Go ahead and make his day. Mr. Eastwood turns 82 on May 31. In honor of his birthday, The List this week, compiles the best movies in which this venerable American icon has starred.
- 10. “Coogan’s Bluff” (1968):Mr. Eastwood plays a “fish out of water” deputy sheriff from Arizona who travels to New York during the turbulent 1960s to retrieve a prisoner for trial. After the prisoner escapes from his custody, Mr. Eastwood navigates the Big Apple’s criminal underworld in order to track him down, never hesitating to enact his own brand of frontier justice along the way.
- 9. “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” (1974): In this buddy caper, Mr. Eastwood plays Thunderbolt, a noted bank robber,who teams up with Lightfoot, a young man trying to find himself, to retrieve hidden loot from an old bank robbery. After they realize the school in which the loot had been hidden has been demolished, they join forces with members of Thunderbolt’s old gang (who had been chasing them) and attempt to re-rob the original bank.
- 8. “Escape from Alcatraz” (1979):Mr. Eastwood plays career criminal Frank Morris, who has managed to break out of several prisons where he has been incarcerated. Soon after he is transferred to Alcatraz, he organizes a plan to escape from the seemingly impenetrable prison located in San Francisco Bay. This film is based on Morris‘ real life escape in 1962. To this day, no one knows whether the escape was successful or if perhaps Morris drowned.
- 7. “High Plains Drifter” (1973):Mr. Eastwood plays a mysterious stranger who rides into a Western town harboring a deep dark secret. Its sheriff had been lynched by three outlaws while the townspeople stood by and did nothing to help. When its residents learn that the convicts have been recently released from prison and are returning to the town, they reluctantly put the stranger in charge of preparing the town’s defense.
- 6. “Dirty Harry” (1971): In a role that he is synonymous with, Mr. Eastwood plays San Francisco Inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan, who faces off against a sniper terrorizing the city.
- 5. “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964): In another role that he is synonymous with, Mr. Eastwood plays the “Man with No Name,” an amoral gunman who works both sides of a divided Western town. This “spaghetti Western,” directed by Sergio Leone, helped launch Mr. Eastwood as a bona fide movie star.
- 4. “Sudden Impact” (1983):Mr. Eastwood, in his fourth appearance as “Dirty Harry” Callahan, investigates a series of killings around San Francisco. He soon discovers that his main suspect is an artist who, like him, has her own code of vigilante justice. In this film, he utters the one liner that he is most famous for: “Go ahead, make my day.”
- 3. “In the Line of Fire” (1993):Mr. Eastwood plays Frank Horrigan a Secret Service agent haunted by his failure to protect President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. He gets a chance to redeem himself 30 years later when he faces off against a would-be assassin, who threatens the current president in the midst of a tight re-election campaign.
- 2. “The Outlaw Josey Wales” (1976):Mr. Eastwood plays Josey Wales, a Confederate guerrilla fighter who refuses to surrender to the Union after the end of the Civil War. In an attempt to start a new life, he flees from Missouri to Texas with a band of Union militia hot on his heels. Along the way, he is joined by Indians and a group of pacifists.
- 1. “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966): In his third and final collaboration with director Sergio Leone, Mr Eastwood (“the good”) tries to track down a shipment of gold during the Civil War alongside Lee Van Cleef (“the bad”) and Eli Wallach (“the ugly”). Thanks to the efforts of composer Ennio Morricone, this film has one of the best known scores in movie history.
Compiled by John Sopko
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