Famous Clint Eastwood Movies

Many famous Clint Eastwood movies are films that he directed. In 1968, Eastwood founded The Malpaso Company, now Malpaso Productions, so that he could enjoy the same freedom of filmmaking he witnessed while working for Sergio Leone in Italy. Many of the best-known Clint movies, including High Plains Drifter and the Academy Award-winning Million Dollar Baby, came from this production company. Eastwood has appeared in more than 65 movies and directed more than 34 movies. Here are some highlights from his career.

Ambush at Cimarron Pass
One of Eastwood's earliest major roles found him playing an ex-confederate soldier who bands together with a group of cowboys to fight through an area filled with hostile Indians. Prior to this film, Eastwood had a series of small, uncredited roles in low-budget B-movies, including the role of Jennings in Revenge of the Creature.

A Fistful of Dollars
Eastwood's first film with Italian director Sergio Leone made the actor an international star and encouraged him to start his own film production company. Heavily influenced by Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, the film casts Eastwood as a mysterious stranger who plays rival gang families against one another in a frontier town. Eastwood would return as "The Man with No Name" in two more Leone films, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Critics largely scorned Leone's "spaghetti westerns" when they were first released in the United States, condemning their grittiness and violence. The films were popular with American audiences, however, and were wildly successful in overseas markets. Today, the films in the Dollars trilogy are considered some of the best Westerns ever made.

Dirty Harry

After producing some Western films through his Malpaso Company, Eastwood created one of the legendary characters of American cinema. Dirty Harry (1971) is a movie about how far a cop is willing to go to protect people who could not stand up for themselves. Eastwood plays Harry Callahan, a San Francisco detective who believed in righting a wrong through extreme violence. The film is one of the earliest anti-hero stories that enjoyed widespread success in American theaters. Like Easy Rider, Dirty Harry is a gritty, realistic film far removed from the clean-cut and polished Hollywood movies that were popular through the 1960s.

Clint Eastwood won his first Oscar as Best Director for this 1992 film. Eastwood returns to his Western roots, playing a gunslinger who is still haunted by his murderous past, even as he lives a quiet life as a farmer. In need of money to save his farm, he signs on to help collect a bounty and must confront the dark memories of his former life.

Unforgiven has been called the last great Western movie and one of the most definitive Westerns of all time. Unlike the John Wayne and Tom Mix films that portrayed the gunslinger as a hero, Unforgiven shows the brutal reality of frontier life and the emotional consequences that lingered long after the gun battles ended.

Mystic River
Mystic River scored six Oscar nominations and won two, Best Actor for Sean Penn and Best Actor in a supporting role for Tim Robbins. Based on a Dennis Lehane novel, the story takes place in Boston in 1975. Three childhood friends, one of them a local gang leader, are reunited by circumstance when a young girl is murdered. The film explores the code of silence and vigilante justice that pervades an Irish working-class neighborhood and how these realities create suspicion and a climate of fear, even among lifelong friends.


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Learn some details of the Clint Eastwood biography and see our picks for the best Clint Eastwood movies and Clint Eastwood Westerns.

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