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Gran Torino (2008) Poster

(2008)

Trivia

Clint Eastwood's son, Scott Eastwood appeared in the movie as Trey. His oldest son, Kyle Eastwood, provided the film's music score.
Jump to: Spoilers (11)
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.
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.
The film was scheduled for shooting in 35 days, but it was shot in 33.
Walt says a total of 53 insults.
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 terms of box office, Gran Torino (2008) is 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, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and in Fresno, California.
This film was once falsely rumored to be a final installment in the Dirty Harry (1971) series.
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.
"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."
This was 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 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.
Walt's dog, Daisy, is Clint Eastwood's beloved family retriever in real life.
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When Walt is at the Hmong neighbors' party, he pats the head of a young Hmong girl passing through, causing the family members to audibly gasp. As Sue then explains to him in the following scene, in the 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 (2008) is set over winter and spring. When Walt notices the 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 three 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, twenty miles from Highland Park.
The film could have been the sixth installment "Dirty Harry" series. If so, the film would have taken place twenty years after The Dead Pool (1988) and would have seen Detective Harry Callahan, now retired from the San Francisco police department and 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 Sue from the phonebooth outside the bar.
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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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The jersey Walt's grandson wears at the funeral is that of former Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams.
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Clint Eastwood (Walt) also played a Polish character in The Rookie (1990), who was named Nick Pulovski.
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This was the first film Doua Moua had ever been in before.
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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.
This is the only movie in which Clint Eastwood dies onscreen.
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. The only person in the movie who drives the Gran Torino is Thao.
Body Count: one (two, 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 four 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 sum up the events of the film: Walt chooses between doing nothing or helping Thao when he is 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.
This is the only movie where Clint Eastwood loses a gun fight. He did not technically lose, however, as it was deliberate.
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Thao and Sue wears traditional Hmong funeral attire to honor Walt at his funeral.
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Sue Lor is assaulted by three youths. The assault was filmed at the intersection of Charlevoix and Drexel, near Grosse Point Park.
At the end of this movie, just before Clint's character Walt is shot dead by the Hmong thugs, he asks, "Got a light?" This was the same line his character, Nick Pulovski, frequently asked in The Rookie (1990).
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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