I enjoy movies. I have seen a lot of movies in my 44 years. I have never experienced what I experienced this afternoon at the end of American Sniper.
The movie ended (I won’t spoil it for you) and a few hands clapped but then a wave of silence spread across the theatre. This was a crowded theatre. I was alone towards the middle top. The entire theatre emptied in a slow, orderly fashion and you could of heard a pen drop. It was deathly silent.
Plain and simple; Clint Eastwood is a genius.
Circa 1978-1980 I was in early elementary school. My teacher gave us an assignment to write a letter to an influential figure in our lives. The idea was that they would write us back. Hopefully, create a pen-pal type of situation. We get to practice our handwriting and learn how to address an envelope with the correct headings and addresses. We may even get a little extra something in return.
My influential figure was Clint Eastwood. I have no idea why. I was only 8-9 years old. I wasn’t allowed to watch any of his R-rated movies. I was watching, Any Which Way You Can and Everywhich Way But Loose. I guess?
I was enthralled by this actor. He was such the ALPHA Male to me. I wanted to be like him.
3-4 weeks after I mailed my letter to Mr. Eastwood, I received a package in the mail. It was a glossy 8×10 photo of Clint himself in a white cowboy hat! He signed the bottom
Chris, Thanks for being a fan!
- Clint Eastwood
I wish I still had that photo. A long lost memory. It cemented in my psyche that Clint Eastwood was and is the greatest Hollywood celebrity there is. I could talk about him for days…
What impresses me the most today is how Mr. Eastwood can write a story… How he can produce and direct a movie that will pull at your heartstrings. Shake me to my core.
- A Perfect World
- Million Dollar Baby
- Gran Torino
- And now American Sniper
I realize that Mr. Eastwood has done so much more. But these are some of my latest favorites. The ending music of Gran Torino with Clint singing is haunting. The ability to infuse sports into Nelson Mandela’s life in Invictus. The relationship story of A Perfect World and Million Dollar Baby. Wow… when Hillary Swank breaks her neck in Million Dollar Baby I was rattled. The gunfight in Unforgiven… The acting he is able to do as well… I can’t get enough of Clint Eastwood.
Bradley Cooper deserves whatever awards that the liberals in Hollywood can muster. This man is solid. He nailed this part. Eastwood was able to cast the best possible actor for this role.
The story is truly inspirational. My daughter, R, and I went to the grocery this afternoon after I had seen the movie. She watched it yesterday. She was asking me. How could Chris Kyle not “freak out” like the other soldiers. Why was he able to heal? I started to go over the beginning of the movie. Back to his childhood.
Kyle was raised by a very strict father. He explained that there are three types of people in this world.
- Sheep dogs
Most people are sheep and the rest are wolves preying on the sheep. The sheep dogs are rare and they are the ones that protect their own.
Kyle jumped in on a schoolyard fight when his little brother was getting his butt beat. Kyle took down the bully. His father said at the dinner table something along the lines, “I ain’t raising no sheep!” He then pulls out his belt and slams it on the table saying, “If you’re a wolf get ready!” referring to the belt. So the only other thing you could be in Kyle’s life was a sheepdog. His dad asked, “Did you finish it?” referring to beating down the bully.
That explains all you need to know about Chris Kyle. He viewed his fellow soldiers as “his own”. He was a sheep dog and was killing the bad guys just to protect his own. He never thought too deep about the politics, the reasons of war, is it morally correct, etc…. He was simply a sheep dog protecting his own.
R then tells me…
“You know how you are always telling me that most people are sheep?”
I answer, “yes…” (I have always taught the girls that most people are sheep that need herding. Just because they are sheep doesn’t mean they need to be slaughtered. Help guide them along the right path.).
R says, “Well I said that most people are sheep or something along those line the other day at school. Some girl got really mad at me and said that was the worst thing she has ever heard me say.” R pauses with me looking at her… “I guess she is a sheep.”
We both laugh…. We have a screwed up sense of humor.
Go see American Sniper