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His Lawn: You should get off of it.

"This year, you have to make a choice between two life paths. Second chances comes your way. Extraordinary events culminate in what might seem to be an anticlimax. Your lucky numbers are 84, 23, 11, 78, and 99. What a load of shit."
Walt Kowalski, reading a newspaper

Gran Torino is a film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, in what is rumoured to be his final onscreen performance. He plays Walter "Walt" Kowalski, an elderly retired veteran of The Korean War living in Highland Park, Michigan (a rundown suburb of Detroit), shortly after the death of his wife. He has difficulty relating to his two grown up sons, who are caught up in their own lives, and generally disapproves of the way the world is changing, such as the influx of the Hmong People, immigrants who fled Vietnam after the war. Next door is Thao, a quiet boy who is pressured into joining his cousin Spider's gang. As part of his "initiation", Thao is pressured to steal Walt's prized possession, a 1972 Ford Gran Torino, but fails, and is caught. For dishonoring his family, Thao's mother asks Walt to accept Thao's help in doing chores around his house, which leads to an Odd Friendship. Spider, upset at Thao's rejection of his gang, begins to retaliate against the family, forcing Walt to intervene.

Not to be confused with the series Gran Turismo.

Gran Torino provides examples of:


 Walt: Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while that you shouldn't have fucked with? That's me.

    • Or ...

 Walt: Yeah, I blow a hole in your face and then I go in the house and I sleep like a baby. You can count on that. We used to stack fucks like you five feet high in Korea ... used you for sandbags.

  • Lull Destruction - Walt talks to himself a lot. And to his dog. Some of this may help the story, but a lot of it could be communicated without words, or is information the audience already has.
    • Truth in Television as multiple studies have shown that a person who lives alone or is isolated tend to talk to themselves just to break the silence around them.
  • MacGuffin - The Gran Torino.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Done non-verbally, when Walt learns that his attempt to intimidate the Hmong gang ended up getting Sue beaten and raped. And this is on top of the drive-by at her house. Then he goes home and starts punching up his cabinets--even the glass ones--while verbally berating himself.
    • Played comically by the priest when Walt finally comes to his church for confession.
  • Not So Different - Walt basically says this to himself when he's in the bathroom at the neighbor's house. He looks in the mirror says that, "God, I've got more in common with these gooks than I have with my own spoiled-rotten family."
  • N-Word Privileges - The film examines the rules around this a lot; Walt assumes N-word privileges towards everyone.
    • Walt never actually uses literal N-word privileges, when confronted by black thugs Eastwood opts for the common 1950's - 1970's racist terms "spook" and "spade" (the use of which terms seem to confuse the young men, or at least leaves them briefly nonplussed...)
  • One Last Smoke: Once he's decided to face the gangsters, Walt treats himself to a wet shave, a tailor-fitted suit and a cigarette in the bathtub. Averted when he's shot by Spider when he pulls out his lighter.
  • Papa Wolf - An unusual example in that it doesn't seem to apply to his own family, though, to be fair, they're selfish assholes. However, he blames himself for not getting close to them.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Averted since Walt isn't going to let that shit fly.
  • Pretend Prejudice - Walt.
  • Punch a Wall
  • The Precious Precious Car - Walt's Gran Torino. Not only is it vintage, Walt has a personal attachment to its construction: he was on the line where it was built.
  • RacistGrandpa Walt is a deconstruction of this trope: The whole point of the movie is that Walt realizes the people who he has being directing racial slurs all his life are Not So Different, that his experience as a soldier only let him know much more about death than about life, and that he is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
  • Rape as Drama - A horrible, extremely realistic version.
  • Redemption Equals Death - Walt's speech through the locked door indicating that he feels that he can face the gang because the bad things he has done mean that what he does to them won't make him any dirtier, then defeating them by dying, revealing that he actually meant that the bad things he has done mean that he is ready to die for a good cause. His confession earlier suggests that he actually doesn't need redemption in any eyes but his own.
    • Also invoked by the fact he reveals to Thao through the locked door, that he shot a young Chinese soldier who was trying to surrender to him. His Heroic Sacrifice to save Thao, another young man about the same age, represents his atonement for that old sin.
      • Walt's confession to Thao mirrors his earlier, somewhat insincere confession to the priest, with the barred and screened basement door replacing the traditional confessional booth screen seen in the earlier scene.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior! - The reason Walt gets away with universal N-Word Privileges.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran - Walt is kind of one.
  • Shoot Him! He Has a Wallet! - Walt uses this in his Suicide by Gang so the gang gets arrested for shooting an unarmed man
  • Surrogate Soliloquy - Walt talks to his dog, when he gets really stressed he talks to himself. While he is talking to his dog about the woman next door, the woman next door is talking to herself saying the exact same things about him in another language.
  • Tactful Translation - Sue attempts to provide a Tactful Translation of her Racist Grandma's insults to Walt as "Welcome to our home", but given how angry the grandma is, it's unconvincing. Walt calls her on it, and she admits it.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Walt's plan to bring the gangsters to justice involves his death. See Batman Gambit above.
  • Tranquil Fury - Walt finally calms down in the moments before his death. "Oh, I am at peace."
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Due to a combination of factors, Walt is a Grade A Grumpy Old Man, and holds certain views about his Hmong neighbors that are continually challenged during the course of the movie. In the end he befriends Thao and gives him the prized Gran Torino.
  • Unusual Euphemism - "Christ All Friday". Possibly meant as a Curse of the Ancients as well.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds - Walt's idea of male friendship is based around this setup, as shown with his barber and the construction foreman, and later Thao. Walt and Sue also have this going: the moment he starts to respect and like her is the moment when she starts getting sassy back at him.
  • White Man's Burden - Although Walt is bigoted in the beginning, he starts to take compassion to the Hmongs, eventually takes Thao under his wing and eventually saves him from the gangs.