Gran Torino

Imdb.com, the website about movie trivia, lists Clint Eastwood's movie total at 65 for acting, 33 directing, and 30 producing. If you believe, like I believe, that experience counts, than those credits stand as 129 reasons to go see Clint's latest picture, "Gran Torino." Clint produced and directed the flick. I gather from the press that this may be the last time he acts in one. There's reason 130 to see it. If it is Clint's last acting job, in my opinion, he's going out on top; his final few frames hold a most appropriate finale to a freakishly huge film career.

In the late 1970s, I was of the age that mainstream movie makers liked to target - mid to late teens. I went to all types of movies all the time, making a particularly quick beeline to Clint's "Dirty Harry" series. When I walked out of the theater of a "Dirty Harry," movie, I was Clint Eastwood. Six feet four inches of subtly tempered nerves of steel. I was. Really. I'm not kidding. I was.

And though I was riddled with pubescent hormones and high on Dr. Pepper, if you would have happened upon me and tried something within the first five minutes, I'd have left the theater and you'd have been toast. That's how effective Clint Eastwood is as an artist - in my opinion.

Of course that's what movie reviews are - one person's opinion.

In the late '70s, most every movie reviewers opinion was that Clint Eastwood couldn't act his way out of an unbuttoned duvet cover. I didn't agree. When a guy whispers the words, "Go ahead, make my day," and they become perhaps the five most imitated words in movie history, Gol darn it, it ain't an accident - he can act.

The same people who thought Clint bit it then, would kiss his butt in the middle of town now. And what's the only thing that's changed from then to now? Now folks get it.

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