The Ethical Vision of Clint Eastwood

The Ethical Vision of Clint Eastwood

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
Analyzes fifteen Eastwood films from a thematic perspective, revealing how the Hollywood icon's moral vision has evolved over the course of his career while remaining rooted in the same basic ideals.

Clint Eastwood is a Hollywood icon, with five Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, and numerous other accolades for his work as an actor, director, producer, and composer. Yet because he rose to fame in "spaghetti westerns" and Dirty Harry shoot-em-ups, few critics have ventured to explore Eastwood's philosophical, ethical, and artistic agenda as an intellectual filmmaker.

Addressing this void, film scholar Sara Anson Vaux analyzes fifteen of Eastwood's best-known films from narrative, artistic, and thematic perspectives. She traces the nuanced development of Eastwood's unfolding moral vision over a forty-year continuum, showing how this vision has grown more sophisticated even as many of the motifs expressing it -- justice, confession, war and peace, the gathering, the search for a perfect world -- have remained the same.

Book News
Vaux (film, Religious Studies Department, Northwestern University) analyzes the themes and artistic vision in 15 films directed by Clint Eastwood. Although she does not claim that Eastwood is a consciously religious director, the author interprets his films' themes of justice, reconciliation, and human dignity in a religious light and argues that Eastwood deserves to be considered as a director who intentionally engages the moral nature of humanity. Discussion encompasses theological and ethical implications of films such as High Plains Drifter, Flags of Our Fathers, Pale Rider, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Bird. The book includes b&w film stills and a filmography. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Grand Rapids, Mich. : William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., c2012
ISBN: 9780802862952
Characteristics: xvii, 259 p. : ill. ; 23 cm


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