'Jersey Boys' may not be his finest two hours, but which film was?
Next gallery »10 Stories You Might Have Missed: Ben Affleck's Batman may get a 2019 solo movie
« Previous gallery'Hunger Games'' Capitol Couture Showcases District Heroes
Rate This Image
10. "High Plains Drifter"
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom, Marianna Hill
Key awards: none
Why it's among his best: Coming from someone who's seen as such an emblematic figure of the genre, the first western Eastwood ever directed is a mighty eccentric one -- an eerie atmospheric exercise that's part small-town revenge drama, part ghost story, and takes its cue in both respects as much from Japanese stylists like Kurosawa and Mizogunch as Leone, Siegel and other western standard-bearers name-dropped in its cryptic cemetery. John Wayne allegedly wrote to Eastwood after its release to tell him just how little he approved -- see, Eastwood wasn't always a bastion of classicism.