Gran Torino (2008)
Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Christopher Carley, Bee Vang and Ahney Her. This was Clint Eastwood's first starring role since 2004's Million Dollar Baby. The film features a large Hmong American cast, as well as one of Eastwood's younger sons, Scott Eastwood. Eastwood's oldest son, Kyle Eastwood, provided the score. Gran Torino opened to theaters in a limited release in North America on December 12, 2008, and later to a worldwide release on January 9, 2009. Set in Detroit, Michigan, it is the first mainstream U.S. film to feature Hmong Americans. Many Lao Hmong war refugees resettled in the U.S. following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975. The story follows Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran alienated from his family and angry at the world. Walt's young neighbor, Thao Vang Lor, is pressured by his cousin into stealing Walt's prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino for his initiation into a gang. Walt thwarts the theft with his M1 Garand rifle and subsequently develops a relationship with the boy and his family.