Theatrical release poster by Frank Frazetta
|Directed by||Clint Eastwood|
|Produced by||Robert Daley|
|Music by||Jerry Fielding|
|Cinematography||Rexford L. Metz|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|December 21, 1977|
|Box office||$35.4 million|
The Gauntlet is a 1977 American action thriller film directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Eastwood and Sondra Locke. The film's supporting cast includes Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, and Mara Corday. Eastwood plays a down-and-out cop who falls in love with a prostitute (Locke) whom he is assigned to escort from Las Vegas to Phoenix in order for her to testify against the mob.
Action film is a film genre in which the protagonist or protagonists are thrust into a series of events that typically include violence, extended fighting, physical feats, and frantic chases. Action films tend to feature a resourceful hero struggling against incredible odds, which include life-threatening situations, a villain, or a pursuit which usually concludes in victory for the hero. Advancements in CGI have made it cheaper and easier to create action sequences and other visual effects that required the efforts of professional stunt crews in the past. However, reactions to action films containing significant amounts of CGI have been mixed, as films that use computer animations to create unrealistic, highly unbelievable events are often met with criticism. While action has long been a recurring component in films, the "action film" genre began to develop in the 1970s along with the increase of stunts and special effects. Common action scenes in films are generally, but not limited to, explosions, car chases, fistfights, and shootouts.
Thriller film, also known as suspense film or suspense thriller, is a broad film genre that evokes excitement and suspense in the audience. The suspense element found in most films' plots is particularly exploited by the filmmaker in this genre. Tension is created by delaying what the audience sees as inevitable, and is built through situations that are menacing or where escape seems impossible.
Clinton Eastwood Jr. is an American actor, filmmaker, musician, and politician. After achieving success in the Western TV series Rawhide, he rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy of spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, have made Eastwood an enduring cultural icon of masculinity.
Ben Shockley, an alcoholic cop from Phoenix, is given the task to escort witness Augustina "Gus" Mally from Las Vegas. His superior, Commissioner E.A. Blakelock, says she is a "nothing witness" for a "nothing trial." Mally protests that they are both set up to be killed in a hit, which a jaded Shockley doubts. Mally reveals herself to be a belligerent prostitute with mob ties and is in possession of incriminating information concerning a high figure in society.
Her suspicions are confirmed when the transport vehicle is bombed and Mally's house is fired upon. Shockley and Mally are then pursued across the open country with no official assistance and with the police force regarding them as fugitives. They kidnap a local constable, who they then let go, as Mally knows there'll be another hit. The constable dies at the hands of several men armed with machine guns. They eventually run into a gang of bikers whom Shockley threatens with his revolver, then confiscates one of their motorcycles and takes off on it with Mally.
A car bomb, lorry bomb, or truck bomb, also known as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), is an improvised explosive device placed inside a car or other vehicle and then detonated.
It is revealed that Shockley's boss, Commissioner Blakelock, wants both of them dead, because Mally knows about Blakelock's secret life. Assistant District Attorney Feyderspiel is involved with the plot to kill Shockley and Mally. Both of them are also blamed for the death of the constable.
The two ride into a town where Shockley and Mally are ambushed by a helicopter filled with cops sent by Blakelock who pursues the two onto the open road, firing at them from above. During the high-speed pursuit, the helicopter crashes and explodes. The two ditch the damaged motorcycle and hop on a train on which, coincidentally, the same two bikers whose machine they had "borrowed" are riding. The bikers attack and assault Shockley and attempt to rape Mally. The wounded Shockley grabs hold of his gun and subdues the bikers, knocking them and their girlfriend off the train. Shockley and Mally both realize that going back to Phoenix will be suicide, but it's the only way to prove their innocence.
The two hijack a bus and outfit it with a crude set of armor made from scrap steel. They are about to enter Phoenix when Maynard Josephson, an old friend of Shockley's, warns the two of a gauntlet of armed police officers that Blakelock has set up to "welcome" them. Josephson convinces Shockley to turn himself in to Feyderspiel whom he thinks is an honest broker. As the pair follow Josephson out of the bus, Josephson is shot dead from a nearby building, and Shockley is hit in the leg.
With no other option, the two return to the bus and enter the town. The bus is shot at as it runs the titular "gauntlet" of hundreds of armed officers lining both sides of the road, until it reaches the steps of City Hall, finally immobilized. The two emerge from the riddled bus and surrender, but Shockley uses Feyderspiel as a shield, in order to have him confess that Blakelock is corrupt. The enraged Blakelock shoots at both Shockley and Feyderspiel, wounding the former and killing the latter. Blakelock is in return shot dead by Mally. Realizing Blakelock's crime and having witnessed his wanton killing of Feyderspiel, the rest of the assembled officers do nothing to stop the pair as Shockley and Mally walk away safely from the gauntlet.
Sandra Louise Anderson, professionally known as Sondra Locke, was an American actress and director. She made her film debut in 1968 in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Locke went on to star in such films as Willard, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, Bronco Billy, Any Which Way You Can and Sudden Impact. On each film, she had worked with Clint Eastwood, who was her companion for 13 years. Locke's autobiography, The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly – A Hollywood Journey, was published in 1997.
Martin Patterson Hingle was an American character actor, who appeared in hundreds of television shows and feature films. His first film was On the Waterfront in 1954. He often played tough authority figures. Hingle was a close friend of Clint Eastwood and appeared in the Eastwood films Hang 'em High, The Gauntlet, and Sudden Impact. He's also remembered for his role as Gotham City's police commisioner Jim Gordon in the Batman film franchise from 1989 to 1997.
William LeRoy Prince was an American actor who appeared in numerous soap operas and made dozens of guest appearances on primetime series as well as playing villains in movies like The Gauntlet and Spontaneous Combustion.
Written by Dennis Shryack and Michal Butler,the film was originally set to star Marlon Brando and Barbra Streisand; Brando subsequently withdrew and was replaced by Steve McQueen. However, differences between McQueen and Streisand ultimately led to their joint departure in favor of Eastwood and Locke. There was some pre-production discussion of transforming the Ben Shockley role into a down and out Dirty Harry portrayal The Gauntlet was filmed in Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as in nearby deserts in both states. For the house scene, it was built at a cost of $250,000 and included 7,000 drilled holes that would include explosive squibs for its demolition. The helicopter chase scene included a helicopter that was built without an engine for the crash sequence. To simulate the gunshots from the gauntlet of officers at the end of the film, the bus was blasted with 8,000 squibs. From the total budget of $5.5 million, $1 million was spent on the various action sequences.
Dennis Shryack was an American screenwriter whose credits included The Gauntlet in 1977, Code of Silence (1985), starring Chuck Norris, and Turner & Hooch (1989), which stars Tom Hanks and Beasley the Dog. Shryack also co-wrote the screenplay for Pale Rider in 1985, directed by Clint Eastwood, which became the highest grossing Western film of the 1980s, taking in the $41 million. Shryack often collaborated on screenplays with other writers, including penning seven films with Michael Butler, as well as partnerships with Michael Blodgett on Turner & Hooch and Run in 1991.
Marlon Brando Jr. was an American actor and film director. With a career spanning 60 years, during which he won the Oscar for Best Actor twice, he is well-regarded for his cultural influence on 20th-century film. Brando was an activist for many causes, notably the civil rights movement and various Native American movements. Having studied with Stella Adler in the 1940s, he is credited with being one of the first actors to bring the Stanislavski system of acting and Method Acting, derived from the Stanislavski system, to mainstream audiences.
Barbara Joan "Barbra" Streisand is an American musician, actress, and filmmaker. In a career spanning six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment and has been recognized with two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes. She is among a small group of entertainers who have been honored with an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award – though only three were competitive awards – and is one of only two artists in that group who have also won a Peabody.
Frank Frazetta painted the super-stylized promotional billboard poster for the film. The poster features a "muscled colossus Eastwood, brandishing a pistol, and scantily clad Locke, her clothes teasingly shredded, clinging onto her hero".
Frank Frazetta ; February 9, 1928 – May 10, 2010) was an American fantasy and science fiction artist, noted for comic books, paperback book covers, paintings, posters, LP record album covers and other media. He was the subject of a 2003 documentary.
The Gauntlet grossed $35.4 million at the box office,making it the 14th highest-grossing film of 1977.
Although a hit with the public, the critics were mixed about the film.
Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four and called it "classic Clint Eastwood: fast, furious, and funny. It tells a cheerfully preposterous story with great energy and a lot of style, and nobody seems more at home in this sort of action movie than Eastwood."Vincent Canby of The New York Times called it "a movie without a single thought in its head, but its action sequences are so ferociously staged that it's impossible not to pay attention most of the time." Arthur D. Murphy of Variety wrote, "At the very least, Eastwood periodically tries something different, and if the price of that is a run of formula programmers, let it be." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film one-and-a-half stars out of four and stated, "This is a very stupid movie. Supposedly, it's all meant to be in good fun. And true, the script does have the dialog of a comic book. But there is not one bit of wit in the film." Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times declared, "Until it overreaches in its final minutes, Clint Eastwood's 'The Gauntlet' succeeds in making the fantastic credible. Indeed, the getting there is so outrageous and witty that those who admire Eastwood's laconic style behind the camera as well as in front of it are likely to overlook that flawed finale. At any rate, there's plenty going on at all times to please action fans." Gary Arnold of The Washington Post wrote, "If 'The Gauntlet' improves on Eastwood's customary box-office success, I hope it will be ascribed to the glimmers of old-fashioned romantic devotion and the expressions of support for middle-class stability and respectability that have been allowed to mitigate the usual nihilistic mayhem." Judith Crist of the New York Post thought that the film was "a mindless compendium of stale plot and stereotyped characters varnished with foul language and garnished with violence." David Ansen of Newsweek wrote, "You don't believe a minute of it, but at the end of the quest, it's hard not to chuckle and cheer."
The film has a score of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 22 reviews.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Recorded||September 13 & 15, 1977|
The Burbank Studios Hollywood, California
|Label|| Warner Bros. |
The film score was composed and conducted by Jerry Fielding featuring soloists Art Pepper and Jon Faddis and the soundtrack album was released on the Warner Bros. label in 1978.
The AllMusic review by Donald A. Guarisco states: "All in all, The Gauntlet is a strong, consistently engaging album that is well worth a listen for any soundtrack buff whose tastes lean toward the 'crime jazz' sound".
The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist Western DeLuxe Color and Panavision film set during and after the American Civil War. It was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Sam Bottoms, and Geraldine Keams. The film tells the story of Josey Wales, a Missouri farmer whose family is murdered by Union militants during the Civil War. Driven to revenge, Wales joins a Confederate guerrilla band and fights in the Civil War. After the war, all the fighters in Wales' group except for Wales surrender to Union officers, but they end up being massacred. Wales becomes an outlaw and is pursued by bounty hunters and Union soldiers.
Unforgiven is a 1992 American revisionist Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and written by David Webb Peoples. The film portrays William Munny, an aging outlaw and killer who takes on one more job years after he had turned to farming. The film stars Eastwood in the lead role, with Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris. Eastwood stated that the film would be his last Western for fear of repeating himself or imitating someone else's work.
Pale Rider is a 1985 American Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the lead role. The title is a reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as the rider of a pale horse is Death. The film, which took in nearly $41 million at the box office, became the highest grossing Western of the 1980s.
Dirty Harry is a 1971 American neo-noir action thriller film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan. The film drew upon the real life case of the Zodiac Killer as the Callahan character seeks out a similar vicious psychopath.
Franklin G. "Frank" Wells was an American businessman who served as President of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until his death in 1994.
The Enforcer is a 1976 American neo-noir action thriller and the third in the Dirty Harry film series. Directed by James Fargo, it stars Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan, Tyne Daly as Inspector Kate Moore, and DeVeren Bookwalter as terrorist leader Bobby Maxwell. It was also the last film in the series to feature John Mitchum as Inspector Frank DiGiorgio.
Sudden Impact is a 1983 American neo-noir action thriller and the fourth film in the Dirty Harry series, directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood and Sondra Locke. The film tells the story of a gang rape victim (Locke) who decides to seek revenge on the rapists ten years after the attack by killing them one by one. Inspector Callahan (Eastwood), famous for his unconventional and often brutal crime-fighting tactics is tasked with tracking down the serial killer. As Callahan investigates the killings, he becomes romantically entangled with the woman, not knowing that she is responsible for the murders.
Every Which Way but Loose is a 1978 American adventure comedy film, released by Warner Bros., produced by Robert Daley and directed by James Fargo. It stars Clint Eastwood in an uncharacteristic and offbeat comedy role as Philo Beddoe, a trucker and brawler roaming the American West in search of a lost love while accompanied by his brother/manager, Orville, and his pet orangutan, Clyde. In the process, Philo manages to cross a motley assortment of characters, including a pair of police officers and an entire motorcycle gang, who end up pursuing him for revenge.
The Eiger Sanction is a 1975 American thriller film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Based on the 1972 novel The Eiger Sanction by Trevanian, the film is about an art history professor, mountain climber and former assassin once employed by a secret United States government agency who is blackmailed into returning to his deadly profession and do one more "sanction", a euphemism for killing. He agrees to join an international climbing team in Switzerland planning an ascent of the Eiger north face in order to complete a second sanction to avenge the murder of an old friend. The film was produced by Robert Daley for Eastwood's Malpaso Company, with Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown as executive producers, and co-starred George Kennedy, Vonetta McGee and Jack Cassidy.
Two Mules for Sister Sara is a 1970 American-Mexican western film directed by Don Siegel and starring Shirley MacLaine set during the French intervention in Mexico (1861–1867). The film was to have been the first in a five-year exclusive association between Universal Pictures and Sanen Productions of Mexico. It was the second of five collaborations between Siegel and Eastwood, following Coogan's Bluff (1968). The collaboration continued with The Beguiled and Dirty Harry and finally Escape from Alcatraz (1979).
Any Which Way You Can is a 1980 American action comedy film, starring Clint Eastwood, with Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis, William Smith, and Ruth Gordon in supporting roles. It was directed by Buddy Van Horn. The film is the sequel to the 1978 hit comedy Every Which Way but Loose.
Mara Corday is a showgirl, model, actress, Playboy Playmate and 1950s cult figure.
Bronco Billy is a 1980 American film starring Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke. It was directed by Eastwood and written by Dennis Hackin.
Symphony Hall is a multi-purpose performing arts venue, located in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, United States.
Joe Kidd is a 1972 American Technicolor western film in Panavision starring Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall, written by Elmore Leonard and directed by John Sturges.
Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, California to Clinton Eastwood Sr. and Margaret Ruth.
Clint Eastwood has had numerous casual and long-term relationships of varying length and intensity since he was 14 years old. He was first married to Margaret "Maggie" Johnson in 1953, but while dating Johnson, he had another relationship that allegedly resulted in a child that the mother gave up for adoption. He had extramarital relationships while married to Johnson, including a 14 year long relationship with actress and stunt woman Roxanne Tunis that produced a daughter. Johnson reportedly tolerated an open marriage with Eastwood. Eastwood and Johnson were divorced and he continued seeing many other women. In 1975, actress Sondra Locke began living with Eastwood. She took the relationship seriously and was extremely distraught when she discovered much later that Eastwood continued to have sexual relationships with other women. When they separated, Locke filed a palimony lawsuit. Eastwood had two children with stewardess Jacelyn Reeves in the 1980s. He married for the second time to news anchor Dina Ruiz in 1996, which lasted until 2013. He has been seen with other women since then.