film focus

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 March, 2007, 12:00am

With the recent sterling record of Clint Eastwood (below) as a director grabbing deserved attention, it's worth remembering the great man was one of the most iconic actors of his - or any other - generation. From his career-defining turn as The Man With No Name in Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns through to his endlessly quoted role as uncompromising cop 'Dirty' Harry Callaghan, Eastwood was Hollywood's tough guy of choice for almost 30 years before his focus turned to directing.

Any punks looking for a reminder of the days when criminals lived in fear of making Eastwood's day should feel lucky this week, because Cinemax and MGM have some fine examples of classic Clint on show. Magnum Force (Cinemax, Tuesday at 2.40am) is the second in the Dirty Harry series and sees the detective inspector and his famous weapon on the trail of vigilante police officers while The Enforcer (Cinemax, Thursday at 12.45am) finds Callaghan and his new female partner (Tyne Daley, Cagney & Lacey) up against some naughty terrorists.

MGM, meanwhile, serves up a double helping of prime Eastwood on Monday with Hang 'Em High (5pm) and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (7pm). The first sees Eastwood on familiar territory as a cowboy who is hanged for a crime he didn't commit but survives and returns as a vengeful lawman, while the latter pairs him with Jeff Bridges in an enjoyable heist movie.

Catch a final dose of the living legend in Every Which Way But Loose (Cinemax, Wednesday at 2.25am), in which Eastwood plays a rough and ready trucker who falls for a country and western singer. Among other things, this film is notable for the fact Eastwood is, for once, upstaged - by an orang-utan. Right turn, Clyde.