In Hollywood, Clint Eastwood is the consummate filmmaker. Not only is he an amazing actor, producer and musician, but his skills behind the camera are some of the best in the business. With his newest film, the biographical war drama ‘American Sniper,’ about to hit theaters, let’s revisit the Oscar-winning director’s list of credits.
Play Misty For Me (1971)
After achieving amazing success as an actor in both film and TV, Eastwood stepped behind the camera and directed his first feature, ‘Play Misty for Me,’ to rave reviews. Eastwood also stars in the film, playing both a lothario and DJ who gets caught in the crosshairs of an attractive, but dangerous, fan.
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Serving dual roles as both director and lead actor, Eastwood’s portrayal of a wanted man in corrupt post-Civil War America is mesmerizing. The movie recently received one of the nation’s highest honors when it was added to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.
Sudden Impact (1983)
In ‘Sudden Impact,’ not only did Clint reprise his role as Dirty Harry, he also introduced the popular catchphrase “Go ahead, make my day.”
Pale Rider (1985)
This gritty Western brought Eastwood back to his roots, to portray a preacher who protects a village of prospectors. The film was a solid commercial success for the director, giving him some clout to help get his next film – a passion project of sorts – off the ground.
A serious jazz musician himself, Eastwood followed his passion and directed the tragic life story of legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker. Starring Forest Whitaker as the troubled musical genius, Eastwood went through great pains to insure that both Parker, and his original music, were accurately represented.
Clint Eastwood plays a ruthless gunslinger-turned-widower, called back for one last ride, in one of the best westerns ever made. Costarring Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris, 'Unforgiven' took home four Oscars – including Best Director (Eastwood) and Best Picture.
A Perfect World (1993)
Kevin Costner plays an escaped convict who forms a bond with a young boy he recently kidnapped. Director Eastwood plays a Texas Ranger intent on bringing the convict back alive. Considered by critics to be one of Clint’s more underrated efforts, the film’s slow-burn tension and solid performances are worth checking out.
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
A chance meeting leads to a passionate but short-lived love affair for a Midwestern housewife and a photographer in Eastwood’s poignant drama, ‘The Bridges of Madison County,’ based on the bestselling novel. Once again, Eastwood directs and stars, working for the first time on-screen with Oscar-winner Meryl Streep.
Space Cowboys (2000)
Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland costar opposite Eastwood in the actor-director’s first attempt at science-fiction. The film centers on a group of retired pilots and astronauts sent into space to fix a failing satellite. While it didn’t win any Oscars, ‘Cowboys’ proved to be the sleeper hit of Summer 2000.
Mystic River (2003)
Telling the story of childhood friends reunited after the tragic death of one of their children, ‘Mystic River’ was based on the popular crime thriller by Dennis Lehane. Eastwood directed Sean Penn and Tim Robbins to Oscars for Best Actor and Supporting Actor, respectively.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Director Eastwood’s second film to win Best Picture at the Oscars, ‘Million Dollar Baby’ is loosely based on the novella ‘Rope Burns’ and centers on the father-daughter relationship between a past-his-prime trainer (Eastwood) and his rookie boxer (Hillary Swank).
Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
With his first WWII epic, Eastwood tells the true story of the soldiers who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima island. Ryan Phillipe, Adam Busch and the late Paul Walker headline the ensemble cast.
Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)
'Iwo Jima' serves as a companion piece to 'Flags of Our Fathers,' this time grounding the WWII action and drama in the perspective of a jaded Japanese officer (the perfect Ken Watanabe). This engaging film proved more successful with critics than 'Flags,' scoring Oscar noms for Best Director and Best Picture.
The Changeling (2008)
Directing from a much-acclaimed script by J. Michael Straczynski ('Babylon 5'), Eastwood casts Angelina Jolie as the mother of a kidnapped child in the 1920s, forced to take on the LAPD after they return the wrong kid. In addition to Jolie's Oscar-nominated performance, another of the film’s notable charms is its understated score -- provided by the director himself.
Gran Torino (2008)
Playing a grumpy Korean War veteran living in a world that is changing faster than he can keep up, Clint delivers one of his best performances to date, directing himself as a vet who picks a fight with local thugs in an effort to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
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