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Gran Torino (2008) Poster

(2008)

Trivia

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Eastwood's son, Scott Eastwood plays Trey. And his oldest son, Kyle Eastwood provided the music score.
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.
Walt says a total of 53 insults.
Writers Nick Schenk and Dave Johannson knew some of the Hmongs near the steel mill where they worked. They wrote the script on pieces of paper during lunch breaks.
Shot in 33 days, scheduled for 35.
Clint Eastwood encouraged the Hmong actors to ad-lib in Hmong.
Clint Eastwood's character's name, Walt Kowalski, is the real name of legendary wrestler, 'Walter "Killer' Kowalski'.
In box office terms, the most successful Clint Eastwood movie ever, both in the U.S. and the U.K, but not with inflation. Taking inflation into account, his most successful films are Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980).
Open casting calls for Hmong actors were held in Hmong communities in Detroit, Michigan; Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Fresno, California. Only Doua Moua had been in a film before.
This film was once falsely rumored to be a final installment in the Dirty Harry (1971) series.
According to Bee Vang, the Hmong actors 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. Vang 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 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 Vang states that the majority of the Hmong actors were US natives. Vang later participated in a parody of the film, "Thao Does Walt", in which Vang played an elderly Hmong man to a teenage Caucasian boy, highlighting perceived racial stereotyping in the original scene.
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".
One of the first films to take advantage of a new Michigan law providing tax incentives to film productions.
A Hmong gang member has Chinese characters tattooed on his upper chest. They translate to "Family".
Walt Kowalski's gun collection seems to consists 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.
When Walt is at the Hmong's party, he pats the head of a young Hmong girl passing through, causing the family members to audibly gasp. As the Hmong character then explains to him in the following scene, in Hmong culture, the human head is believed to house the soul, and any touching of the head is believed to jeopardize this, and is thus considered very disrespectful.
In the original screenplay, Gran Torino is set over winter and spring. When Walt notices Hmong cutting the chicken's head off he spits in the snow. Thao is also pushed off a bike into the snow by the Latinos. It cuts forward 3 months to spring after this.
Gran Torinos were built in Lorain, OH, about two hours from Detroit. Walt's truck could have been built in Wayne, Michigan, 20 miles from Highland Park.
Walt Kowalski's dog Daisy is Clint Eastwood's beloved family retriever in real life.
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The film could had been the 6th "Dirty Harry" film. If so, the film would had taken place 20 years after "The Dead Pool" and would had seen Detective Harry Callahan, now retired from the San Francisco police department and is now living in a Michigan neighborhood, who is forced to reload his .44. magnum handgun and takes on a street gang that harasses the family living next-door to him.
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In the original screenplay Walt visits the bar has a drink of expensive whisky and then calls Su from the phone booth outside the bar.
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The jersey Walt's grandson wears at the funeral is that of former Lions wide receiver Roy Williams.
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Clint Eastwood ( Walt ) also played a polish character in The Rookie (1990) named Nick Pulovski .
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The license plate seen, when Thao (Toad) and Walt are moving the freezer up the stairs, is a Michigan Bicentennial plate from 1976. [ KWZ959 ]
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Co-stars Clint Eastwood and Christopher Carley share the same birthday (May 31).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Walt fires a weapon only once in the movie, accidentally.
The only movie in which Clint Eastwood dies on-screen.
The movie opens with Walt's wife Dorothy's funeral, and ends with Walt's.
In the film, Walt only drives his old F100, not his Gran Torino. Only Thao drives the Gran Torino.
Body Count: 1 (2 if you count Dorothy Kowalski).
Walt's death scene near the end of the film was supposed to signify the acting retirement of Clint Eastwood, since this is the only movie in which his character dies on screen. This held true for only 4 years, when the filmmakers of Trouble With The Curve (2012) convinced him to come out of retirement and star in the movie.
On Walt's birthday, before his family arrives, he reads his horoscope to his dog, Daisy. "Your birthday today...this year you have to make a choice between two life paths. Second chances come your way. Extraordinary events culminate in what might seem to be an anti-climax." This could pretty much sum up the events of the film: Walt chooses between doing nothing or helping Thao when he's being harassed by his cousin's gang; the "second chances" could refer to leaving behind his racist attitudes (to some degree, at least) and spending time with Thao, Sue, and their family and friends; and, of course, the ending, where Thao and perhaps the audience may expect Walt to go out in a blaze of glory instead of his self-sacrifice to have the gang members jailed for his murder.
Sue Lor is assaulted by three youths. The assault was filmed at the intersection of Charlevoix and Drexel, near Grosse Point Park.
Sue wears traditional Hmong funeral attire to honor Walt at his funeral.
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The only movie of which Clint Eastwood loses a gun fight.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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