Clint Eastwood’s Most Memorable Movie Kills

Advertisement

A legendary Hollywood actor and director, Clint Eastwood has played a number of classic roles on film. His cast of characters is made up of stories that are ingrained in popular culture.

And whether they are haunting the grimy streets of urban America or traveling over the lonely plains of spaghetti westerns, Clint Eastwood’s characters have produced some of the most iconic death sequences in movie history. Look at our finest ranking below, punk, but only if you’re feeling lucky.

A Fistful of Dollars

The Man With No Name, played by Clint Eastwood, is getting ready to perhaps take out three to four bad guys who had insulted him (and his donkey) on the way into town in this Sergio Leone-directed Western classic.

Our protagonist utters the now-famous phrase, “Get three coffins ready,” as he passes the neighborhood morgue. The Nameless Man asks for an apology during the short, tense exchange that follows, but gets none. He then quickly and expertly shoots not three, but four evil guys. My mistake, four coffins,” he says as he passes the morgue once more, severing the image in our minds. An ideal fusion of suspense, action, and humor.

High Planes Drifter
Never mess with Clint Eastwood when he’s having a shave. Particularly not in this American-made 1970s Western, spurred by Clint’s overseas success with Leone’s string of spaghetti Westerns. In our favorite scene, a nameless, emotionless drifter, played by you-know-who, attempts to get a shave at the local barber after insulting some local roughnecks at a saloon across the street. When they saunter in—sealing their respective dooms—Clint reveals a revolver hidden behind the barber’s apron. Shooting ensues.

We particularly love the barber’s frantic, nervous energy, a perfect foil to Clint’s steely bravado and the scowling, sarcastic goons behind him, cornering our hero.

For a Few Dollars More
Wrapping up the Dollars trilogy, For a Few Dollars More features the final adventure of Clint Eastwood and his beloved character, The Man With No Name – referred to as Manco, in this film. This time, he pursues outlaws and the bounties attached to them. In the film’s climax, lawless, ruthless antagonist Indio schemes to set his gang upon Manco and his bounty-hunter partner Mortimer, played by LeeVan Cleef. Mistaking the two bounty hunters for rivals, Indio assumes they’ll kill one another, sparing his gang the job.

But things in the Wild West rarely go as planned. Not only do the two bounty hunters opt to kill Indio’s gang—including Indio—in an adrenaline-pumping shootout, but Mortimer unexpectedly departs without having claimed his share of the bounty, leaving it all for Clint.

Gran Torino

Who dies in this kill scene? None other than the Hollywood great himself. In Gran Tarino, Clint Eastwood plays an aging Korean War veteran, Walt Kowalski, who takes a young, troubled Hmong American under his wings and protects both him and his family from a violent local gang. And, ultimately, Walt loses his own life. But it is for a good cause—protecting the defenseless. In the film’s climax, Walt arrives at the doorstep of the gang, loudly, confrontationally calling them out for their low-life antics.

Advertisement

Then, mimicking Clint’s iconic Western roles of yore, he draws his hand from his pocket as if drawing a gun. The gangsters open fire, killing Walt, condemning themselves to prison, and rendering the neighborhood safe..
Unforgiven

Neo Western Unforgiven, often regarded as the best Western of all time, brilliantly builds an unforgettable shootout. Clint Eastwood portrays Will Munny, a widower and famed retired gunman who is hired to collect a reward on behalf of a prostitute with deformities.

The movie ends with Munny triumphing against a group of skilled, rival killers after being drawn mysteriously back into the world of high-stakes shootouts. All of this despite his advanced age and a crucial shotgun malfunction. After all the other thugs have been taken care of, the final enemy is frozen with fear and unwilling to fire, which is a testimonial to his pure, unadulterated, unmistakable screen presence.

Dirty Harry

No list of Clint Eastwood on-screen movie kills is complete without featuring Dirty Harry. In one of the film’s spectacular moments, rugged anti-hero Harry is mid-lunch break when he stumbles upon a bank robbery (happens to all of us).
Harry stands victorious over a wounded baddie after a thrilling exchange of fire, destroying much of a San Franciso block and demonstrating the fantastic power of his humongous, famous .44 magnum.

It is then he utters his famous monologue, revealing he knows full well that the bank robber wonders whether he, Harry, has a bullet left in his gun, inviting the criminal to go ahead and try his luck. That is, if he feels lucky, punk.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Mexican confrontation between The Man With No Name, who is referred to as “Blondie” in this version of the movie, and his arch-rival bounty hunter Angel Eyes, as well as the gritty, mud-covered bandit Tuco, is as good, nasty, and ugly as it gets. We are captivated by Sergio Leone’s masterful jump cuts between each actor’s gaze, whether it be terrified, steely, or deadly. As the tension reaches a breaking point, the film’s well-known soundtrack enters—the stuff of greatness.

The darkly humorous scene where Clint Eastwood’s nameless Man shoots prostrate Angel Eyes into the open grave, followed by his hat, cannot be topped.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement