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Monday's Top 10

June 29, 2009 - Steve Murch
Every Monday will become Top 10 Monday, sort of a way to start the week with a little friendly debate. The top 10 will come from news, history, pop culture, entertainment, sports – a little bit of everything.

For whatever reason, I haven't seen Gran Torino yet. I'm not really sure why, I just haven't gotten around to it yet which is surprising because I'm a Clint Eastwood fan. Eastwood definitely went through stages in his career where he seemed to play in the same types of movies. Maybe it's what was offered to him, but if you look at a certain time period you'll see where he played in the same type of movie.

So, to kick off the inaugural Monday top 10 here are my top 10 Clint Eastwood movies. Two of the movies Eastwood is strictly behind the camera, so don't strain your eyes looking for him. About five or six movies could replace some in here, but this is subjective. What are yours?

10. Play Misty for Me: This might not be the greatest movie, but it IS creepy. It's from early in his career, so many people might not have seen it. Eastwood plays a DJ who has fling with a fan whose favorite song is Misty. After the fling she becomes obsessed and that's where it gets interesting. 9. Million Dollar Baby: This one is really equal parts Hillary Swank, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. When three quality actors come together … But then again, the ending was a little predictable. 8. In the Line of Fire: This is one of the first times I felt Eastwood let himself be his own age and look like a man who has seen better days, aside from just being broken down. John Malkovich is terrific as a former CIA agent turned would-be presidential assassin. 7. Pale Rider: When Eastwood is at his best, he plays a character who is more mysterious. Preacher is that mystery man here. This genre is where Eastwood is at his best, in a western with shady characters and ambiguity between the good and bad. 6. Unforgiven: Paired with Freeman again, the two gunslingers pursue the killer of a prostitute. Gene Hackman is great as the less-than-honorable sheriff. This one came out seven years after Pale Rider, but Clint is still Clint, crossing that grayish line between good and evil. Which brings us to ... 5. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: There is an Eastwood in front of the camera, just not Clint – instead it's his daughter, Allison. This one is chock full of terrific performances – John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jude Law – and more peculiar characters than you can shake a stick at (Lady Chablis for one). 4. Dirty Harry: The first and the best of the Dirty Harry movies, which spawned several sequels. Harry Callahan was a no-nonense, do-whatever-it-takes kind of cop, who just happened to have plenty of one-liners. “Do you feel lucky? Well do you punk?” 3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The best of the Spaghetti Westerns, Clint plays Blondie (The Good), a gunslinger who is looking for a stash of gold in a cemetery. The movie is rather long, but is well worth the time. Eli Wallach, plays Tuco (The Ugly). For someone who lacks in height, Wallach played several intimidating bad guys throughout his career (check him out as Calvera in The Magnificent Seven). 2. Flags of our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima: These two are inseparable. They are incredible works of film that rank up there with any movie done on wars. Eastwood's treatment of the subject is flawless. 1. Mystic River: Again, Clint is only behind the camera. Sean Penn gives an incredible performance as Jimmy Markum, just one of several great performances that include Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburn.


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