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- Rated: Various
- Cast: Clint Eastwood and Others
- Written By: Clint Eastwood and Others
- Directed By: Clint Eastwood and Various
- Distributor: Warner Brothers
- Original Year of Release: 2013
Clint Eastwood: 40 Film Collection DVD Set Review
The Work of a true Hollywood Legend
By Tim Janson
June 30, 2013
There’s not much you can say about Clint Eastwood that has not already been said before. He is one of the last of a dying breed of Hollywood royalty. He’s a bigger than life actor who dominated at the box office for years with memorable characters like the mysterious “man with no name” in a trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns; San Francisco Cop Dirty Harry Callahan; Trucker and hard-fighting brawler Philo Beddoe; and Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway. This 40 film collection is not meant to showcase Eastwood’s best films but rather it is the 40 films that he has made for Warner Bros. Studio (or that are now owned by them). Thus, the Spaghetti Westerns are not included, nor are some of this other notable films of the 1970s like ‘Play Misty for Me”, “High Plains Drifter”, “The Eiger Santion”, or “Escape from Alcatraz”.
In the 1960s there were several World War II films that all used a formula of an elite group of soldiers who had to pull off a near-impossible mission. Films like “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Guns of Navarone” used this formula to achieve tremendous box office success. One of the most underrated films of this type was 1969’s “Where Eagles Dare” starring Eastwood and Richard Burton. One of Eastwood’s most underrated films, the plot featured a group of commandos who had to drop behind enemy lines to rescue an American General who is captured by the Germans. Eastwood’s other early World War II film, “Kelly’s Heroes” is also included. The action/comedy finds a group of American infantry soldiers attempting to steal a vault of gold bars from a German-held town.
The Clint Eastwood: 40 Film Collection does present a broad cross-section of Eastwood’s career both in front of and behind the camera. You have the violent, 1970s Dirty Hairy series as well as “The Gauntlet”. His comedic films of the 1980s like “Every Which Way but Loose”, “Bronco Billy”, and “City Heat”; the modern western classic “Unforgiven”; and those films where Eastwood served as Director only including: “Bird”, “Mystic River”, “Letters from Iwo Jima”, and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.
It is a wonderful collection by one of the true, all-time greats of American cinema...HOWEVER…here’s the problem with this collection. In 2010, Warner Bros. already released Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years at Warner Bros. All of those films are included in this set. The only new films included are “Invictus”, “Hereafter”, “J.Edgar” and “Trouble with the Curve”, along with the new documentary “Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story”. This is the first DVD release for this TCM produced documentary. The documentary features interviews with actors/producers that have worked with Eastwood, as they discuss his filmmaking process and his body of work. But the fact of the matter is that if you already invested your money in the 2010 set it’s certainly not worth it to plunk down another $130 for just five more films.
While the set states in includes 40 films in reality it is 38 films and two feature-length documentaries. Besides the previously mentioned “Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story” it also features the 2010 documentary “The Eastwood Factor” which was also found in the 2010 set. There are other issues as well…the discs are not stored in regular cases. Instead, they come in book-style packaging that is not very secure and leaves half the disc exposed. Discs can be scratched or fingerprinted too easily when removing them from the packaging.
Even worse, despite 40 films there are only 24 discs as the discs are double-sided. Let’s face it…double-sided discs suck, plain and simple. Considering the previous 2010, Warner Bros. would have better served collectors and Eastwood fans with a true, 40 DVD collectors set. So while the films are fantastic as are the documentaries, the packaging and make of the DVDs is a major disappointment.