Walt Kowalski is a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy old man who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors. He is a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor Thao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Thao's family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood. Written by
"Kowalski" is the most popular surname in Poland. It means "Smith" in adjective form, the usual for Polish names. Kowalczyk, Marilyn Monroe's name in Some Like It Hot (1959), means "Smithson." See more »
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. See more »
God, I am sorry for Dorothy, Walt. She was a real peach.
Thanks for coming, Al.
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The credits scroll over a highway overlooking the lake shore, with the Warner Logo appearing in black and white. See more »
Gran Torino - They don't make them like they used to....
Mr. Eastwood has a knack for storytelling. Instead of being preachy or having an all to obvious agenda, he lets his viewers make up their own minds. His characters don't have a message, they have a life and make no excuses for who they are. In so many subtle and intelligent ways we are allowed to make our own choices. Like with Kowalski in the movie, you are not confronted with a role model hammering home all those "life's important messages", but rather with a movie saying "Look! This is the way it worked out for me. And I think I know a few tricks that might help you, but in the end it's your own life. However, you have to trust me when I say that there are a some things you don't want to see or experience!". Some people will leave this movie entirely untouched, others will certainly be crying their guts out. Not because some people "get it" and others "don't", but because it is a brilliant piece of entertainment reaching out to every viewer in its own specific way.
Eastwood's acting is top notch again, although the years have not been very kind to his voice. The rest of the cast are fine, but one can certainly spot their more amateurish backgrounds here and there which is the main reason why I could not give this one a 10/10.
Apart from that there is little to criticize. It's not an action movie, not a drama movie and certainly not a comedy (even though you get a few laughs out of this one). It's simply a good story about life.....and death.
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