Sunday, 31 May 2015

# Entertainment

Top 5 Clint Eastwood Scenes

Although his output may have deteriorated in later years, Clint Eastwood's eye for quality and detail hasn't diminished.

Perhaps the most successful American actor-turned-director, Eastwood forged a career that initially was built on tough, action roles but later matured into more wide-ranging fare. Here's five of his best scenes...

5. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY - "Not everyone is supposed to have a family."

You might dismiss The Bridges of Madison County as something for mothers to watch and coo over, but it's a lot more than that. It's about regrets in love and life and the yearning for freedom in relationships. Clint Eastwood, who also directs, is a National Geographic photographer who is on assignment in rural Iowa when he meets Italian housewife Francesa, played by Meryl Streep. The two strike up a passionate affair in which their own ideas about relationships and love are challenged by the other. In this scene, Eastwood and Streep are talking about living alone without commitments. It's natural and feels unscripted - something Eastwood as a director always had an eye for.

4. GRAN TORINO - "That's me."

Pushing 80, you wouldn't think Clint Eastwood could do the whole Dirty Hary / Man With No Name schtick and be convincing about. In Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood plays a retired, racist auto-worker who takes a wimpish teenager under his wing and teaches him what it means to be a man. It was to be Eastwood's final role and would have perfectly capped off his career. It had everything that made him famous - iron strength, that thousand-yard stare and gravelly one-liners. In this scene, the sister of his ward is accosted. Up until then, he's been happy enough to keep himself to himself. Instead, he decides to intervene.

3. UNFORGIVEN - "We all have it coming, kid."

In Unforgiven, Eastwood's final Western, the actor-director intended to put to bed the genre that made him famous. In the process, he made what could be described as one of, if not the greatest Western ever made. Playing William Munny, an ageing gunslinger that has given up his life and is living in relative poverty as a widower. When he and his friend hear of one final job that could have them living comfortably, they decide to holster up and head out. It initially plays like a normal Western, but instead becomes a study on violence, redemption, natural justice and long-delayed revenge. In this scene,  the young gunfighter they've picked up along the way has his first skirmish. The results are pretty harrowing as the young gunfighter, named The Kid, has boasted constantly of his escapades. Here, he breaks down whilst Eastwood's character's past begins to flood back.

2. DIRTY HARRY - "Do I feel lucky?"

It's endlessly quoted, sure, but that's the measure of how iconic Dirty Harry is and continues to be. Some would consider it a modern Western; Harry Callahan is a loner who seems alone against the villains and injustices of the world. However, at its heart, it was about the line between justice and the law and how blurry it can become. The next film in the series, Magnum Force, dealt with a lot of the first one's right-wing ideologies and praise of vigilantism. Here, however, it's fair game. As he's casually munching away on a hot-dog, he notices a '211 in progress' - bank robbery. However, when the robbers attempt to make their escape, Harry springs into action. The rest is history.

1. THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY - "There are two kinds of people in this world."

Sergio Leone was known for two things - choosing the best music and long films. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly is, however, his crowning achievement. For a film that runs for three hours, there's very little dialogue. This may have been due to the fact that he had to overdub a lot of the actors - most of them were Italian / Spanish who couldn't speak English - or could have been that it simply didn't need it. The beautiful scenery, the music and the set design instead speak far more than any pithy one-liners could. And the finale is where this is most apparent. Tuco, the Mexican wildman, Angel Eyes, the black-hatted soldier and finally Blondie, the cigar-chomping anti-hero. The three square off in the centre of a graveyard - the survivor gets the gold.

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