Clint Eastwood and his status as a Hollywood icon is more than cemented after a half century of transcending work. As part of Warner Bros' continuing celebration of their 90th anniversary, they have celebrated their almost 40-year partnership with Eastwood by releasing The Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection that chronicles his work from Where Eagles Dare through his latest, Trouble with the Curve.
For Eastwood fans, this is a no-brainer as a must-own. For film aficionados, it’s hard to find a filmmaker or an actor with a breadth of brilliance as Eastwood possesses and as such, the 40-film collection is also an important addition to any movie library.
In addition to 40 of his most memorable films, whose details we will get into in a little bit, the package includes a stunning documentary Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story -- produced by Richard Schickel. The film features interviews with actors who have worked for Eastwood as director, but also fellow filmmakers who are clearly taken by his talents.
Among the testimonials that are truly moving are from Meryl Streep (his Bridges of Madison County co-star), Martin Scorsese and Unforgiven (which he directed and headlined) stars Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman.
The Eastwood Factor featurette is a documentary that puts the actor-director and his creative influence over Tinseltown in perspective as few films of its ilk have that I’ve ever seen. It goes beyond his tough guy screen presence and gets to the heart of the man himself. In a rare and candid interview, Eastwood reflects back on a career that transcends film to our culture itself. The legend looks at his life in front of, and behind, the camera.
Looking to the actual films in The Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection, Eastwood has earned five Academy Awards, ten nominations and over two billion dollars at the domestic box office alone! Best Picture winners Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby are in the set, along with dozens more.
Eastwood moved his Malpaso Productions to the Burbank lot of Warner Bros. in 1975 after signing a long term pact with the famed studio. But, his relationship with Warner Bros. began with the first feature included in this set, 1968’s Where Eagles Dare. And after 1970’s Kelly’s Heroes, one of the icon's most iconic roles is featured, 1971’s Dirty Harry -- that continues with Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool. Check out this special clip featuring Eastwood doing one of his most famous Dirty Harry quotes, “Do you feel lucky, punk?”
The actor is also as well known for his Western work over the years, and is credited with bringing the Spaghetti Western to American audiences. Among the Westerns in this 40-film set that are astounding are The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bronco Billy, Honkytonk Man (which we consider a Western!), Pale Rider and of course, Unforgiven.
The Dirty Harry movies also made Eastwood an action star and some of his best action movie work is also featured, such as Firefox, City Heat, Heartbreak Ridge and The Rookie.
A well-chronicled fan of jazz, his biopic Bird is another not-to-be-missed moment in the set, as is his other powerful biopic, J. Edgar. And no stranger to getting a laugh or two, the hilarious and heartfelt films Space Cowboys (with Tommy Lee Jones) and Pink Cadillac are both included in the Eastwood 40-film set.
His later work, beyond Trouble with the Curve, salutes his more recent fans with the inclusion of Mystic River, Blood Work, True Crime, Gran Torino, Invictus and Hereafter.
We would be remiss to leave out the 48-page book that features selections from the bestselling book Clint Eastwood: Master Filmmaker at Work. The black and white and color photos are astounding, as is the insight throughout. In fact, I’d be surprised if you didn’t go out and purchase the entire book!
To say this is a perfect Father’s Day gift is a gross understatement, and to paraphrase one of Eastwood’s most famous quotes as it so fits our review of this set: Clint, you have made our day.