Clint Eastwood’s Cinema of Trauma

Essays on PTSD in the Director’s Films

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About the Book

Throughout his directorial career, Clint Eastwood’s movies have presented sympathetic narratives of characters enduring personal trauma as they turn to violence to survive calamity or sustain social order—a choice that leaves them marginalized rather than redeemed.
In this collection of new essays, contributors examine his films—from The Outlaw Josey Wales to Sully—as studies on PTSD that expose the social conditions that tolerate or trigger traumatization and (in his more recent work) imagine a way through individual and collective trauma.

About the Author(s)

Charles R. Hamilton is a professor of English at Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant, teaching film, literature, and composition, and an adjunct professor at Texas A&M University Central Texas in Killeen. He is the chair of the Adaptation: Literature, Film, and Culture area for the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association.
Allen H. Redmon is a professor of English and film studies at Texas A&M University–Central Texas. His research on Carl Theodor Dreyer, Clint Eastwood, and Quentin Tarantino looks at the ways they undermine the violence their films tolerate (if not celebrate).

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Charles R. Hamilton and Allen H. Redmon
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6750-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3042-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

Coady Lapierre

Introduction (Charles R. Hamilton and Allen H. Redmon) 9

Civilian PTSD in The Outlaw Josey Wales (Sydney Sian Walmsley) 23

Welcome to the Ranks of the Disenchanted: Feminism and Pacifist Spectacle in The Gauntlet (Andrew Grossman) 37

Eastwood’s Depiction of Violence and PTSD in Private Citizens (Alison S. Wallace) 53

“What face do you put with your enemy?” Identifying Trauma in In the Line of Fire and Absolute Power (Mária I. Cipriani) 67

Mourning and Melancholia in Blood Work and Vanessa in the Garden (Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns and Canela Ailén

Rodriguez Fontao) 84

The Trauma of Cyclical Violence in Mystic River (Charles R. Hamilton) 99

Moral Injury and Civilian Authority in the War Films of Clint Eastwood (Kathleen A. Brown and Brett Westbrook) 115

Belated Casualties: Delayed Stress Disorder in Gran Torino (James F. Scott) 130

National PTSD in Invictus (Laurence Raw) 143

“He’s here and he’s there”: Projecting Recovery in American Sniper and Sully (Allen H. Redmon) 158

Conclusion: Eastwood’s Perfect World (Charles R. Hamilton and Allen H. Redmon) 175

About the Contributors 185

Index 187