It’s hard to imagine, but the king of bad-asses, Mr. Dirty Harry himself, turned 80 yesterday.
Movie critics enjoy tearing down Clint Eastwood, picking apart his movies and his acting ability. They did the same thing to John Wayne, but I’ll gladly take a Wayne or Eastwood movie over anything ever made by John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, or most other actors who are consistently ranked among the best.
The man with no name in all those spaghetti westerns would never have lived for eight decades. He’d have gone down in a blaze of glory while in his prime.
Fortunately, Clint Eastwood grew old gracefully and continued making excellent movies. I’ll put Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992) up against any western ever made.
Movie critics might not agree (screw em!), but I thought his most recent starring role in Gran Torino (2008) was funny and poignant, and Eastwood somehow managed to play a tough guy at 78 without looking pathetic.
It’ll be a sad day when this generation’s John Wayne tips his hat and rides off into the sunset for the last time, but I’ll bet Eastwood does it with class.