There probably isn’t a more iconic figure in American film than Clint Eastwood: for almost 50 years, he has made a name for himself in Hollywood, not only as a memorable leading man but also as an acclaimed producer and director. He has had a successful film in every decade since the 1960′s and what’s more, he still continues working today, usually releasing a new film each year to overwhelming acclaim. There are very few film stars around who have been able to wear both hats so successfully as Eastwood has, and his body of work is a testament to the longevity of his appeal and also his skill.

To celebrate his memorable film career and also in conjunction with the  release of his latest film Trouble With the Curve in UK cinemas today, we count down five awesome movies that made Clint the legend he is today, and five that should have gotten swept under the carpet.

5 Awesome Performances

5. Million Dollar Baby

In this very sombre boxing film from 2004, Clint (also producer and director) plays Frankie Dunn, a boxing trainer too set in his old fashioned ways to want to train an eager waitress (Hilary Swank) willing to do what it takes to become a successful boxer. He reluctantly takes her under his wing and begins to not only form a strong paternal bond with his new protegee but a champion as well. Clint in the lead, shines as the hard edged coach with a soft heart (Oscar nominated for Best Actor), but so does Swank (who picked up her 2nd Best Actress Oscar for her performance) and Morgan Freeman (another Oscar win) as his long time friend.

This film deals with sexism, broken families, and euthanasia, all handled masterfully by director Eastwood. As no surprise, this film walked off with 4 Oscars including 2 for Clint, for Best Director and Best Picture.

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This article was first posted on November 30, 2012