Clint Eastwood’s Best Directorial Efforts Defied His Screen Image


It’s a pretty interesting divide between Clint Eastwood‘s screen image and the depth of his directorial efforts. Sure, it might be easy for Eastwood to direct a Western or another “Dirty Harry” movie. He’s familiar with those characters or genres. Consider it like putting on a pair of comfortable slippers.

While that might be one way for Eastwood to go, his movies as a director definitely stand in stark contrast to movie star Clint. Taking a tour through some of them might even give the casual moviegoer or fan a taste of what matters to Eastwood. That’s about the material in the movie, of course.

Eastwood is never afraid to take on subject matters that some might deem controversial. As we look at an IMDb list of some of Eastwood’s directorial efforts, it shows that he’s willing to tackle tough subjects.


In Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood does double duty (as is the case in a number of his flicks). He plays reluctant gunslinger William Mummy. There’s one last job for him to do. So, Mummy gets some help and heads out to take care of business. This Western is quite different from the “Spaghetti Westerns” or other films in the genre. Mummy has retired from the roughshod world of gunfighting. Now, he has one more clash.

‘Gran Torino’

Eastwood plays a grumpy old man that is in no mood for modern-day kids’ foolishness. He sits outside on his front porch, watching the world pass him by. His prejudiced butt sees a young man try and steal his prized 1972 Gran Torino. When it fails, the old man tries to get through the young man’s head. There’s something quite touching when watching this old man work with the younger one.


‘Million Dollar Baby’

We get to see Eastwood still be a bit cranky as Frankie, a boxing coach who has some issues. But he sees some promise in a woman boxer named Maggie (Hillary Swank). Frankie starts spending time training Maggie, eventually being in her corner for a big fight. Morgan Freeman co-stars.

‘Mystic River’

This Clint Eastwood movie is not for the faint of heart. Behind the backdrop of one man dealing with sexual abuse traumatic memories, another man facing the death of his daughter while another deals with his own inner demons. Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon provide stellar performances.

‘Letters From Iwo Jima’

Clint Eastwood turns his camera’s eyes to history with World War II on his mind. In this movie, we get to hear and see what that war was like from the viewpoint of the Japanese. This historical trip offers a chance to see this war from a different perspective.

‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’

In this 1976 film, Eastwood plays Josey Wales, a farmer, who goes out and joins a Confederate unit. But he finds himself on the run from Union soldiers. That’s after those Union soldiers had murdered and pillaged Wales’ family.