Clint Eastwood: A Real Gran Torino

(The car that created all the fuss…The spectacular Gran Torino, spit-shined and ready to roll, just like its owner.)

“Crusty” even at a young age and never afraid to show his colors (or strong opinions), Clint Eastwood is loved.

As Dirty Harry, in “Sudden Impact,” he was the San Francisco cop who hunted down the serial killer, taunting him with those famous words: “Go ahead, punk, make my day.” And again: “I can’t really remember if I fired five times or six. Do you feel lucky, punk? Well…do ya?…”

We loved him, too, in “Million Dollar Baby,” as the fight manager of the tough, resilient Hillary Swank character who was so compromised by her last fight that she’d become a quadripeligic. In a most controversial manner, Eastwood helped her exit this world, for he believed she’d never want to live out innumerable days tethered to life support.

It was vintage Eastwood: Take the gutsy roles, the ones with no easy answers.

And we love him even more in the movie about a hardened, former veteran who finds nothing admirable about his neighbors…until he gets to know them. Yes, in “Gran Torino,” he was contemptuous of the Hmong who lived next door and spat out his contempt in the most un-PC of ways, with profanity-laced epithets, along with a stream of spittle.

But, life happened and forces brought them together, and that’s when he softened remarkably. In fact, he becomes champion to these people, lending his significant weight in their collective stand against neighborhood thugs.

It’s true Eastwood again: playing the hardened warrior who’ll protect the underdog–at all costs. But you know his style: Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima, Bridges of Madison County, the Changeling, Invictus are just some of the retinue of important movies his stamp is on.

Clint Eastwood’s become seasoned and many-faceted over the years, recognized today for his stellar accomplishment in directing/producing, as well as acting. In fact, he’s been nominated for or won Academy Awards in all different capacities. Who could have foreseen his dramatic rise in these different media from his modest beginning as Plains cowboy who rounded up cattle and drove it to market in “Rawhide”?

It’s been fun tracking this man’s rise to fame in an industry crowded with giants. Like the vintage car above (and like the movie named after it), Clint Eastwood is, himself, a classic who only gets better with age.

(If you haven’t seen the movie, check out the trailer below…Just click on the link and enjoy a little Clint.)

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A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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