Repercussions of Violence in the Films of Clint Eastwood: The Changing Paradigm

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Literature and Languages

Date of Award

Fall 2013


This dissertation shows how Clint Eastwood, as actor and director, uses cinematic techniques and violence to emphasize the repercussions of violence and its effects on all who come in contact with it. After examining aspects of violence in film history, I offer a brief sampling of the presentation of violence in Eastwood films prior to 1992, in particular his Spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry films. I then focus on how by the early 1990s Eastwood confronts how the violence in our culture is reflected in the lives of his characters in a way very different from his earlier films. With Unforgiven (1992), A Perfect World (1993), Mystic River (2003), and Gran Torino (2008), films within different time periods, environments, and sociocultural groups, Clint Eastwood demonstrates how violence holds no prejudices and impacts everyone who comes in contact with it.


Gerald Duchovnay

Subject Categories

American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Film and Media Studies