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Author Topic: 3 films to recommend Clint to new viewers  (Read 740 times)
Gant
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« on: April 24, 2018, 11:39:29 PM »

If you were going to recommend and show 3 films of Clint's (as actor) to a new viewer who hadn't seen any of his work before,  which three would you choose.. ?

This is quite conceivable as he hasn't really acted much in recent years and a lot of new cinema goers have sprung up.
Watching Fistful of Dollars with an audience recently I was aware how many younger viewers there were who were probably seeing the film for the first time.... How cool is that..

I'd want to give them an idea of the breadth of his career...

I'm going with

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Dirty Harry
Unforgiven

Kills me to leave out Josey and maybe Million Dollar Baby, I'd def put them in the next batch...
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KC
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 07:25:42 AM »

If the person is really new to Clint, I'd make it just one Western and one cop movie. Probably the two showing him at his most iconic, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and Dirty Harry ... save his masterpiece, Unforgiven, for when they've gotten to know him a bit better. Also, Unforgiven is an ensemble piece and really showcases his work as a director even more than as an actor (brilliant though I think his performance is).

For the third film, I'd pick one that shows off his range as actor, maybe Honkytonk Man or White Hunter, Black Heart. Or Million Dollar Baby, to show what the older Clint can do onscreen.

Great topic, Gant!
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Matt
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 09:08:06 AM »

I agree with both of your choices, and yet.... I wonder if GBU would be better than A Fistful of Dollars.  Attention spans aren't what they used to be, so maybe a less-than-two-hour runtime on a tight and ultra cool Western might sit a bit better for a first timer.  I think I'd start with A Fistful of Dollars, and let them know... this is the start of everything. If you love this, we have a lot more to watch!

And then, Dirty Harry and then...

Maybe Gran Torino.  They get to see his first, and one of his last... and that leaves a lot to discover inbetween. I think it would really get the point across how impressive his career is, and to want more.
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KC
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 06:38:49 PM »

Good choices, Matt, and I think on reflection I agree with you on A Fistful of Dollars over The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, for the reasons you stated.  :)
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Gant
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2018, 11:55:48 PM »

Right.. well you two have made me totally re-think my choices..

I'm swapping The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for Fistfull of Dollars too for the reasons you give Matt .. Give the young viewer the easier  film to digest before moving on to the more epic..

I think I'll stick with Dirty Harry tho.. I was a little tempted by Magnum Force which is a superb 70's cop movie but Harry is so iconic, powerful, contains a brilliant star performance  and still holds up today..

For my third.. Mmmm although I personally love Honkytonk Man and White Hunter I'm not sure they're the movies to grab a young and new to Eastwood audience..

I was tempted by In The Line of Fire, a fine contemporary thriller.. but in the end opted for Million Dollar Baby just over Grand Torino, very powerful film with a fine Eastwood performance..

Gants revised introduction to the films of Clint Eastwood

A Fistfull of Dollars
Dirty Harry
Million Dollar Baby

One proviso.. they must all be viewed on top notch prints in a cinema !



« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 12:22:52 AM by Gant » Logged

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Matt
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2018, 01:02:20 AM »

Good choices! Though I'm reminded that I became an Eastwood fan within 5 minutes of Hang 'em High, on a snowy UHF channel on a 1970's model RCA television. If they're meant to be an Eastwood fan, you'll have them by the end of the mule scene. ;)
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Gant
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 12:49:44 AM »

Although I saw and loved the Dollars films first... It was actually Coogan's Bluff that clinched it for me... :)
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 06:43:59 AM »

I suppose, for the susceptible, almost any of Clint's œuvre would do. ;)
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Christopher
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 08:18:23 AM »

It does make sense to go with something early, something iconic, and then something a little more contemporary.

So maybe I'd go with:

A Fistful of Dollars or For a Few Dollars More
Dirty Harry
In the Line of Fire (we can count a 25 year old movie as being more contemporary, right? ;))

I would also be tempted to go with something a little different, like Play Misty for Me or The Beguiled. Both of those are favorites of mine, though I guess the latter might be a little too different to introduce someone to Eastwood with. The Bridges of Madison County would be another possibility for something a little different.
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Gant
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2018, 12:43:46 PM »

I hadn't thought of this and not meaning to sound sexist but if it's for a girl then maybe Bridges would be a good option... Or Tightrope ;)
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Gant
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2018, 12:45:58 PM »

I don't think you've ever been much of a fan of Coogan have you KC.... Why is that ? It's one of my fave earlier period Clint movies.. :)
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2018, 02:20:31 PM »

I also agree that modern audiences may find a lot of the classics too slow. Sad but true. I'd go for

Dirty Harry
In the Line of Fire
Gran Torino

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AKA23
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 03:36:30 PM »

This is a pretty great topic for a thread. I think I probably would not recommend the same 3 movies to everyone. Before recommending potential movies to watch, I'd ask what genres of movies that person likes, and which genres they don't. If they told me, for example that they really didn't like westerns, I wouldn't recommend a western. I would probably recommend different movies for women and men, since a lot of women might say that they don't like action movies or violence, so I wouldn't recommend "Dirty Harry." But if they said they liked love stories or romance movies, I'd be more likely to recommend something like "The Bridges of Madison County." This would not be a hard and fast rule, as some women may like westerns and some men may like romances, but it would be something I'd factor in.

All things being equal, I'd probably recommend the following three movies: "Dirty Harry," "High Plains Drifter," and "Gran Torino." As many of you know, I tend to appreciate themes that evolve over Eastwood's filmography, so I'd try to pick movies that were not only entertaining but also strong thematically and that showed the development of some themes that were consistent across Eastwood's filmography.

For that reason, I probably wouldn't pick one of the Dollars movies, since they're quite operatic and sprawling and are stylistically and thematically quite different than most of Eastwood's work as a director. 

I'd pick "Dirty Harry" because it's probably Eastwood's most iconic role, and thematically, it fits well with his other work. Themes of the man against a broken system, the need to balance the values of justice and mercy, a preference for victims rights over the rights of those who commit acts of aggression against law abiding citizens, these are all strong themes across Eastwood's filmography.

I'd pick "High Plains Drifter" because the mythology of the hero is a big theme in Eastwood's work, and it's a powerful example of Eastwood's ability to create an atmosphere that serves the story. I also think it fits in quite well thematically with Eastwood's later work, as it involves the protaganist seeking penance from the town that murdered Sheriff Dunan.

In that way, themes of justice and mercy are inherent in the story (the good people are spared while those who committed evil acts were punished.) Eastwood also is fond of creating and embodying characters and stories that show the consequences of violence, where characters commit morally questionable acts to serve their own ends and then end up reaping the consequences of those self serving acts. This is a very strong theme in "High Plains Dirfter."

In that way, the film can allow the viewer to see themselves in the characters on film and invite the viewer to ask themselves how they would have acted in similar circumstances. Using character to provoke larger discussions on the nature of the human condition and on the balance between good and evil is a hallmark of his work. The tendency of morally complex men to far too often traverse the dark side of the human soul is quintessentially Eastwoodian and also is very apparent in "High Plains Drifter." The Stranger is also a great example of Eastwood sharing only the minimum amount necessary to intrigue the viewer and also of Eastwood's desire to leave some plot and character points unspoken to allow the viewer to imbue the character with their own sense of who the character is or what might happen next in the story. 

I'd probably choose "Gran Torino" as the last film because it's a crowd pleasing film that a lot of people who aren't familiar with his work or that are not fans of his state that they enjoy. It's also quite strong thematically. Themes of justice and mercy, meditations on acts of violence and the consequences that result from those acts, and the power of redemption are all strsong themes. In addition, the man against a broken system is also present (because it took Walt sacrifing himself to save the Hmong people, which had the justice system been operating as it ideally should, such a personal sacrifice would not have been necessary). The impotence of the justice system to safeguard his community was what motivated his sacrificial act. I also think it's one of Eastwood's better performances and shows how Eastwood has deepened and grown in the twilight of his acting career.

If the person didn't care whether the film was directed by Eastwood, I might also recommend "In the Line of Fire" as I think that's a very underrated performance which fits in nicely thematically and which represented an earlier incarnation of his tendency to potray redemptive characters as he grew older. Portraying characters that evolve and change and that are fitting for Eastwood's age at the time is another strong Eastwood theme.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 03:40:19 PM by AKA23 » Logged
KC
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 11:08:57 PM »

^ Great post, AKA. This is a great topic, thanks again to Gant for starting it.  8)

I don't think you've ever been much of a fan of Coogan have you KC.... Why is that ? It's one of my fave earlier period Clint movies.. :)

I like Coogan's Bluff quite well, Gant, if only for the New York scenes! It's one of the few Eastwood films that have any scenes set in my adopted home town, and indeed, after the prologue, the whole film takes place there.

I would say that it's probably my least favorite of the five Siegel-Eastwood collaborations, however.
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Gant
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 11:33:51 PM »

Apart from being very impressed with Clint.. (I guess I was around 13/14 when I first saw Coogan) I loved all the NY scenes too  and was determined from then on to spend some time there some day... And play pool in Pushy's bar.... :)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 11:43:23 PM by Gant » Logged

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Gant
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2018, 11:40:35 PM »

In the Line of Fire is definitely making quite a few appearances in our list. A modern(ish) contemporary thriller than moves along at quite a fast pace.. So makes sense.

As AKA said (great post AKA) . I  guess really you would chose to tailor the films taking into account the person your trying to impress.

Ms Gant, my 17 year old daughter has never seen a Clint Eastwood film (at least not all the way through, tho she's quite aware of who he is, obviously) If I was going to chose a film to try and hook her I think I'd go for Million Dollar Baby... But definitely in a cinema where the film would get her undivided attention, where she wouldn't be allowed to use her phone to tap into all the social media that young people seem unable to be separated from for more than 2 minutes..
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 11:42:56 PM by Gant » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2018, 06:26:32 AM »

Apart from being very impressed with Clint.. (I guess I was around 13/14 when I first saw Coogan) I loved all the NY scenes too  and was determined from then on to spend some time there some day... And play pool in Pushy's bar.... :)

And you vowed that someday you would visit the New York Public Library! ;)
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Gant
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2018, 08:26:38 AM »

That's for my next visit KC....

But first comes your Firefox themed guided tour of London ;)

To be honest I love libraries almost as much as I love  bars so next time definitely..
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 08:28:18 AM by Gant » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2018, 09:56:06 AM »



Gran Torino
Dirty Harry
The Outlaw Josey Wales

I cant see any new viewer who would prefer Unforgiven over TOJW and the Leone Trilogy.
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KC
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« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2018, 07:50:43 PM »


Gran Torino
Dirty Harry
The Outlaw Josey Wales

I cant see any new viewer who would prefer Unforgiven over TOJW and the Leone Trilogy.
It was the film that hooked me, and I've never found one of Clint's I liked better, or that moved me more.

But good choices, Perry. :)
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