Gran Torino is een Amerikaanse dramafilm uit 2008 onder regie van Clint Eastwood, die zelf ook de hoofdrol speelt. De titel verwijst naar het autotype Ford Gran Torino Sport, waarvan hoofdpersonage Walt Kowalski er een bezit.
Het ook Gran Torino getitelde lied uit de soundtrack werd genomineerd voor een Golden Globe. Meer dan tien andere prijzen werden daadwerkelijk aan de film toegekend, waaronder de National Board of Review Awards voor beste script en beste acteur (Eastwood) en zowel de Franse César, de Italiaanse Premi David di Donatello, de Japanse Academy Award als de Japanse Blue Ribbon Award voor beste buitenlandse film (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gran_Torino).
Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.
The story follows Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran alienated from his family and angry at the world. Walt's young neighbor, Thao Vang Lor, is pressured by his cousin into stealing Walt's prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino for his initiation into a gang. Walt thwarts the theft with his M1 Garand rifle and subsequently develops a relationship with the boy and his family (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gran_Torino).
Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is een norse Amerikaanse Korea-veteraan van Poolse afkomst die zijn oude dag doorbrengt in de buurt waar hij opgroeide in Detroit. Zijn vrouw Dorothy is net overleden. Zij was alles voor hem, want alle andere mensen kunnen hem gestolen worden. Ze irriteren hem vooral door hun vrijpostigheden en hun in zijn ogen respectloze omgangsvormen. Walt heeft ook geen goede band met zijn kinderen en kleinkinderen, die hem vooral lijken te bezoeken om daar zelf voordeel uit te halen. Walts kleindochter Ashley (Dreama Walker) vraagt hem dan ook rechtuit of ze zijn perfect onderhouden Gran Torino '72 mag hebben wanneer hij sterft. Hij geeft niet eens antwoord, maar draait om en loopt weg. Walt hecht nog de meeste waarde aan het gezelschap van zijn hond Daisy, die hij al jaren heeft. Van zijn walging voor anderen maakt hij geen geheim. Als ze daar de minste aanleiding toe geven, vertelt hij ze zonder beleefdheidsvormen en recht in hun gezicht hoe hij over zaken denkt. Zijn buurtgenoten storen hem sowieso mateloos, want ze bestaan meer en meer uit Aziatische families die hem herinneren aan de Koreanen waartegen hij jaren vocht in de oorlog (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gran_Torino).
Eastwood's character is a Korean War veteran, which he has played in other movies such as Heartbreak Ridge (1986) and Absolute Power (1997). In real life, the actor's penchant for dropping ambiguous Korean War references is considered audacious by those who know him because he was actually a lifeguard at the Ford Ord swimming pool in California for the entirety of his tenure in the army.
Clint Eastwood's character's name, Walt Kowalski, is the real name of legendary wrestler Walter "Killer" Kowalski.
Walt says a total of 53 insults.
Walt Kowalski's gun collection seems to consist of weapons he used in the military. His rifle is an American M1 Garand, a 9.5lb .30-06 gas-operated rifle. It was first issued during WWII, then re-issued in Korea before being phased out by the M14 selective fire .308 rifle. His pistol is an M1911A1, a .45 ACP semi-automatic handgun also issued during the Korean war.
The "cool medal" the kids find in Walt's basement is the Silver Star, the U.S. military's third highest award for valor in combat. Despite its predominately gold color, it gets its name from the smaller silver star (based on the small silver World War I Citation Star) set inside the large gold star (www.imdb.com/title/tt1205489/trivia?ref_=tt_ql_2).
Incorrectly regarded as goofs
Walt says he used the M1 Garand rifle in Korea. U.S. Military personnel are usually not allowed to keep their service weapons. However, some rifles, identified by serial number, were available for purchase through the Civilian Marksmanship Program after they were deemed obsolete or unfit for service. Enlisted and commissioned personnel also frequently "liberated" their weapons (www.imdb.com/title/tt1205489/goofs?ref_=tt_ql_trv_2).
Boom mic visible
During Walt's second phone conversation about his medical records, a boom mike appears in Walt's son's house, above the kitchen table (www.imdb.com/title/tt1205489/goofs?ref_=tt_ql_trv_2).
In the bathroom scene, Walt says to the dog to give him a break because it's the first time he's ever smoked in the house. Actually, he smoked the night before when Father Janovich was with him inside the house and they also drank beer.
The medical forms list Walt's address as 5962 Delco St. When Walt stands on his porch, his house number is 238.
Walt visits his doctor's office in February. The calendar is open to June (www.imdb.com/title/tt1205489/goofs?ref_=tt_ql_trv_2).
When Walt drinks beer in Sue's kitchen, the level of the beer gets higher the longer he drinks it.
When the priest goes to Walt's place and they share a beer, Walt originally holds his cigarette and his beer in his left hand, then they both jump into his right hand.
When Walt goes downstairs during the barbecue, he places his beer on the washing machine. In the next shot, the beer is in his hand (www.imdb.com/title/tt1205489/goofs?ref_=tt_ql_trv_2).
According to Bee Vang, the Hmong actors for this film were isolated from the rest of the cast and crew. According to Vang, efforts by the Hmong actors to correct the portrayal of Hmong traditions were ignored. He has also refuted claims that the Hmong actors were encouraged to improvise. According to Vang, when he tried to improvise, Clint Eastwood told him to "stick to the script." Vang also stated that the cast and crew had attended a baseball game, but the Hmong actors were not invited. It was assumed that the Hmong actors were immigrants and did not know about baseball, but the majority of the Hmong actors were U.S. natives. Bee Vang later participated in a parody of the film, "Thao Does Walt," in which he played an elderly Hmong man to a teenage Caucasian boy, highlighting perceived racial stereotyping in the original scene (www.imdb.com/title/tt1205489/trivia?ref_=tt_ql_2).
Gran Torino was written by Nick Schenk and directed by Clint Eastwood. It was produced by Village Roadshow Pictures, Media Magik Entertainment and Malpaso Productions for film distributor Warner Bros. Eastwood co-produced with his Malpaso partners Robert Lorenz and Bill Gerber. Eastwood has stated he enjoyed the idea "that it dealt with prejudice, that it was about never being too old to learn"  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gran_Torino)
Clint Eastwood's son, Scott Eastwood (credited as Scott Reeves) appeared in the movie as Trey. His other son, Kyle Eastwood, provided the film's music score (www.imdb.com/title/tt1205489/trivia?ref_=tt_ql_2).
After seeing the film, The New York Times noted the requiem tone captured by the film, describing it as "a sleek, muscle car of a movie made in the USA, in that industrial graveyard called Detroit". Manohla Dargis compared Eastwood's presence on film to Dirty Harry and the Man with No Name, stating: "Dirty Harry is back, in a way, in Gran Torino, not as a character, but as a ghostly presence. He hovers in the film, in its themes and high-caliber imagery, and of course, most obviously, in Mr. Eastwood’s face. It is a monumental face now, so puckered and pleated that it no longer looks merely weathered, as it has for decades, but seems closer to petrified wood." The Los Angeles Times also praised Eastwood's performance and credibility as an action hero at the age of 78. Kenneth Turan said of Eastwood's performance, "It is a film that is impossible to imagine without the actor in the title role. The notion of a 78-year-old action hero may sound like a contradiction in terms, but Eastwood brings it off, even if his toughness is as much verbal as physical. Even at 78, Eastwood can make "Get off my lawn" sound as menacing as "Make my day", and when he says "I blow a hole in your face and sleep like a baby", he sounds as if he means it". Roger Ebert wrote that the film is "about the belated flowering of a man's better nature. And it's about Americans of different races growing more open to one another in the new century." Sang Chi and Emily Moberg Robinson, editors of Voices of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander Experience: Volume 1, said that within the mainstream media, the film received "criticial acclaim" "for its nuanced portrayal of Asian Americans." Louisa Schein and Va-Megn Thoj, authors of "Gran Torino’s Boys and Men with Guns: Hmong Perspective," said that the mainstream critical response was "centered on Eastwood‘s character and viewed the film mainly as a vision of multicultural inclusion and understanding." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gran_Torino)
Gran Torino, thankfully, is given a subtle emotional undertow without resulting into schmaltz. It’s a Western film without horses and saddles, an action film without gunfights, a Hollywood weepie without the three-piece hanky and a social indictment without being full-on preachy. It’s also a well-developed character-driven piece with Eastwood himself playing the central protagonist, the grey, furious, war veteran Walt Kowalski. Eastwood is a sheer galvanising presence that sums up an entire acting panoply of cowboys and cranky gunslingers. Here, he’s an old-age, grumpy pensioner at odds with the world – disgruntled with everything and everyone including seemingly harmless South-East Asian neighbours in his Detroit ‘hood, his selfish kids, obnoxious grandchildren, local gangbangers, his priest and even God – and only takes temporary relief in swigging beer in his porch and his immaculate Gran Torino (www.themoviejerk.co.uk/film-reviews/gran-torino-2008/).
Pabst Blue Ribbon beer appeared in the movie Gran Torino (http://coolspotters.com/brands/pabst-blue-ribbon/and/movies/gran-torino#medium-35298).
Yeah, the pbr stuff in Gran Torino does come off as a bit product placement-y. It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't constantly refer to it as Pabst, or complain that his neighbors didn't have Pabst... or always have the label facing the camera... You know... (https://forums.massassi.net/vb3/showthread.php?59843-Natty-Ice)
Most mass produced beers know their place. In the hierarchy of beers, they fit some niche or demographic. Amstel Light is for people that want to drink a light beer but want more flavor than the cold watered-down “gym sock squeezins” offered by most other companies. Miller 64 and Bud Select 55 are for people that think they can drink beer and lose weight at the same time. Guinness Blonde is for people that are jealous of people that drink Guinness, and want to be part of the club. Then there’s Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR).
At first glance you’re tempted to lump it in with all the other big name American Lagers, but for some reason Pabst is different. Hipsters and trend setters in booming craft beer areas like Portland, OR and Seattle, WA seem to love the stuff. Grumpy old men swear by it (Clint Eastwood’s character from Gran Torino was a PBR guy, for goodness sake!). It’s the most popular beer on the dating site FarmersOnly.com. Thus, the enigma (https://beersnobsquad.com/2015/04/16/pabst-blue-ribbon-a-beer-enigma/).
Clint Eastwood With A Beer