Mike Stevens | Oct 25, 2008

Gran Torino isn’t strictly a car movie, but we couldn’t leave this one out. The movie’s title is the car’s name, after all. It just wouldn’t be right.

Gran Torino stars Clint Eastwood as Walt Kowalski, a Korean War veteran with a lifelong anger always on the boil. Perhaps as a result of his war service, or simply because he’s a relic of a bygone era, Kowalski’s got some racist issues that come to the fore when a Hmong family moves in next door.

When that family’s young son tries to steal Walt’s Gran Torino as an initiation challenge for a gang he wants to join, and fails, Kowalski suddenly finds himself trying to reform the young boy.

Eastwood says of his character, Kowalski:

"He worked on the line in the Ford plant and retired and had this one car he bought himself. It's sort of a symbol of his days with the Ford plant. The M-1 is sort of a symbol of his days in the military... He's clinging to the memory of the war. You'll find out when you see it, some of (the memories) are not as pleasant as others. That helps make him even tougher to get along with."

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