Clint Eastwood: 25 Must-See Movies

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“I will never be a Laurence Olivier,” said Clint Eastwood in 1971. “With my physical type and my legato personality, I will never play certain roles. But I can still do things that have a certain quality.

That he could. There have been many new Olives over the years, but there has only been one Eastwood. Born during the Great Depression, this California native worked through odd jobs and a stint in the military (as a lifeguard) before becoming a contract actor at Universal. After a string of small roles and extras, Eastwood landed a plum role as Rowdy Yates on the TV show. Rawhide. And then, after a fateful trip to Europe to shoot a few Italian westerns that he assumed no one would ever see, Clint would soon become the person Pauline Kael described as “six-foot-four of skinny, tough, blue-eyed, shaggy saint. – haired, with a rough, wrinkled, worried face that sometimes turns into a mischievous smile. The rest is movie history. He is, in many ways, the last movie star standing.

In honor of Eastwood’s 90th anniversary, we’ve selected 25 of his essential films, both as actor and director. (In a few cases, uniquely as a director.) Shooters, cops, brawlers, soldiers, lovers, winter lion roles, strong and silent types and comedic tricks – these are the highlights of a singular and prolific career in front of and behind the camera.


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