Cast, Crew, Story, Theme, Review
Muse-En-Scene, Life Connections
Retired auto worker Walt Kowalski, an
iron-willed veteran living in a changing
world, who is forced by his immigrant
neighbors to confront his own long-held
prejudices.
MPAA Rating: R (for language throughout,
and some violence)
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
CLINT EASTWOOD
(Walt Kowalski)
 Best-known as an actor for his tough
guy, anti-hero acting roles in action and
western films, particularly in the 1960s,
1970s and 1980s.
 Has won five Academy Awards—
twice each as Best Director and as
producer of the Best Picture and the
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in
1995.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
BEE VANG
(Thao Lor)
 Born in Fresno, California and
raised in the Minneapolis area
 Gran Torino makes his
professional acting debut as a
timid teenaged boy
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
AHNEY HER
(Sue Lor)
 A native of Lansing, Michigan, she
was 16 years old when she won the
role of Sue.
 Plays the self-assured young woman
who makes an effort to befriend her
surly next-door neighbor, Walt
Kowalski
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
CLINT EASTWOOD
 Sadly, this picture might
mark his last acting role,
but it is not the last film he
will directs!
 In 2007 he won Best
Director and Best Picture,
for Letters from Iwo Jima
 In 2005 he won Best
Picture and Best Director
for Million Dollar Baby
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
TOM STERN
(Director of Photography)
 He has had a long association
with Clint Eastwood, most
recently lensing Changeling.
 He also served as the
cinematographer on Eastwood's
Flags of Our Fathers, Letters
from Iwo Jima, Million Dollar
Baby, Mystic River, and Blood
Work.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
Open casting calls for Hmong actors were held in
Hmong communities in Detroit, Michigan; Saint
Paul, Minnesota; and Fresno, California. None of
the Hmong actors in the cast had acted in a film
before except Doua Moua.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
Retired auto worker Walt Kowalski
fills his days with home repair,
beer and monthly trips to the
barber. Though his late wife's final
wish was for him to take
confession, for Walt--an
embittered veteran of the Korean
War who keeps his M-1 rifle
cleaned and ready--there's
nothing to confess. And no one
he trusts enough to confess to
other than his dog, Daisy.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
The people he once called his
neighbors have all moved or
passed away, replaced by
Hmong immigrants, from
Southeast Asia, he despises.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
Resentful of virtually everything and everyone
he sees, Walt is just waiting out the rest of his
life...until the night his teenage neighbor Thao
tries to steal his prized '72 Gran Torino, under
pressure from Hmong gang-bangers.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
But Walt stands in the way of both the heist and
the gang, making him the reluctant hero of the
neighborhood--especially to Thao's mother and
older sister, Sue, who insist that Thao work for
Walt as a way to make amends.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
Though he initially wants nothing to do
with these people, Walt eventually gives
in and puts the boy to work, setting into
motion an unlikely friendship that will
change both their lives.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
Gran Torino bears echoes of the relationships explored throughout
Eastwood's body of work. Producer Bill Gerber: "Clint has always
dealt with complex issues of race, religion and prejudice in an
honest way, which can sometimes be politically incorrect but is
always authentic."
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
Eastwood wanted to
portray the Hmong in
"Gran Torino" as
authentically as possible,
starting with casting an
exclusively Hmong cast
for those roles in the
film.
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
75% Positive
Consensus voice: “Though
you can see his character's
redemption coming a mile
away, Clint Eastwood's
Gran Torino is still well
worth the ride.”
--Claudia Puig, USA Today
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
Robert Lorenz (Producer): "Thao
doesn't have a father figure to rely
on and give him guidance, and Walt
never had a real connection with
his own sons that might have given
him that satisfaction of fatherhood.
It's sort of a perfect fit for each of
them. Walt is also searching. He
clearly knows that he's in the last
chapter of his life, and he's
searching for someone or
something to make sense of it all
and to calibrate the value of his
life."
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
GIVING OPPORTUNITY TO OTHERS!
What spoke to me most about the film was the use of
first-timers. "I do like to give people a break," Clint
Eastwood stated. "I like to see new people come along,
and have opportunities.” What could be better than a
retiring veteran, like Eastwood, using his influence to
give new people opportunity? Not only is this true of
the screenwriter and Hmong actors, but of the story
itself --Walt Kowalski, an iron-willed veteran becomes
the ‘father’ of the new kid on the block. Contributing
unselfishly to the lives of others out of one’s acquired
resources is to me a mark of greatness.
GRAN TORINO Review © David Bruce
RELATIONSHIP IS THE ANTIDOTE
FOR PREJUDICE
Clint Eastwood: “It's interesting,
and often funny, how (Walt) starts
out with a lot of prejudice, and
then works his way out of it
through these relationships."
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
THE IMPORTANCE OF
LOOKING IN A MIRROR
Producer Robert Lorenz:
“That's the heart of his
racism --a selfish
inability to look at
himself.”
GRAN TORINO © 2008 Warner Bros. Pictures. Review © David Bruce
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