So the results are in and for once I pretty much agree with this list so thanks to all who voted; you have excellent taste. I maybe would have a few of the movies in a different order but generally this is a damn fine top 10.
10. Where Eagles Dare
The ultimate men on a mission movie; I always thought Where Eagles Dare was what The Expendables movies should have been like. With a first rate cast and classic theme tune this is one of the all time great adventure flicks. It’s about a crack team of Allied soldiers that stages a daring rescue during World War II. A U.S. general is being held captive in an imposing castle fort, high in the Bavarian Alps. The audacious plan calls for Lt. Schaffer (Clint Eastwood), Maj. Smith (Richard Burton) and other operatives to parachute down wearing Nazi disguises. They’ll penetrate the mountain outpost while undercover operatives assist them from within. But their mission changes when they discover that there’s a traitor in their midst.
9. Heartbreak Ridge
Clint is at his scenery chewing best as the gruff but likeable Marine Sgt. Thomas Highway (Clint Eastwood) who is a decorated veteran of two wars. On his last posting before retirement, he is surrounded by officers with no combat experience who view him as an odd, even dangerous, holdover. Highway is assigned to train a group of undisciplined recruits including Cpl. Stitch Jones (Mario Van Peebles), a slick hustler who has previously encountered Highway. As the old soldier prepares his men for a war they don’t believe will come, the U.S. invades Grenada.
8. Gran Torino
I love this movie and it sort of feels like Harry Callahan as a retiree and this has Clint play retired auto worker and Korean War vet Walt Kowalski who fills emptiness in his life with beer and home repair, despising the many Asian, Latino and black families in his neighborhood. Walt becomes a reluctant hero when he stands up to the gangbangers who tried to force an Asian teen to steal Walt’s treasured car. An unlikely friendship develops between Walt and the teen, as he learns he has more in common with his neighbors than he thought.
7. For A Few Dollars More
The second entry in the Dollars trilogy has a murderous outlaw known as El Indio (Gian Maria Volonte) and his gang terrorizing and robbing the citizens of the region. With a bounty on El Indio’s head, two bounty hunters, Monco (Clint Eastwood) and Col. Douglas Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef), come to collect the prize. Upon their first meeting, the two men view each other as rivals, but they eventually agree to become partners in their mutual pursuit of the vicious criminal.
6. Magnum Force
Arguably the best of the Dirty Harry sequels Magnum Force has San Francisco cop “Dirty Harry” Callahan (Clint Eastwood) going after a vigilante group who starts executing criminals who have escaped punishment on technicalities. Against the orders of his commanding officer, Lt. Briggs (Hal Holbrook), Callahan begins investigating his hunch that another policeman is behind the killings — with his primary suspect being his tightly wound ex-partner, Charlie McCoy (Mitchell Ryan).
5. The Outlaw Josey Wales
Another classic movie it’s great to see The Outlaw Josey Wales so high on the list. In this movie Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) watches helplessly as his wife and child are murdered, by Union men led by Capt. Terrill (Bill McKinney). Seeking revenge, Wales joins the Confederate Army. He refuses to surrender when the war ends, but his fellow soldiers go to hand over their weapons — and are massacred by Terrill. Wales guns down some of Terrill’s men and flees to Texas, where he tries to make a new life for himself, but the bounty on his head endangers him and his new surrogate family.
4. A Fistful of Dollars
My personal favourite entry in the Dollars trilogy has Clint at his coolest as The Man With No Name who enters the Mexican village of San Miguel in the midst of a power struggle among the three Rojo brothers (Antonio Prieto, Benny Reeves, Sieghardt Rupp) and sheriff John Baxter (Wolfgang Lukschy). When a regiment of Mexican soldiers bearing gold intended to pay for new weapons is waylaid by the Rojo brothers, the stranger inserts himself into the middle of the long-simmering battle, selling false information to both sides for his own benefit.
One of the last truly great Westerns Unforgiven tells the story of prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) who is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, so her fellow brothel workers post a reward for their murder, much to the displeasure of sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), who doesn’t allow vigilantism in his town. Two groups of gunfighters, one led by aging former bandit William Munny (Clint Eastwood), the other by the florid English Bob (Richard Harris), come to collect the reward, clashing with each other and the sheriff.
2. Dirty Harry
One of the absolute best movies ever made Dirty Harry is beyond iconic with Eastwood at his dry witted best but it also has a stellar bad guy portrayal by Andrew Robinson who plays Charles ‘Scorpio Killer’ Davis. So many great scenes and memorable one-liners; I’m glad to see it get so much love. In this movie cop Harry Callahan attempts to track down a psychopathic rooftop killer before a kidnapped girl dies. When he is found Harry abuses the murderer’s civil rights putting him back on the streets. Once he is released he hijacks a school bus and Harry must go after him again. The only way to stop this vicious killer is in cold blood.
1. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
I can’t say I’m surprised to see this got the most votes and by a rather large amount too; personally I have always preferred A Fistful of Dollars as I think it is paced better but this is also a masterpiece so well played voters. Set in the Southwest during the Civil War, it tells the story of a mysterious stranger, Joe (Clint Eastwood), and a Mexican outlaw, Tuco (Eli Wallach), who form an uneasy partnership — Joe turns in the bandit for the reward money, then rescues him just as he is being hanged. When Joe’s shot at the noose goes awry during one escapade, a furious Tuco tries to have him murdered. The men re-team abruptly, however, to beat out a sadistic criminal and the Union army and find $20,000 that a soldier has buried in the desert.