Gran Torino

This study guide will help you analyze the film Gran Torino (2008) directed by Clint Eastwood. You can also find a summary of the film, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Presentation of the text

Title: Gran Torino (2008)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Film

Clint Eastwood is an American actor, director, and producer. He is best known for starring in traditionally masculine “tough-guy” roles in Westerns or as a police officer. Eastwood has also directed several films, many of which he also starred in, such as Million Dollar Baby (2004) and Unforgiven (1992). Eastwood won numerous awards for both his acting and directorial efforts, including four Academy Awards and two lifetime achievements from AFI and the Venice film festival. 

The drama film Gran Torino which Eastwood both starred in and directed was the first mainstream American film to feature Hmong Americans and was Eastwood’s second most profitable film after American Sniper (2014). The film was generally praised by critics but received mixed reviews from the Hmong community because of its cultural inaccuracies. 


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Physical setting

The film Gran Torino is set in Highland Park, Michigan in the United States. The script initially placed the story in Minnesota, based on the screenwriter’s personal experience of working at a local Ford plant with Korean War veterans and Hmong immigrants. However, because of production logistics it was decided that the movie be filmed in Detroit, Michigan, and the script was revised accordingly. 

Highland Park, the city where Walt and Thao live, is an independent enclave city surrounded by the city of Detroit. It is home to the Highland Park Ford Plant which was the first factory to assemble cars on a...

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Gran Torino

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