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Clint Eastwood the director, appreciation thread

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Originally Posted by gohansrage
So Holden et all, I would like you to suggest some Eastwood movies for me. I already have opinions on the ones I have seen, so I must see others. I have ranked the movies I have seen below in the order I personally liked them:

Letters from Iwo Jima
Million Dollar Baby
Bridges of Madison County
Unforgiven
Mystic River
Well, first of all I don't think if you hate brussel sprouts forcing yourself to eat fifty plates of 'em is going to change your opinion much (why don't parents ever get this?). But a few more to check out and see if you like them a bit more are A Perfect World, Honkytonk Man and Bird, and for one where he stars but doesn't direct Escape from Alcatraz, helmed by his friend and mentor Don Siegel.
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
The Outlaw Josey Wales, even if it's a ***tern. White Hunter, Black Heart is an interesting take on the making of The African Queen, and for two unpretentious flicks, which are much better (perhaps in a trashy way) than their reputations, you can check out The Eiger Sanction and The Gauntlet.
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Yeah, The Outlaw Josey Wales is one that even somebody who doesn't particularly like Westerns should be able to enjoy. It's more of a questing myth, and the ragtag bunch of misfits who become Wales' satellites are some amusing characters, especially the old, tired Indian played by Chief Dan George (though I think he's even better in Little Big Man). He alone makes it worth the price of a rental.

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It's more of a questing myth, and the ragtag bunch of misfits who become Wales' satellites are some amusing characters, especially the old, tired Indian played by Chief Dan George (though I think he's even better in Little Big Man). He alone makes it worth the price of a rental.

Dan George is great... Love his turn as Old Lodge Skins...



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So many good movies, so little time.
What I most liked about The Outlaw Josey Wales is the way it illustrates how history (and cinema) can be written to make heroes or villains out of any one.

In general, I think there are more Civil War movies where the Confederates are the heroes and the Union men are the villains.

It's very interesting to me that this was a war that was clearly fought for very righteous idealistic reasons, and yet, the victors hardly ever portray the defeated as villains in the movies (or in American History books).

Movies that portray the Union as the villains appear to be more marketable than movies that portray the Confederates as villains.
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From Variety...

EASTWOOD TO DIRECT "GRAN TORINO"
Actor to star and direct film for Warner Bros.
By DIANE GARRETT, PAMELA MCCLINTOCK

Clint Eastwood will next direct and star in Gran Torino for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures. Pic is skedded for a December release.



Torino marks the first time Eastwood has appeared on screen since Million Dollar Baby, released in late 2004.

Details of Torino are being kept under tantalizingly tight wraps. Existence of the film, and Eastwood's role, were only revealed on Tuesday when Warner quietly dated the movie for sometime in December.

Producers are Rob Lorenz, Eastwood's partner at Malpaso Prods., and Billy Gerber. Exec producers are Jenette Kahn and Adam Richman at Double Nickel Entertainment.

It's unclear when the movie will begin shooting, or if it has already begun production. Eastwood is known for quick production turnarounds.

Torino means Eastwood will be theaters twice in a short period with films he has directed. On Nov. 7, Universal and Imagine open Eastwood's Angelina Jolie starrer Changeling, a child abduction drama.

Eastwood last directed companion films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima.

Also for Warner, Eastwood is set to direct the Nelson Mandela pic The Human Factor. That project is in development.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117982650.html?categoryid=13&cs=1
The lack of details has some wondering if Clint and Warners are trying to sneak out one last Dirty Harry flick.




For those who don't know, a Gran Torino is a '70s model of Ford, made most famous by the TV cop show "Starsky & Hutch".



A Perfect World still stands as a true testament of Clint Eastwood's story-telling ability. It's one of the few (and often underrated) times that he told a story where the main morality met the man in more miniature, or sporadic, moments than, let's say, less. You tend to only see power in these sorts of films toward the end. I thought A Perfect World was beautifully told through both its impressive direction and incredulous acting. It's become sort of ideal for me to use this film as an example of how human beings can still exist three-dimensionally after only a page was set to suggest who they were suppose to be or become. Great film. I highly recommend people try and discover the depth Eastwood explored with this remarkable material.
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The lack of details has some wondering if Clint and Warners are trying to sneak out one last Dirty Harry out.
God, wouldn't that be great? I snuck in to see Sudden Impact when I was about 12 I think. I'd go see it.
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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
You're lucky now. You won't have to sneak in!

If it's true, maybe they could tie in the Zodiac Killer even more than Fincher could. Even if they turned it into a French Connection III, I'd be happy.



It's been confirmed now that Clint's upcoming Gran Torino in which he'll star and direct is definitely NOT a belated Dirty Harry flick. It is apparently going to be a dramatic piece where Eastwood plays a man who befriends a young immigrant boy in his neighborhood, bonding over working on his prized possession, the classic car in the title.

As for The Changeling (which may or may not be retitled The Exchange by the time of its release late this year), it got good word of mouth recently at Cannes, though it didn't win any of the prizes...even with Sean Penn, who finally got his Oscar under Eastwood's direction, as the jury president. But the early word seems to be quite good. HERE is a scene from the film (with French subtitles) where Jolie's character has a boy returned to her that she does not believe is her missing son.

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WOW! Jeffrey Donovan is in this? Definitely seeing this now, Burn Notice is a great show and he is the second greatest part of it (Bruce Campbell being best)

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It's been confirmed now that Clint's upcoming Gran Torino in which he'll star and direct is definitely NOT a belated Dirty Harry flick. It is apparently going to be a dramatic piece where Eastwood plays a man who befriends a young immigrant boy in his neighborhood, bonding over working on his prized possession, the classic car in the title.
I'm glad it turned out this way. All these "way later in life sequels" are seriously getting old. If I can say that, it must be bad. I LOVE sequels. Many more than one person should.

As for The Changeling (which may or may not be retitled The Exchange by the time of its release late this year), it got good word of mouth recently at Cannes, though it didn't win any of the prizes...even with Sean Penn, who finally got his Oscar under Eastwood's direction, as the jury president. But the early word seems to be quite good. HERE is a scene from the film (with French subtitles) where Jolie's character has a boy returned to her that she does not believe is her missing son.
This looks like it will be real good. I kind of wish they would change the title, but you know why I'm saying that. I love Clint, but that's my George C. Scott movie, and although this isn't a remake, I still kind of wish they would leave the title alone.



Earlier in this thread I said i stated that I just don't care for Eastwood's film. However, I feel it necessary to point how much I enjoyed Letters from Iwo Jima. I begrudgingly put it on my Netflix queue and I must say I enjoyed every second of it. It forced me to think about what I dislike about his films. And like I said before, I really think I just dislike his films in a really subjective way.

The story begins with the first Eastwood directed movie I watched: Unforgiven. It is often cited as his best work, as the greatest of all Westerns. It accurately showcased Old West living, dispelling the myths of John Wayne's West while retaining much of what made those movies great. Here's the problem: I do not like Westerns. I think this is why I never liked Unforgiven. However, the buzz the movie attained, coupled with my dislike for it and its genre, forced an irrevocable "over-rated" into my head when concerning Eastwood.

So Holden et all, I would like you to suggest some Eastwood movies for me. I already have opinions on the ones I have seen, so I must see others. I have ranked the movies I have seen below in the order I personally liked them:

Letters from Iwo Jima
Million Dollar Baby
Bridges of Madison County
Unforgiven
Mystic River

Now please keep in mind, my opinion may not change. I will also continue to think Mystic river is simply a bad movie. But I would like to give Clint another chance, so please fire away.
I agree with you that Eastwood is at best an uneven director who obviously doesn't put the best interest of his films first or else he wouldn't have put girlfriend Sondra Locke in so many of them. Eastwood and Locke were as bad as Bronson and Ireland. More than that, Eastwood was way too old to cast himself as the heroic lead in Heartbreak Ridge. In real life, that young lieutenant would have kicked the old mans butt in that mud fight.

And Spike Lee isnt the first Hollywood figure to attack Eastwood about historic accuracy in his films. Kate Hepburn who starred in The African Queen also attacked the veracity of White Hunter, Black Heart. I thought that film was adequate entertainment for a couple of hours, but I cant remember much of it now exceptsurprise!Eastwood played Huston as an obnoxious drunk.

I did like the understated Honky-Tonk Man, although Eastwood is no singer. Bronco Billy was offbeat and interesting, but Im not sure if Eastwood directed that.

And I didn't mind Josie Wales so much, although I wondered at times where its meandering storyline was headed. I was amused by all the acclaim he received for his revisionist western Unforgiven. Those familiar with US history know that Jessie James, Billy the Kid and other Western outlaws and lawmen commonly shot people in the back without giving them a chance to draw. Eastwoods film wasnt the revision: all those decades of Hollywood westerns were. Still, it was a good enough movie, although IMHO no prize winner.

Eastwood really missed the boat on Flag of Our Fathers, however. But so did the real Bradley and Ira Hayes, 2 of the 3 survivors of the 6 men who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. The Medals of Honor given to them were not for what they did or didnt do. It wasnt even for the Marine Corp.s victory in that deadly battle. No, those medals and the public tour to show off the three survivors was for the American public at home who had been fighting the same war in their own mundane way without the horror and heroism of the front lines. Only the third survivor, Rene, understood that when he stepped up to the microphone in their first public appearance and gave US civilians the kind of hero they were expecting. When it comes to distorting historic fact, however, Eastwood told a real whopper in the scene where he has a PR guy saying that the US was running out of money to fight the war and that the Marines were practically down to their last bullet unless the bond drive was a success. Truth is, the US was never short of funds for fighting the war. Every bond drive mounted by the US government, including that one and the one after itwhich occurred after the war had ended!was over-subscribed and raised more money than was targeted. Moreover, there was no climax to that movie; it just sort of petered out. Preston Sturges explored the issues of heroism and duty on the home front much better in his Hail the Conquering Hero! that was filmed during WWII.

Letters from Iwo Jima was even worse, with a BS theme that the Japanese defenders were just soldiers, too. Go read some history of WWII and see what those SOBs were really like. Start with Flyboys, the story of Japanese atrocities on a smaller island off Iwo.



So Clint has the one completed movie, Changeling starring Angelina Jolie, and the other he is starring in and currently finishing, Gran Torino, still scheduled for release this year. Changeling played to good response in Cannes back in May and is the centerpiece of the New York Film Festival in October before it starts its release at the end of that same month. At this point Gran Torino looks like it'll get the NY/LA opening the last week of the year to qualify for the Oscars with a general release coming in early 2009.

Clint obviously ain't slowing down any. His next project will be The Human Factor, which has nothing to do with the Graham Greene novel or the 1979 Otto Preminger film but is adapted from John Carlin's non-fiction book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation.



Morgan Freeman, who is also producing the project, will star as Mandela with Matt Damon set to play Rugby captain Francois Pienaar. It tells the story of Rugby's World Cup match of 1995 where the South African national team, the Springboks, led an underdog campaign to the championship, which was endorsed by the newly elected President Mandela as a unifying event for their post-Apartheid country. Carlin's book was just published in the United States by Penguin. A review from The New York Times Book Review can be found HERE.

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I'm not old, you're just 12.
I really loved Mystic River, after watching it I felt angry for a bit, which is a sign of good filmmaking, that it stuck with me for a good long while after i saw it. It's one of the best Boston movies, and Clint Eastwood did an amazing job of mixing heart wrenching drama with film noir trappings, and a great blue collar setting that didn't seem fake to me. (most Hollywood films about working class folks seem like "This is what rich people think poor people are like" to me, but Mystic River seemed real.)

Also I loved Unforgiven, but then everyone loves that one. I doubt I could say something that hasn't been said here already, so I wont.
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I liked him in Pale Rider. Such an underrated film.

I remember The Gauntlet very little.

And how can I forget The Outlaw Josey Wales?