Jan 31

Eiger Sanction ★★★★

Eiger Sanction could have done better on the plot, with Clint acting as a retired hitman, called back into duty to the service of his country to knock off several killers involved in an international spy ring. Strangely, Clint needs to perform this action while climbing the north face of the Eiger. Clint eventually discovers that he was deceived but comes out in the best. The most spectacular part of this film with the video of the Eiger climb, which unfortunately led to the death of a climber assisting in the filming.

 

Enforcer ★★★★

This is the third Dirty film. Dirty Harry is teamed up with a female that he considers incompetent in an effort by the city to make the police force more diverse. This episode, they have to fight a militant revolutionary gang, that leads them all over the city and even out to Alcatraz, Clint also having to do battle with the SF mayor, until he is required to rescue him from the gang.

 

Escape from Alcatraz ★★★★★

One of Clint’s better films, illustrating a breakout from Alcatraz. The head jailor is in best form, as Patrick McGoohan (Secret Agent/The Prisoner). The acting is superb, the story line is superb, the description of the very inhuman life in prison is notable, and you end up cheering for the prisoners that got away.

 

Every Which Way But Loose ★

This film was absolutely awful. It is a prequel/sequel to Any Which Way You Can, with Clint acting as a prize street fighter. The entire film was nothing but casual sex (not seen visually), bad language, beer drinking, indiscriminate violence, but worse of all, country-western music. Clint falls in love with a country western singer who doesn’t let on that she has no interest in him, until he’s chased her all over the country. A sick motorcycle gang, renegade policeman, and others are after Clint. Ho-hum.

 

Few Dollars More ★★★★

Clint Eastwood starred in a number of spaghetti westerns in the late 1960’s, this being one of them, and also included in the “Man with No Name” trilogy, which includes “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, and “Fist full of Dollars”. Here he teams up with Van Cleef as bounty hunters after the big nasty gang located along the border of the US and Mexico. Van Cleef has some awesome acting very much the equal of Clint, and a young Klaus Kinski shows up in this movie. The biggest winner in the Trilogy is the music of Ennio Morricone, who deserves an Oscar of his own for the genius of the accompanying music.

 

Firefox ★★★

Clint is a retired fighter pilot jock, called back from retirement to assist in the theft of a highly secretive high-tech stealth airplane of the Soviets (pre-1990). The graphics are good, the plot is suspenseful, the action is quite exciting, the acting is somewhat mediocre, and the reality of the plot is marginal, making the film a three-star. Though Clint does a better “top-gun” than Tom Cruise, between playing secret agent man, top-gun, and himself, he fails.

 

Fistful of Dollars ★★★★

Another of the spaghetti westerns, and the first of the No Name trilogy with music by Morricone.   Clint is a Whitey that rides into town along the Mexican border to find a feud between two clans is leading to the death of the town. By pitting the clans against each other, he manages to eliminate both clans. There is a wonderful mix of suspense and humor in this movie that makes up for an otherwise short story line.

 

Gauntlet ★★★★

Clint is a policeman in Phoenix sent to go up to Las Vegas in order to pick up a criminal to be delivered for testimony in court back in Phoenix. It ends up that both the police chief in Phoenix and the mob set him and his prisoner (Sondra Locke) up to be eliminated. There is much shooting and tough guy action as Clint and Sondra work their way back to Phoenix to establish real justice with the police chief. Much of the story line is not terribly believable, such as a bus driving through many streets of firearm, and Clint on a motorcycle escaping by bare centimeters firing from a sharpshooter in a helicoptor. But, things get blown up, so the movie is worth watching.

 

Good, Bad, and the Ugly ★★★★★

This is one of Eastwood’s best films, a spaghetti western and last of the “Man with no Name” trilogy, staged during the time of the civil war, where three gents, one being Clint, and another Van Cleef, are in search of buried gold. The tales of finding the clues to the location of the gold, the interactions of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” characters create suspense in a film that is entertaining even after watching a number of times.

 

Gran Torino ★★★★★

Betsy and I had low hopes at the start of this movie, thinking it was going to be just another Clint Eastwood “adoration of the fictitious self” movies. It looked like he was going to racing cars, or something of that sort. It instead turned out to be something quite other. Clint is a just widowed old man who had a heroic war past, but now sits on his porch drinking beer and smoking cigarettes and watching the neighborhood being taken over by foreigners. The next door neighbors are Hmong people. Slowly, he gets to know them, and eventually comes to their rescue by offering himself up totally for them. There are Catholic religious references throughout the film which suggests that Clint has no idea about true faith, but that doesn’t denegrate from this film, which actually suggests a moral lesson. I particularly liked the Clint character, a gnarly old man, similar to a few that I know.

 

Hang Em High ★★★★

Clint is a ex-lawman now rancher that was lynched and hung, only to rescued by a lawman in the Oklahoma territory. He is now out to get the nine men that lynched him, after he is re-made a lawman. Seeing much injustice in the system, including a couple of kids caught cattle rustling and hung, he finds it hard to adjust to his role in the system. He eventually gets most of the lynchers, but only after they shoot him up. The action line is very irregular, and incomplete, in that he doesn’t get all nine players. Also, there is a lengthy hanging scene where hymns were sung and the preacher active, all of which seemed to make mockery of religion, without realizing that that religion is what instilled a sense of justice to begin with.

 

Heartbreak Ridge ★★

Clint is an non-cooperative drill sergeant with war experience now assigned to a young group of Marines in boot camp. He establishes his presence going against authority, and eventually proves himself in the Grenada invasion. If Clint is supposed to be the Marine role model of the tough – guy, he fails miserably.

 

High Plains Drifter ★★★

Clint is now a no-name cowboy, that rides into a lonely town in the early west where the people refuse to defend themselves from roving gangs. An old gang is supposed to return to town, and they pay Clint to defend the town. For inexplicable reasons, he has flashbacks of a previous episode when the town allowed their sheriff to be whipped to death without lifting a finger. Clint gets even by knocking off the gang, but also by knocking off the town. Ho-hum.

 

Joe Kidd ★★

Just another Clint western, with him as a good-bad guy Joe Kidd, who is supposed to help a dishonest wealthy man knock off a renegade Mexican who seems to be doing nothing more than trying to honestly defend his land. Eventually Clint takes the side of the Mexican and helps knock off the rich dude and his henchmen.

 

Honkytonk Man ★

This is probably the worst Clint Eastwood movie of the bunch, with nothing good to say about it. Clint is a country singer in the depression 1930’s of Oklahoma. He wants to go to Nashville to sing in the grand ole Opry and takes along his nephew and uncle. On the way, he teaches his 11 yo nephew to drive, since he is too drunk to get behind the wheel. He then teaches his nephew to drink, steal, and visit whore houses. The movie has no redeeming moral lessons, and worst of all, the viewer has to be tortured with country music, even worse from Clint himself. Don’t waste your time on this film.

 

In the Line of Fire ★★★★

One of the late films of Clint, he is a secret service agent protecting the president. He is being tracked by an ex-CIA agent who plans on assassinating the president. In his typical role, Clint is the outsider who figures out eventually who the killer is and manages to stop the assassination by jumping in the line of fire. Though many of the elements of the movie are predictable, it does make suspense and is well filmed and acted.

 

Invictus ★★★★★

Clint directed but did not star in this film. The stars were Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, both of whom had superb acting. This movie was based on a real historical event, though the details I’m sure were Hollywood fictions. It is the story of Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, being released from prison and becoming president of the country, but being able to set aside the long-standing grievances of the past, using Rugby to spirit the nation into breaking down the racial divide. The movie is quite moving, and wonderfully enacted by Eastwood’s direction.

 

Kelly’s Heroes ★★★

This is a WWII not to be taken seriously, with many anachronistic elements, like Don Sutherland playing a 1960’s hippy. Actually, Don Sutherland was probably the funniest actor in the movie. A small group of GI’s discover that the Germans have a load of gold in a bank 30 miles across the front line. They work out an effort to retrieve this gold without their commanders knowing what was happening. The film had too many unreal aspects, such as an unorganized group simply breaking through the German offensive line, and a pile of gold sitting around practically unguarded. How they got a number of well known actors to participate in the movie is a mystery to me. It was pretty bad, but at times, funny.

 

Letters from Iwo Jima ★★★★

This is a story of the Iwo Jima from the viewpoint of the Japanese, and mostly from the eyes of a young kid who was a baker in Japan, but pulled away against his will to fight in the war. He remained one of the few survivors of the bloodbath. The movie was mostly in Japanese with under-titles. The filming was excellent. Clint directs but has no acting in this film. One wishes he would have cameoed himself like Alfred Hitchcock used to do.

 

Magnum Force ★★★★

Clint stars in the second Dirty Harry film in Magnum force. Clint is out to solve the mystery of a rash of assassinations of prime crime suspects that defy conviction. He eventually resolves that it is a group of four rookie cops led by in boss the lieutenant. There is lots of fast action and stunts making it enjoyable to watch, but is typical Dirty Harry.

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2 Responses to “Clint Eastwood #2”

  1. Onkel Dennis says:

    Kelly’s Heroes: “…Don Sutherland was probably the funniest actor in the movie.”

    No question about it. Don Rickles, the funny man, was a caricature of his self-absorbed NY-Jewish self, though he does communicate the character of his character strongly. Sutherland is from Canada (Nova Scotia, if I remember right), is a versatile actor, and plays the hippie tank driver role well enough to make the film a cult classic.

    Telly Savalis, as “GI Joe” should also be mentioned as a perfect fit for the stereotype of a tough-guy Army sergeant.

    Several lines from that movie have found their way into our discussions, for use when needed, if repeated mimicking the voice of the actor:

    Oddball (Sutherland) about CrapGame (Rickles): “He [the NY Jew] thinks a hero [gyro] is some kind of a sandwich.”

    Viewing a bridge they need, to Moriarity, his side-kick, the technical guy:: “It’s a beautiful bridge, and it’s gonna be there.”
    Next, a German fighter plane bombs the bridge, “There you go Moriarity, with them negative waves so early in the morning.”

    Questioned by Lt. Kelly about what he was doing with a tank in need of repair, taking it easy: “I’m just soaking up some rays, eating some cheese, having some wine, enjoying a beautiful day.”
    Then Eastwood questions him about why he wasn’t working on the tank: “I just drive ’em; I don’t know how they work.”

    Eastwood line, recruiting members for the bank heist, and with a doubtful Sgt. Joe (spoken slowly and softly, Clint Eastwood style):

    “They’re ALL with me, Joe.”

  2. Agree. Sutherland was about the only funny actor in the movie, and the movie was intended to be a comedy.

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