High Plains Drifter (1973): Eastwood portrays a mysterious stranger who emerges out of the heat waves of the desert and rides into the guilt-ridden town of Lago. After committing three murders and one rape in the first 20 minutes, The Stranger is hired by the town to protect it from three gunmen just out of jail. The Stranger then paints the entire town bright red, renames it "Hell," and supplies Divine retribution in a fiery climax.
Joe Kidd (1972): Concerning a land war in New Mexico at the turn of the century, marks Clint Eastwood at the top of his form as a western hero. Filmed in 1971, Kidd brings together a veteran western Director John Sturges, the classic backdrop of the High Sierras, the top notch acting skills of Robert Duvall and the rugged Eastwood as a "hired gun" who takes action based on his own particular sense of justice. And like a very classic western, it has gunfights, conflicts, and a slam-bang finale which has a locomotive being driven through a saloon where the bad guys are hiding.
The Beguiled (1971): Set in the Deep South during the Civil War, The Beguiled stars Eastwood as John McBurney, a severely wounded soldier who is near death when discovered by a teenage girl. She takes him to the mansion that serves as her boarding school, where he slowly begins to regain his health under the care of headmistress Martha Farnsworth (Geraldine Page) and the dozen or so girls who live there. As McBurney gets better, he begins to charm the girls, all of whom are starved for affection because of the war's claim on their men. At length, powerful undercurrents of jealousy saturate the atmosphere as the girls, and even the headmistress, begin to vie for McBurney's attention. He first becomes involved with one of the oldest of the girls, Edwina Dabney (Elizabeth Hartman), but ultimately finds it difficult to resist the charms of some of her schoolmates. His promiscuity becomes his undoing.
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