Posted by: John McGerr | July 29, 2009

Movie Musings4


I have just recently seen Clint Eastwood’s film ‘Gran Torino’ on DVD.  Although in his early years he seemed to be typecast in the kind of roles he played, Dirty Harry was largely a modern recreation of the Man With No Name, as he turned to directing he seemed to broaden his range and repetoire.  The last films of Eastwood’s I had seen were his twin war movies set around the invasion of Iwo Jima (Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima) both of which I liked. Gran Torino is enjoyable as well. On the surface Eastwood plays a racist whiteman in a neighbourhood filled with ethnic groups, many of who view him the same way he does them. Over the course of the film his attitude to his neighbours, Hmong hill people transplanted to the US after the Vietnam war, changes, when he is forced to intervene in a gang dispute. A young woman badgers him into visiting with her family, educates him on their customs and introduces him to her brother who Eastwood tries to turn into a man. In a couple of scenes Eastwood takes out a gun and you’re reminded of some of his more famous characters and as the climax of the film draws closer, which I won’t spoil here, you cannot but be reminded of the classic standoffs of vintage Eastwood westerns. I’d recommend it to anyone.

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