Friday, February 24, 2012

The Essential Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is probably the first actor I really latched onto, I've always enjoyed his films immensely and feel he is one of the best action heroes of all time, if not the best overall.  Here's what I consider to be a list of his essential films as an actor...At least when it comes to films appropriate for this blog.

For starters, you can hardly go wrong with Sergio Leone's Man with No Name trilogy, the films that put Clint on the map.

The third one is probably my favorite as it has an amazing epic feel to it as well as a fantastic soundtrack.

Clint's directorial debut predates Fatal Attraction by sixteen years and also has the advantage of being a hell of a lot better.  Clint gives a very good performance here as a man being stalked by a deranged woman.

No list about Clint would be complete without this one, a very solid (if somewhat dated) cop drama about the most famous bad ass cop in cinematic history.

Clint takes a rare trip into the horror genre with this creepy quasi-supernatural western about a mysterious stranger who rides into a town and proceeds to literally paint it red while getting revenge on some bad guys.  Yes, the character was supposed to be the brother of the town's dead sheriff but given how the film is shot, one can easily read it as a ghost story.

I actually prefer this sequel to Dirty Harry over the first one.  It has more action, more humor and in general is a really entertaining 70's action movie.

My favorite Clint Eastwood Western, this is, in a way, even better than Unforgiven.  Clint perfectly balances the story of redemption with the usual action his fans expect and the end result is a beautifully crafted motion picture.

I just love this one because Clint takes his Dirty Harry persona and turns it on its head, playing a cop who is basically a loser.  Outside of The Rookie, it's really the only time Clint ever did a big, stupid action movie, (at least the only time he did one that worked).  The poster art seen above is also great.

Yes, I am recommending you check out the one he did with the ape.  It's dumb, it's silly but underneath all that is a surprisingly warm comedy.  Hell, the second one is worth checking out as well, if only for the great fight at the end.

The title speaks for itself and Clint is fantastic in this one.

To be honest, this one doesn't really thrill me that much but there are so many iconic moments in it you really need to see it at least once.

Clint does Shane with a mild supernatural twist thrown in for  good measure.  It's not the greatest thing on earth but it's certainly a fun way to kill two hours.

I really enjoy this military action/drama/comedy as Clint is both hilarious and oddly touching as a career Marine who has to train some new recruits.  Clint has always been at his best when circumventing his image and this time out is no different.

It goes without saying that this is his career pinnacle.  I remember actually doing a victory lap around the living room when this won Best Director and Best Picture at the Oscars that year.

A perfect fusion of Clint kicking ass and Clint being human is on display in this fantastic thriller about a Secret Service agent looking for personal redemption.  John Malkovich is great as the villain and Rene Russo is, as always, fun to watch.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.