4 Film Favorites: Clint Eastwood Comedy [4 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

Cast & Crew

  • Clint Eastwood
    Clint Eastwood - Frank Corvin
  • Tommy Lee Jones
    Tommy Lee Jones - Hawk Hawkins
  • Donald Sutherland
    Donald Sutherland - Jerry O'Neil
  • James Garner
    James Garner - Tank Sullivan
  • James Cromwell
    James Cromwell - Bob Gerson
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