Clint Eastwood Westerns have been favorites among movie fans since the 1960s. What sets the Clint movies apart from other Western films is their gritty nature and moral ambiguity. Eastwood wasn't the man's man that John Wayne was, or the clean-cut, virtuous Tom Mix. Often, his character was a cold-blooded killer, albeit one who had a strong sense of justice.
Eastwood was a little known actor in B-movies when he was cast as Rowdy Yates in television's Rawhide. He became a household name after he was recommended for Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Eastwood's experiences working with Leone had a profound impact on his later career as a film director.
The Outlaw Josey Wales
The Outlaw Josey Wales was listed in Time magazine's Top 10 films in 1976. Clint Eastwood starred as a loner who helps a group of wanderers. This was the first film made by Eastwood and Sondra Locke, who was involved in a relationship with Eastwood for several years. With a higher budget than the earlier Westerns Eastwood produced, this film has an epic scale that remains rooted in the gritty reality of frontier life.
Unforgiven is considered one of Clint Eastwood's masterpieces and one of the greatest Westerns ever made. The film deals with the lingering emotional aftermath of violence, as Eastwood's character leaves his quiet life as a farmer to earn money as a gunslinger. Eastwood won a Best Director Oscar for the film, and he was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Eastwood directed, produced and starred in this 1985 movie, which arrived at a time when Westerns had fallen out of favor with American audiences. Eastwood plays a preacher who helps a group of gold miners who are being bullied off their claims. His Preacher character clearly has a murderous past, as he's skilled with several kinds of weapons. The film has many similarities to the classic Western Shane, but what keeps fans coming back is Eastwood's character. Many have suggested that the Preacher is The Man with No Name from the Dollars trilogy directed by Sergio Leone. Eastwood has never confirmed or denied these theories, saying only that the Preacher is a ghost.
A Fistful of Dollars
In this 1964 film, Clint Eastwood stars as a loan gunslinger that exploits the power struggle between two rival families to earn money. This movie was the first to unite Eastwood and Italian director Sergio Leone, and offers the debut of Eastwood's iconic Man with No Name. Eastwood became an international star following the film's release.
For a Few Dollars More
This 1965 film is a follow up to A Fistful of Dollars, offering the same gritty, violent take on Western life. Eastwood's Man with No Name inflitrates an outlaw gang and participates in a bank robbery to get close enough to kill the leader and collect a bounty.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
With the success of the previous two Dollars films, Leone was able to create an epic masterpiece. Eastwood stars alongside Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, with the trio traveling across Civil War battlefields in search of lost Confederate gold. Along with the production values, Leone significantly upped the violence. While this wasn't unusual for European films of the time, it proved unsettling to many American critics. Despite the violence and some issues with dialogue syncing to the picture, typical of most Italian films of the era, this movie is considered the greatest European Western ever made, and one of the top Western films of all time.