Clint Eastwood is often seen more as an icon than an actor.
In Sergio Leon’s film, he looks at the opponent with a hint of “an unnamed man”, a deadly sneer and a smirk of violence. As Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan, Eastwood explodes on screen with a sort of laconic intensity, with “go ahead, spend my day” with the brave villains and psychopaths. And somehow, over the decades, that personality has matured, allowing Eastwood movie audiences to see him become even more vulnerable. In later life masterpieces such as “Bridges of Madison County” and “Million Dollar Baby”, Eastwood is still not alone, still harder than anyone else on screen, yet willing to show the loss of time, stops the death of light. True, he is not a transfigurator. There is no Daniel Day-Lewis style chameleon. All of his performances have an innate “clint-ness”. But the notes he hits are played with a master’s flash.
Eastwood returns to the screen this Friday on “Cry Macho”, still strong at the age of 11. Here’s a look back at some of the defining performances of his career.