Let me describe the sinking spiral I recently found myself in. I was watching an old movie on TV. I had been channel surfing and just kind of landed on this channel. Out of a sea of actors, there was only one face that I recognized. Clint Eastwood. I kept watching the movie; it was one that I had never seen before. The actors spoke, but their mouths didn’t match what they were saying. I thought something was wrong with my TV. With local channels streamed over wifi vs. using an antenna connection, I was sure there was something wrong with my internet. To quell my filling curiosity, I had to know why the dialogue didn’t match the actor’s mouths. I looked it up, and it turns out, I was watching “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”— a movie recorded with no audio. Filmmakers recorded audio in postproduction, so the actors’ mouths did not sync up correctly. That’s the end of the story, right? WRONG! I did some more research, and it hit me in the face like a steam locomotive. Actor-Director Clint Eastwood celebrated his 93rd birthday in May! It got me thinking of our own mortality and how we will all miss his great work. My purpose in writing this article is to bring to light the fact that just because we age, it doesn’t mean we have to stop actually living. I wanted to share my experience with some of his great work and show some respect for this classic icon.
My first introduction to Actor-Director Clint Eastwood was through this film. A 2008 release, this film is definitely not the best of Eastwood’s vast lineup. Since this film was my first one, it gets a few bonus points for sentimental value. The story features Eastwood’s character (Walt Kowalski), estranged from his family and dealing with the recent passing of his loving wife. It’s a touching narrative. It really made me think about what I could experience later in my life once I reached that age (Eastwood was 78 in 2008). The film events play out as Walt begins developing an unexpected relationship with his neighbor as he begins to garner a new family. It makes you wonder what we can really do to hold our families together as we age.
Released in 2018, The Mule is certainly one of my favorite films. The story of a 90-year-old man running contraband is truly baffling because it really happened! Earl Stone (Actor-Director Clint Eastwood) ran a failing flower shop, which led him to experience financial turmoil. After a suggestion from a colleague, he meets with an “unfriendly” employer. Earl unknowingly accepts a job where he travels across the United States to deliver a slew of illegal substances for a large sum of cash. What I took from this movie is that aging may allow us to be more susceptible to abuse and exploitation. Be wary of your surroundings and take a second to analyze the situation. What we believe to be innocent can be very far from it.
I may be younger, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen a few classics. Released in 1971, Dirty Harry was the first movie from the Dirty Harry series (four titles came out after this release, 1971–1988). With the iconic “Do I feel lucky?” scene and the true grit of Eastwood’s performance, this movie is an instant classic. This film pioneered the crime noir genre and garnered great success. The scenes in this movie are very dark, graphic, and sometimes just outright funny. The 1971 film is a sign of its time, but it is still watchable today. This type of preservation is an amazing feat in today’s age. As of 2023, this film is 52 years old and still manages to captivate many first-time viewers and reignite memories long lost in repeat viewers. I suppose no matter how old we get, there will always be someone who thinks back on our actions and smiles.
You could be like Actor-Director Clint Eastwood, leaving a legacy and fond memories for many generations to come. The man is 93 years old and still producing, directing, and starring in films. He has a movie in production, Juror #2, with a release date soon to be announced. Don’t stop living your dreams; continue to inspire, and never stop dreaming. Do you have a favorite Clint Eastwood movie? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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