopter-motorcycle chase, and finally driving an armored bus through a gauntlet formed by scores of shooting cops. Amidst the mayhem, Ben falls in love with the smart-mouthed, college-educated Gus, and she insists on riding out the gauntlet with her Ben. An obedient cop who is not as clever as his female charge, Ben Shockley is the opposite of Eastwood's ultra-capable loner Harry Callahan from the Dirty Harry series, allowing Eastwood to poke fun at his image even as Shockley eventually does get the job done. While the exaggerated action set pieces also parody the Eastwood cop hero's usual invincibility, their efficient, energetic staging still makes them effective; The Gauntlet was another popular success for Eastwood as director as well as star. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Firefox
Producer/director/star Clint Eastwood takes his sweet time getting Firefox started. Eastwood plays Mitchell Gant, a past-his-prime U.S. pilot, smuggled into the Soviet Union to steal a new Russian supersonic fighting plane. Fortunately the KGB men are as burnt out as Gant, enabling him to abscond with the plane with the greatest of ease. The rest of the film is a protracted chase, pitting Gant against scores of impersonal MIG pilots. Based on a novel by Craig Thomas. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Letters from Iwo Jima
After bringing the story of the American soldiers who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima to the screen in his film Flags of Our Fathers, Clint Eastwood offers an equally thoughtful portrait of the Japanese forces who held the island for 36 days in this military drama. In 1945, World War II was in its last stages, and U.S. forces were planning to take on the Japanese on a small island known as Iwo Jima. While the island was mostly rock and volcanoes, it was of key strategic value and Japan's leaders saw the island as the final opportunity to prevent an Allied invasion. Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) was put in charge of the forces on Iwo Jima; Kuribayashi had spent time in the United States and was not eager to take on the American army, but he also understood his opponents in a way his superiors did not, and devised an unusual strategy of digging tunnels and deep foxholes that allowed his troops a tactical advantage over the invading soldiers. While Kuribayashi's strategy alienated some older officers, it impressed Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), the son of a wealthy family who had also studied America firsthand as an athlete at the 1932 Olympics. As Kuribayashi and his men dig in for a battle they are not certain they can win -- and most have been told they will not survive -- their story is told both by watching their actions and through the letters they write home to their loved ones, letters that in many cases would not be delivered until long after they were dead. Among the soldiers manning Japan's last line of defense are Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya), a baker sent to Iwo Jima only days before his wife was to give birth; Shimizu (Ryo Kase), who was sent to Iwo Jima after washing out in the military police; and Lieutenant Ito (Shidou Nakamura), who has embraced the notion of "Death Before Surrender" with particular ferocity. Filmed in Japanese with a primarily Japanese cast, Letters From Iwo Jima was shot in tandem with Flags of Our Fathers, and the two films were released within two months of one another. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Heartbreak Ridge
Having spent much of his directorial career emulating Don Siegel and John Ford, Clint Eastwood borrows a page from the catalogue of Sam Fuller in Heartbreak Ridge. Eastwood casts himself as an old-fashioned Marine Corps sergeant who is out of step with the new-fashioned military. He returns to his old outfit as a gunnery sergeant, where he runs afoul of 1980s-style superior officers to whom the words "Gung Ho" are foolish anachronisms. But through his tough tutelage, Eastwood's lackadaisical platoon is whipped into a first-rate fighting machine, favoring teamwork over such New Age gobbledygook as "self-fulfillment." Eastwood's men prove their mettle during the invasion of Grenada. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Space Cowboys
In this adventure drama, four men passed over by the space program get one last chance to be heroes and live out their dreams. Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood), Hawk Hawkins (Tommy Lee Jones), Jerry O'Neill (Donald Sutherland), and Tank Sullivan (James Garner) were top pilots within an elite Air Force squadron and on the fast track to becoming the first Americans in space in the early 1950s. However, when NASA was established, the pilots were cut out of the loop; Corvin went on to become an aerospace engineer, Hawkins continued on as a freelance pilot, O'Neill became an astrophysicist with a sideline in designing roller coasters, and Sullivan took up preaching as a Baptist minister. Years later, a Russian satellite's guidance system has started to malfunction, and it is expected to crash into the Earth within a matter of weeks. The system is identical to the one Corvin designed for Skylab, so NASA head Bob Gerson (James Cromwell) asks Corvin to help him with the emergency mission to repair the satellite. Corvin agrees under one condition -- that he be sent up to do the repairs himself, with Hawkins, O'Neill, and Sullivan as his crew. Clint Eastwood directed Space Cowboys while also starring as Frank Corvin; his supporting cast includes Marcia Gay Harden, Courtney B. Vance, Loren Dean, and William Devane. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Mystic River
Directed by Clint Eastwood, the mysterious drama Mystic River is based on the novel by Dennis Lehane and adapted by screenwriter Brian Helgeland. Set in an Irish neighborhood in Boston, Jimmy, Sean, and Dave are three childhood friends who are reunited after a brutal murder takes place. Reformed convict Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn) and his devoted wife Annabeth (Laura Linney) find out that their teenage daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) has been beaten and killed. Jimmy's old friend Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon) is the homicide detective assigned to the case, along with partner Whitey Powers (Laurence Fishburne). Jimmy also gets his relatives, the Savage brothers (Adam Nelson and Robert Wahlberg), to conduct an investigation of their own. Jimmy and Sean both start to suspect their old pal, Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins), who lives a quiet life with his wife Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) but harbors some disturbing secrets. Clint Eastwood won a Golden Coach for Mystic River at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

Pale Rider
A mysterious and possibly otherworldly stranger comes to the rescue of a frontier town in this Western, which was strongly influenced by the George Stevens classic, Shane. The peace of a small mining community is shattered when Coy LaHood (Richard Dysart), the ruthless proprietor of a powerful strip-mining company, arrives in town with his son Josh (Christopher Penn) and a posse of hired guns to drive out the townspeople and take control of the territory. Megan (Sydney Penny), a young girl whose pet was killed in the melee, prays to God for someone to defend the village from the marauders; soon, the Preacher (Clint Eastwood) arrives on a pale horse, and joins forces with Hull Barrett (Michael Moriarty), the unofficial leader of the miners and one of the few who attempts to defend himself, to take a stand against LaHood and his men. As the Preacher and Barrett try to organize the miners to fight the invaders, both Megan and her mother Sarah (Carrie Snodgrass) find they're drawn to the Preacher, who keeps to himself and seems to have more than his share of secrets. Pale Rider was also directed by leading man Clint Eastwood; it was his first Western as both director and star since the acclaimed The Outlaw Josey Wales. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Unforgiven
Dedicated to his mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, Clint Eastwood's 1992 Oscar-winner examines the mythic violence of the Western, taking on the ghosts of his own star past. Disgusted by Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett's decree that several ponies make up for a cowhand's slashing a whore's face, Big Whiskey prostitutes, led by fierce Strawberry Alice (Frances Fisher), take justice into their own hands and put a $1000 bounty on the lives of the perpetrators. Notorious outlaw-turned-hog farmer William Munny (Eastwood) is sought out by neophyte gunslinger the Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) to go with him to Big Whiskey and collect the bounty. While Munny insists, "I ain't like that no more," he needs the bounty money for his children, and the two men convince Munny's clean-living comrade Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) to join them in righting a wrong done to a woman. Little Bill (Oscar-winner Gene Hackman), however, has no intention of letting any bounty hunters impinge on his iron-clad authority. When pompous gunman English Bob (Richard Harris) arrives in Big Whiskey with pulp biographer W.W. Beauchamp (Saul Rubinek) in tow, Little Bill beats Bob senseless and promises to tell Beauchamp the real story about violent frontier life and justice. But when Munny, the true unwritten legend, comes to town, everyone soon learns a harsh lesson about the price of vindictive bloodshed and the malleability of ideas like "justice." "I don't deserve this," pleads Little Bill. "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it," growls Munny, simultaneously summing up the insanity of western violence and the legacy of Eastwood's Man With No Name. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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