Today is Clint Eastwood’s 80th birthday. Hard to imagine a movie without imitating one of his patented lines or facial moves. In honor of his birthday, here are a few films that stand out as my favorites.
1. The Outlaw Josey Wales – Up to his most recent film, Gran Torino, I couldn’t think of any time I saw Eastwood cry in a movie. This western had all the essentials, (suspense, action, & humor). My all time favorite.
2. Dirty Harry – The original! As kids, my mom would only let us see an edited version of the film. But still, we’d be going nut watching Clint get the bad guy.
3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Out of all the Sergio Leone films, this one was my favorite with Eastwood as “The man with no name”. I especially enjoyed Clint giving Eli Wallach the run around all throughout the film.
4. Unforgiven – Probably one of his most intense Westerns. The final scene as William Munny gets his revenge made me realize this was not a conventional film. It would change his focus from being an action filmmaker to an all-around, respected artist.
5. Sudden Impact – The only movie in the “Dirty Harry” series he would direct and the only one in the series I would watch in theatres. My second favorite of the series.
6. Million Dollar Baby – This film proved that Unforgiven was not a fluke. It put Clint right up there with the greats of film directing. Powerful!
7. Gran Torino – “Dirty Harry” on a pension. I couldn’t help but get nostalgic, as the movie was like watching a history of Clint in film.
8. Play Misty For Me – His directorial debut would be a thriller about a spurned romance. The movie was light years ahead of “Fatal Attraction” and much better, too! I also like the fact that Clint had the story set in Carmel, California.
9. Heartbreak Ridge – Couldn’t help but laugh at Clint calling cadence in his gruff voice. Good film about a Marine Sergeant whipping his squad into shape for a mission to invade Grenada.
10. Paint Your Wagon – Clint sings! He doesn’t dance though. A very silly but very fun movie.
Happy Birthday, Clint!