At the Republican National Convention Thursday night, Clint Eastwood gave what appeared to be an unscripted, off-the-cuff speech in which he carried on a conversation with an imaginary President Obama in an empty chair. (If you didn’t actually see it, read the full text and catch the blow-by-blow here) Regardless of your political leanings, the speech was entertaining, to say the least.
It’s times like these when it behooves us to remember that Clint Eastwood has made many movies, none of them actually involving conversations with empty chairs. In fact, his “Trouble With the Curve” is coming out later this year, with Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake. Here are excerpts of some of Clint’s most acclaimed and/or popular films (both as an actor and director):
“Gran Torino” (2008) “As the spitting, swearing, hate-spewing lead character of ‘Gran Torino,’ Clint Eastwood delivers a lacerating and hilarious valedictory of a career as America's most lovable vigilante. Here, he makes the ugly American a thing of almost primitive beauty, as an antihero worthy of Dickens.” — Ann Hornaday
“Unforgiven”(1992) “A prominent New York critic once declared Clint Eastwood ‘the last serious man in Hollywood.’ And Eastwood must have remembered it too, because his new western, ‘Unforgiven,’ is the kind of movie you make when you start to take this kind of praise to heart.” — Hal Hinson
“Mystic River” (2003) “Eastwood could rightfully consider himself to have been robbed at Cannes, where his movie, a contestant for the Golden Palm, felt like a breath of uncomplicated fresh air against more august, pretentious or incomprehensible fare. Still, there are bigger boats to float around Oscar time. And the West Coast is Eastwood's home shore.” — Desson Howe
“Million Dollar Baby” (2004) “Still, the heart of ‘Million Dollar Baby’ lies in the core relationships among Frankie, Maggie and Scrap, friendships so pure, so genuine, so authentic that it takes actors of Eastwood’s, Swank’s and Freeman’s caliber to sell them in this otherwise cynical world. And it takes a filmmaker as adroit as Eastwood in blending restraint and old-fashioned schmaltz to create movies that shamelessly, and even by design, can make a grown man cry.” — Ann Hornaday
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006) “The first major film made by an American -- Clint Eastwood -- to tell the story of the war in the Pacific from the Japanese point of view, it's most valuable as a massive correction. Like his ‘Flags of Our Fathers,’ it isn’t really a history of a battle, and it frankly could have used both a timeline and a few topographic indexes.” — Stephen Hunter
What’s your favorite Clint Eastwood movie? Let us know in the comments section.