He’s made our day, many times over the years, with dozens of memorable, if not classic, films in which he has starred or directed — or both (and in some cases also served as the composer of music scores). Now, Clint Eastwood is getting his own day on TCM when the movie network devotes 24 hours of programming to the works of the Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker.
The celebration airs this Monday, May 31 (Eastwood’s 80th birthday), beginning at 6am ET. At the center of the marathon is the world television premiere of The Eastwood Factor, a new documentary written and directed by critic Richard Schickel and narrated by frequent Eastwood collaborator Morgan Freeman. In the doc, we see Eastwood at home and visiting film locations where his movies were created, so we get a taste of him in both personal and professional settings. Although The Eastwood Factor was released on DVD earlier this year, this TCM showing is an extended version not seen before.
If you’re feeling lucky, punk, here’s a rundown of TCM’s Eastwood marathon, in the order in which the films are being shown:
The First Traveling Saleslady (1956) – One of Eastwood’s earliest films is a comic Western in which he plays Carol Channing’s love interest.
A Fistful of Dollars (1964) – Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western is a remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and made Eastwood an international star. He portrays “the man with no name,” who plays two warring gangs against each other for his own gain.
For a Few Dollars More (1965) – Eastwood’s nameless gunslinger is back, this time forming an uneasy partnership to track down an outlaw.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) – The third film in the Dollars trilogy features Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach as three gunmen seeking a Confederate government treasure chest.
Hang ‘Em High (1968) – Another Western for Eastwood, this time an American-made one. He plays a man who survives a hanging and proceeds to hunt down the men who strung him up.
Where Eagles Dare (1968) – In this World War II adventure film, Eastwood is part of a group of soldiers sent to rescue an American officer held captive by the Germans in a mountain-top castle.
Kelly’s Heroes (1970) – Eastwood is back in another of the World War II action flicks that populated the late ’60s and early ’70s. This one is a more comedic tale about a gold heist behind enemy lines.
The Eastwood Factor (2010) – Film critic and historian Richard Schickel talks to Eastwood in this new documentary that takes a personal and professional look at the actor/filmmaker’s extensive body of work.
Dirty Harry (1971) – Perhaps Eastwood’s most iconic film character, rule-bending cop Harry Callahan made his debut here, tracking down a serial killer in San Francisco.
Magnum Force (1973) – The first sequel to Dirty Harry has Callahan involved in an investigation that may lead right back to the police department.
Encore showing of The Eastwood Factor
Photos courtesy of Turner Classic Movies