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Warner Home Video presents
Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows (2000)

"At a time when others his age are pondering retirement, Clint Eastwood was in his prime."
- Morgan Freeman, narrator

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: December 10, 2001

Stars: Morgan Freeman, narrator
Director: Bruce Ricker

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (some scenes of violence)
Run Time: 01h:26m:44s
Release Date: November 20, 2001
UPC: 085392151424
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+B+B+ F

DVD Review

From the moment Clint Eastwood appears on screen it is obvious that he is an American film legend. With a résumé that includes a motion picture franchise as well as his gifted directorial efforts, there is little in the career of Clint Eastwood that fails. From his early days as a character actor in several television programs to his term as mayor of the small California town of Carmel, Eastwood has, throughout his career, never failed to stay busy. Like most actors, there have been questionable choices in his career (The Rookie), but after over fifty films, Eastwood continually makes decisions that are often for his personal—not necessarily professional—gain.

A career that has spanned nearly fifty years is the focus of Clint Eastwood: Out Of The Shadows, a documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman that features interviews with those who have worked with and become friends of Eastwood. Starting with his birth, in what Eastwood calls "the not so great depression" and concluding with his winning four Academy Awards® for Unforgiven, CE: OOTS is a comprehensive look at Eastwood's body of work. It is disappointing, however, to have them omit my favorite Eastwood picture, Midnight in the Garden Of Good And Evil.

What is special about CE: OOTS is the way it never goes over the top in its praise of Eastwood, as many tributes often do. There are moments in which several people, including Eastwood biographer and respected Time magazine movie critic Richard Schickel, criticize Eastwood for carrying on the Dirty Harry series for as long as he did and his selection of projects in the early nineties.

Most apparent is the sense of closeness that Eastwood receives from those who work around him, and also from his friends and family. During the casting for Eastwood's most unconventional film, The Bridges Of Madison County, it was his mother that suggested Meryl Streep as Francesca, the woman with which Eastwood's photo journalist Robert Kincaid has an affair. Others, including Gene Hackman, express doubts over projects before meeting with Eastwood, who assured that what they were building would become something special.

Clint Eastwood is possibly the most pure filmmaker working today. His films, though not always commercial successes, are close to his heart, leaving Eastwood often upset at the public's dismissal of projects important to him. His most personal films (like 1988's Bird) are his favorites; surprising for an actor who has made a career out of portraying larger-than-life heroes.

Deep inside, Eastwood is a simple man with a profound love of jazz and a loving family. His roles later in his career have been men of advancing age taking command of the situations around them. Clint Eastwood is an actor and individual that has been doing just that since his mid-twenties.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in various aspect ratios, the main portion is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer. The interview scenes are nicely done with rich colors and wonderful detail and sharpness, while the older film clips have remarkable quality. Several clips (most notably Unforgiven) have excessive grain and poor color, though for the most part the film footage looks fine. A bit of a mixed bag, it looks finefor the interview portions, which luckily takes up the majority of the running time.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby 2 channel mix is largely inactive with the exception of nice dialogue portions. Freeman's soothing voice sounds good coming out of the center channel and many of the film clips have better than average sound. Not explosive, but for a documentary, what is offered is better than expected.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portugeuse, Chinese, Korean, and Thai with remote access
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Though the menu shot on the back of the snapper case indicates a trailer, it is not to be found on the disc.

Extras Grade: F


Final Comments

Perhaps the quintessential film "triple threat" (acting, composing, directing), Clint Eastwood's life is something of wonder. This ninety-minute documentary is perhaps the best way to realize over and over that Eastwood is in fact an American classic. Recommended.


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