Friday, December 12, 2008

Gran Torino

In "Gran Torino," Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a
retired, bigoted Detroit autoworker. The movie reflects the city where it was made, and the entire nation, according to Manohla Dargis of The New York Times:
"Made in the 1960s and ’70s, the Gran Torino was never a great symbol of American automotive might, which makes Walt’s love for the car more poignant. It was made by an industry that now barely makes cars, in a city that hardly works, in a country that too often has felt recently as if it can’t do anything right anymore except, every so often, make a movie like this one."


  1. This was filmed in Detroit over the summer, mostly on the East side. It's just one of many Hollywood productions filming in Michigan since passage of the most lucrative economic incentives in the country for film makers.

    1. Sorry; but it was not filmed mostly in Detroit. It was mostly filmed in Highland Park. The Kowalski house is still there on Rhode Island Street about three blocks east of Woodward Avenue. The "gang house" where the assault took place at the end was on Midland or one of the streets either one block north or south of Midland, though several blocks to the west of Woodward.

    2. I've always been fascinated by these cities within cities. I've rolled through Highland Park only a few times, and it seems just like the surrounding city of Detroit, at least visually. So it seems like a fine stand in for a filmmaker. But what's the civic vibe of Highland Park? How's it different from Detroit. Thanks.

    3. Harwood Heights and Norridge will quickly cure you of your interest in suburban enclaves.

  2. again tho, you never see a filmmaker come and use our good parts of town. so sad. Foxtown etc are beyond belief in beauty but they never see the light of day via Hollywood

  3. Pockets like Foxtown and Greektown are small and scattered. Why would a filmmaker bypass cities with huge swathes of "Foxtown" like neighborhoods for a couple of blocks in Detroit?

    I always have to laugh when I hear people mention the "good" parts of Detroit. Most of these areas are merely magnets for suburbanites to spend the evening out. 95% of Detroit is rough- varying degrees of rough, but still. Throw ten darts at a map of the City of Detroit, and I'll bet you 9 out of 10 will be places most would not go after dark. To tell the truth the neighborhood Gran Torino is shot in looks better than most.

    Having said that there are a many neighborhoods I enjoy in Detroit: New Center, Southwest, Cass Corridor (ain't THAT bad anymore), Hamtramck (its an enclave, so it counts), Boston-Edison (beautiful houses with crack heads galore across the alley), Chaldean Town, Corktown, Woodbridge, but even all of these wouldn't necessarily reflect "well" on the 'D' if ya think we gotta compete with Manhattan and the Mag Mile.

    Next place on my list to visit in Detroit is Little Peking- from watching the preview of Gran Torino I learned that Detroit has a large Chinese community. Who would think it?


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