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Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o
Gran Torino
Inhalt
The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an o

Gran Torino Inhalt The film ,,Gran Torino" is an American drama film and was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. The film is about an old man who's called Walt Kowalski and a boy who lives next to him, who's called Thao. Kowalski is a recently widowed Korean War veteran, alienated from his family and world. Walt's young neighbour Thao Vang Lor is pressured by his cousin into trying to steal Walt's car, for his initiation into his cousin's gang. However, Walt catches him and builds up a relationship with Thao and his family. Narrative structure • A Hollywood drama • Despite its complex sign system, the movie Gran Torino can be interpreted as a text with a narrative structure . With its clear sequence of the introduction of the situation, its disruption and resolution, Gran Torino strongly fits in with the drama genre • The linear story is told through Walt Kowalski's eyes • The plot focuses on Walt's development and his friendship to Thao and his family. One major subplot, however, is the veteran's relation to Father Janovich • Suspense culminates in chapter 28. The viewers' expectations of a showdown as a resolution of the conflict are contradicted, as the movie ends in the anticlimax of Walt's death Two funerals frame the plot Setting Highland Park - a troubled...

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spot in Motor City Detroit • Gran Torino is set in Highland Park, Michigan, which belongs to the Metro politan area of Detroit ● • Throughout its history, the city has been connected with the local factories of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors • Metropolitan Detroit was particularly hit by the 2008 financial crisis, in the middle of which the movie was released • Once a booming city, Highland Park is now part of "that industrial graveyard called Detroit" (Dargis 2008) Characters Walt Kowalski • A racist who turns out to have a good heart • With respect to his values, Walt is "still living in the '50s." conservatism, patriotism and racial prejudices make American of that generation • He worked at Ford for his entire life • His him a typical white • He is haunted by his Korean War experiences, in particular by his killing innocent people • In Walt's racist worldview, he does not distinguish between different Asian ethnic groups. For him, they are all alike. Thus his Hmong neighbors remind him of his bad conscience • With his 78 years, he is, so to speak, an outdated old timer like his vintage car, the Gran Torino, alienated from the changing world around him • He is also alienated from his two sons and their families and portrayed as a grumpy loner • His behavior is stereotypically masculine, e.g. solving problems on his own, protecting or defending himself and others with a gun and not going to the doctor • He becomes a male role model for Thao • Walt's getting into touch with his Hmong neighbors changes him. He has to learn that he has got more in common with his Hmong neighbors than with his own family. Walt realizes that he is responsible for the escalation of violence Sacrificing himself in the confrontation with the Hmong gangbangers, he finally finds peace as he takes the chance to atone for his lifelong guilt Thao and the Hmong Community • The girls go to college, and the boys go to jail • The Hmong are a forgotten people, scattered over Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. They fought for the Americans in the Vietnam War after which they had to go into U.S. exile. • Most Hmong girls are able to adapt to American society, while the boys do not accept their fathers' values. Having no orientation, some of them get criminal •Thao Vang Lor, a 16-year-old teenager, grows up in a female-dominated house without any male role model • He lacks self-confidence. Torn between gender roles, Hmong traditions and American standards of living, he does not know where he belongs to and searches for an identity • Easy to push around, he is pressurized into joining the Hmong gang. After his initiation ritual of stealing the Gran Torino failed, he wants to keep a distance, so the gangbangers try to take him by force • As compensation for his attempted theft Thao has to do odd jobs for Walt Kowalski. For the first time in his life he really rises to the tasks presented to him • Being taught to talk and behave like a man, he grows from a teenager into a male adult • He first accepts the gangbangers' brutality and does not want Walt to do anything against it. Only after Sue's rape he is willing to kill them. However, he is locked up in the basement of Walt's house, because Walt wants to prevent him from getting blood on his hands To his own surprise, he inherits Walt's Gran Torino, giving him the opportunity to assimilate into American society • Sue is a strong young woman, able to live in both worlds of Hmong tradition and modern western liberalism. One sign for this is that she has a white boyfriend • Due to her self-confidence she does not shy away from any open confrontation with the Hmong gang or the African American men • Sue bridges the gap between her family and Walt Kowalski. Without her, they would not have become friends. Her grandmother Phong is a first-generation immigrant, full of prejudices against white America. She does not speak English •Spider (Sue's and Thao's cousin), Smokie and the other Hmong gangbangers terrorize the neighborhood. There is no resistance against them within the community. People do not dare to talk to the police • The peer group follows its own rules of enforcing their status by violence and retaliation. Being witriessed when shooting the unarmed Walt, they are arrested Father Janovich • An inexperienced "over-educated, 27-year-old virgin" learns about life and death The Catholic Irishman delivers an impersonal eulogy for Dorothy Kowalski. He tries very hard to remove the veteran's wall of bitterness and shame, but for a long time he does not get through him • Walt's direct way of telling him his opinion and his hidden war experiences change Father Janovich's outlook on life It is quite a step for him to show some understanding for Thao's wish to kill the gangbangers • After Walt's confession, Father Janovich calls the police to prevent the almost inevitable shootout •. In the sermon at Walt's funeral he publicly acknowledges Walt Kowalski's influence on him Themes Racism in a Multicultural Society • "Hope for a Racist, and Maybe a Country" (Dargis) • Gran Torino questions the ideal of white America • The movie shows a racially segregated society. Despite its frequent racial slurs, Gran Torino has a strong anti-racist message • Nevertheless, the movie has also been criticized for confirming racial stereotypes Concepts of Masculinity Guns, cars, girls and a tough language • Walt Kowalski's characterization corresponds to the traditional definitions of masculinity • He went to war and possesses two guns • He worked at Ford and has two cars: a pickup truck and the Gran Torino. He married and raised a family with two sons • Walt drinks a lot and is a chain-smoker • His language is vulgar and commanding • In contrast to Walt, Thao Vang Lor is bossed around by his sister and does women's work • Other Hmong teenagers are gangbangers, rebelling against their culture and their fathers' way of life With Walt's help, Thao is manned up: He is taught to talk like a man and starts dating You • He gets a job in construction, a field considered to be typically male When the Gran Torino is passed over to him, his assimilation to American society is completed Guilt and Redemption • Walt's twofold guilt. In the Korean War Walt killed about 13 people • He is particularly haunted by his murdering an innocent Korean teenager • More than 50 years later he is responsible for the escalation of violence in his neighborhood, including Sue's rape • He tries to atone for his twofold guilt by sacrificing himself • His redemption is expressed by the symbol of the cross when he is shot down (Gun) Violence •The right to bear arms • The Second Amendment to the Constitution grants every citizen the right to It is a hotly disputed issue in the United States • Walt Kowalski has at least two guns: his M1 Grand Rifle from the Korean War bear arms. and a pistol. He does not hesitate to take them in order to scare the gang bangers away • The Latino and Hmong gangs use their guns for enforcing dominance or com mitting crimes Gran Torino is an example of the dynamics of violence and the acceleration of reprisals ● Generation Gaps • Materialistic interests vs. social values • Walt and Mitch Kowalski do not only differ in their physical appearance, but also in their mentalities. Mitch is a typical representative of the post-war generation whose capitalist ideas are questioned and criticized. • The sons do not have time for their father • The relationship between Walt and his grandchildren seems to be even worse. In particular his granddaughter Ashley shows no respect for him • In contrast to Walt's grandchildren, Thao and Sue look up to him. They are similar to him in that they appreciate traditions and social ties • For Thao, Walt becomes a mentor or teacher and a bit of a father. • Young Father Janovich also learns a lot about life and death from the Korean War. veteran The Ambiguity of Belonging • Cultural and social identity problems • Thao is torn between his Hmong traditions and his wish to assimilate into American society. All people around him emphasize Thao's female character traits and behavior. He searches for a clear male identity. • Having resisted the overall white flight, Walt lives alone amidst a Hmong dominated community in which he does not fit. • He recognizes that he has more in common with his Hmong neighbors than with his own family. • Walt is also "alienated from himself" (Ulmer 2017, p. 52) Symbols and Motifs Symbols and Motifs • The Gran Torino and the motif of life and death dominate the movie • The Gran Torino fits to Walt Kowalski's personality as it expresses his masculinity It is a necessary part in Thao's process of becoming a man • The vintage car bridges the gap between Walt and Thao. It is a symbol of the family connection between them. The mirror stands for Walt's moments of introspection • The lighter is a reminder of Walt's guilt Life and death, the main motif of the movie, are juxtaposed. Death is present and foreshadowed throughout the movie by the two funerals, Walt's smoking, his coughing up blood and the final shootout • The movie plays with gender stereotypes. Cinematic Devices Camera • Point of view, dominance and intense emotions • The camera supports the fact that the story is told through Walt's eyes • Eastwood uses the high- and low-angle camera positions to indicate dominance or hierarchy; eye-level shots symbolize the equality of characters • Close-ups are used in moments of intense emotions • Long shots or establishing shots introduce a new setting • In dramatic scenes the director chooses a hand-held camera • Walt's death is filmed in slow motion • Dissolves are used to underline the connection between two scenes or. to indicate a change of location or the passing of time Structure FUNERAL. ,,Get off my lawn" initiation ritual of stealing the 1972 Ford Gran Torino rivaling gangs; Thao and the Hispanic gang Walt's family problems Music and Lighting • Cultural and atmospheric indicators • The melancholy title song "Gran Torino" picks up the main motifs of the movie such as the ambiguity of belonging, war scars, loneliness and disappointed dreams • Drum sounds are frequent signals for dramatic tension. They indicate that Walt Kowalski is in his "war-mode" • The Latino and the Hmong gangs listen to music which reflects their own cultural background • Low-key lighting corresponds to the melancholy atmosphere of the movie The bright daylight in the final scene supports the positive message of the movie. Sue 's harassment by the African Americans drive-by shooting; Sue's rape Walt's death Walt's last will FUNERAL А Setting 1. Highland Park • until the 1960s a prestigious, white, middle-class neighborhood • inhabited by car plant workers with the same cultural backround ↓ Walt Kowalski in 2008 a multicultural community • in reality with over 90% African Americans 3. Charlevoix St., Detroit • in the movie a Hmong dominated, run-down neighborhood Locations within Metro Detroit symbolizes African-American "territory" • bad reputation for its crime rate • Walt as the only white man left conservative values: hanging on to the past • patriotism importance of family • respect towards the old racial prejudices against Asians ● White flight Locations within Metro Detroit Hmong neighbors than with his own family develops a kinship to wards Thao and Sue ● 2. Rich residential districts (cf. Mitch Kowalski's house) Walt is still haunted by his Korean War (1950-1953) memories: he killed at least 13 men, including one innocent teenager ↓ manly behavior: • Eastwood's intention: ghetto look and pictures of decay background: financial crisis 2008 which hit Motor City Detroit very hard hides his feelings At the beginning of the movie Walt is shown as a grumpy old man alienated from his family. He does not belong to the changed neighborhood / modern America ↓ ↓ He has to recognize that he has more in common with his He saves Thao and Sue serves as a male role model for Thao • solves his problems on his own • is ready to use force • owns a muscle car (the Gran Torino) Walt sacrifices himself in order to atone for his war crimes. Thus he wants to restore law and order in the neighborhood Thao Vang Lor ambiguous cultural identity. a çar, • easily persuaded by the Hmong gangbangers into stealing Walt's Gran Torino (initiation ritual) • suffering from his resistance to join them (e.g. gets injured by them; drive-by shooting) • finally ready to seek revenge for Sue's rape gangbangers (Smokie, Spider) living according to their own rules Walt mans Thao up (shows him how to talk and behave like a man) He inherits the Gran Torino, gets a job as a construction worker, starts to date Youa complete American male identity Multicultural Society Hmong • first-generation immigrants (Phong and her daughter) keeping up their cultural traditions Thao and Sue • trying to assimilate, e.g. Sue dates Trey, a white teenager • protesting against their fathers' culture and terrorizing the neighborhood Gang rivalries Latinos live up to their own culture (e.g. music) have weapons insecure 16-year- old Hmong lacks a job, Ethnic groups live in parallel worlds -> gloomy picture of a segregated society Exception: multicultural mix at Dr. Chu's (Asian doctor, Muslim assistant, patients of various ethnic groups) "Thao is not a man" Whites • Walt Kowalski and a girlfriend African Americans live in their own run-down ghetto-like neighborhood probably have no job aim at sexually harassing Sue • Mitch, Steve and their families -> white flight to the rich residential districts of Detroit Despite its critical portrayal of multicultural society, Gran Torino has a positive message. If a racist like Walt Kowalski can change, there is hope for American society as well The Ambiguity of belonging Hmong tradition • educated by his "old-school" father to live according to Hmong values • wears his traditional costume at Walt's funeral • Hmong girlfriend female traits • female appearance • bossed around by his sister • does women's work (washing the dishes, gardening) • does not meet the expectations of being the man in the house • Walt calls him "pussy" for his passiveness. Highland Park used to be a white middle-class area • Walt is the only one who resisted white flight • feels like "the last survivor of an older generation of 'real Americans'. with 'decent' conservative values" (Ulmer, p. 52). Values alienated from his own materialist family, in particular his grandchildren • critical distance to the Church as an institution, e.g. he does not go to confession Symbols and Motifs Cultural belonging Mirror symbol of Walt's introspection, e.g. when he finds out that he has more in common with the Hmongs than with his own family Î Thao ↓ <-Neighborhood Walt -Values Lighter • symbol of Walt's Korean War experiences • constant reminder of his guilt -Family. American tradition usually follows young Americans' dress code (jeans, T-shirt) does not take part in the birth ceremony • wants to assimilate • gets a job in a male-dominated field (construction) house <-Gender role →→→ finally inherits a "muscle passiveness. car" Catholic church ● ● male traits finds a male role model in Walt • learns how to talk like a man nowadays a Hmong dominated community (in reality the racial makeup of Highland Park is more than 90% African American). is attracted by the Hm ng's upholding of their traditions The Gran Torino • The "muscle car" corresponds to Walt Kowalski's personality as it expresses his masculinity • It is a symbol for Walt being an "outdated model" in a fast-changing world has to recognize that he has more in common with his Hmong neighbors than with his own family • develops a close relationship with Father Janovich. • It represents conservative American values • It is a necessary part in Thao's process of becoming a man • The vintage car bridges the gap between Walt and Thao. It is a symbol of the family connection between them Gender stereotypes playing with the audience's conception of men and women Cross • lying on the ground with his arms spread out in the moment of death symbol of Walt's salvation Life and Death • The movie is framed by two funerals Life and death are often juxtaposed, e.g. Dorothy Kowalski's funeral and the Hmong birth ceremony; Walt's self-sacrifice allows Thao and Sue to live in peace • Father Janovich's favorite topic is "life and death." • Walt's excessive smoking and his coughing up blood foreshadow his own . death Walt killed at least 13 men in the Korean War, including an innocent teenager • The American Constitution warrants the right to bear arms • There is gang violence and a final shootout Cinemativ devices Camera Perspective • Point-of-view-shots support the idea that the story is narrated through Walt's perspective eyes; alternatively, the camera is placed behind the actors Angles Low and high-angle camera positions create the illusion of a hierarchy, in particular between Walt and Thao • in extreme situations these are used to express absolute dominance, e.g. when Walt scares away the Hmong gangbangers • African Americans seem more threatening when filmed from below • Camera position, on the other hand, equalizes the difference in height between Walt and Sue in order to show their similar status • Eye-level shots on Thao in the interview with Tim Kennedy indicate his recently acquired manhood Range • Close-ups in moments of emotional intensity, e.g. after Kor Khue's analysis of Walt's mind highlighting important details, e.g. the lighter long or establishing shots introducing new scenes or settings Hand-held camera • in moments of dramatic tension, usually with extreme short cuts Music The title song "Gran Torino" refers to main themes of the movie such as • not to know where one belongs to • loneliness • bitter experiences in life shattered dreams Drum sounds • reminder of Walt's Korean War experiences • used in scenes of violence or threats Cultural markers • Latinos listen to Spanish rap about war. Hmong gangbangers prefer Asian or English disharmonic music. Lighting often low-key lighting to express melancholy or depression • final scene (Thao driv ing along Jefferson Avenue / Lake Shore Drive) in bright daylight which corresponds to the positive message of Gran Torino Plot Scene 1. Dorothy Kowalski's funeral 0:00-3.44 2. After church 3:44-8:23 Scene 3. Family conflicts (8:23-12:40) 4. The Hmong gang (12:40-17:23) Content Int. Catholic Church Walt is introduced as an embittered old man with outdated attitudes. It is obvious that the relationship with his two sons is rather cold and distant. Walt's granddaughter Ashley is inappropriately dressed. Father Janovich, a very young and inexperienced priest, delivers an impersonal eulogy. Int. Walt's House (same day) After the funeral service, the house is crowded with people. Walt does not know what to do with himself. Int. Cellar/Upstairs (same time) While Walt's grandsons intrude into his privacy by skimming through boxes in which they find photos and a medal from the Korean War, his granddaughter Ashley is obviously bored. Ext. Walt's House (evening) Walt leaves the funeral feast together with Daisy, stands outside and watches a whole crowd of Hmong people going into his next-door neighbors' house. His rude remark about the great number of people clearly shows him as a racist. Int. Garage (same time) Walt finds Ashley secretly smoking a cigarette. She wants to know what's going to happen to Walt's beloved car, a 1972 Ford Gran Torino, when he dies. At Walt's Door (later) Thao, a sixteen-year-old Hmong boy, asks for jumper cables but the old man slams the door in Thao's face. Father Janovich drops by and tries to persuade Walt to come for confession, but Walt tells him that he would not go to confession to a "boy that's just out of the seminary." Content Ext. Walt's House (later) / Int. Toyota Land Cruiser (same time) While Walt is helping two old ladies from the funeral with jumper cables to start their car, Mitch and his family leave. Although they know that Walt has worked at the local Ford factory for his entire life, they are annoyed about his reaction to their Japanese car. Int. Hmong House Next Door (same time) Phong, an old widow, complains about the fact that in contrast to their traditional values there is no man heading their household. Thao does not count in this respect as he does women's work and obeys to his sister. Ext. Walt's/Thao's House Walt looks with disdain at the house next door which- in contrast to his own-is in a poor state of repair. He comments on the fact that the neighborhood used to be Polish but has changed into a Hmong community. Parallel to Walt's complaints, Phong talks disparagingly about Walt, the only white man left in the neighborhood. Both Phong and Walt spit out simultaneously. Int. Walt's House (day) Father Janovich pays a visit to Walt, who does not conceal his dislike for the priest. In his opinion Janovich is only good at promising eternity to superstitious old ladies. Ext. Street (day) Thao is mocked at by Latino gang members to be an Asian woman. When a gang of Hmong youngsters appear, both gangs pull out their shotguns, but the Latinos give in and drive away. Spider, one of the leaders of the Hmong gang- bangers, is Thao's cousin and wants him to join their gang.. Ext. Thao's House (day) Sue, Thao's sister, shows no fear in standing up to Spider and Smokie. But Thao is easily pressurized into becoming a gang member. As an initiation ritual, Thao has to steal Walt's Gran Torino. Scene 5. Life and death (17:23-20:04) 6. The initiation ritual fails 04-23:20) (20:04- 7. Hero to the neighborhood (23:20-27:37) Scene 8. Walt's bad conscience (27:37-30:23) 9. Walt saves Sue (30:23-34:48) 10. Content 11. Walt's birthday (38:48-41:57) At the Bar (evening) Walt drinks together with his war buddies. Father Janovich enters the bar and tries to persuade W Walt a tagain to go to confession. In their talk about life and death it becomes obvious that Walt still suffers from the "horrible things he did in the Korean War fifty years ago. Int. Walt's Bedroom/Garage (same night) Seeing a flashlight in his garage, Walt gets his military rifle. He does not recognize Thao. When Walt trips and falls to the ground, he accidentally fires a shot, but Thao escapes into the night. Int. Garage (afternoon) Mitch phones his father, hoping Walt might get him Lions. season tickets by calling a friend of his. Walt does not tell him about the night's incident. Ext. Walt's Driveway (afternoon) Walt polishes the Gran Torino which is parked in the drive- way. It is a provocative action, because he is daring the thief to come back. Ext. Walt's Street (later that night) Smokie, Spider and their gang pull up at Thao's house. When they force Thao into their car, Sue and other family members try to fight them off. As the fighting spills into Walt's yard, he deters the Hmong gangbangers with his military rifle. As a consequence, they hastily drive away. Ext. Walt's Front Porch (next morning) Walt is considered to be the savior of the neighborhood. His porch is covered with presents from the Hmong community. Disrespecting the Hmong's gratefulness, Walt dumps the gifts in the trash. Ext. Walt's House (day) Following his mother's wish, Thao admits that he tried to steal the Gran Torino, for which he apologizes to Walt Content Int. Walt's Entryway (later that day) Father Janovich is standing on Walt's front step inviting him again to confess his sins. Walt tells him that "the thing that haunts a man the most is what he isn't ordered to do." Int. Old School Barbershop The ironic, but rude and offensive language between the Italian barber and Walt establishes the fact that they are old friends. Int. Walt's Pickup Truck (driving) Foreshadowing Sue explains to Walt about Hmong culture, e.g. the different forthcoming perspectives of Hmong men and women: "The girls go to college, the boys go to jail." events (34:48-38:34) Ext. Sidewalk (same time) Sue and her white boyfriend Trey face serious trouble as they obviously infringed on African-American territory. Walt passes by in his pickup truck and saves Sue from harassment by a group of African-American gangbangers. Ext. Walt's Front Porch (early morning) It's Walt's birthday. His horoscope foreshadows the forth- coming events as it talks about making a choice between to life paths, second chances and an anticlimax. two i Int. Walt's Living Room (day) Ignoring Walt's physically and mentally sound condition, Mitch and Karen give him presents for people with restricted mobility to make things a lot easier and advise him to move to a nursing home. They are unceremoniously kicked out of Walt's he t's house. Ext. Walt's Porch (evening) Walt celebrates his birthday on his own by having lots of Pabst beer cans, when Sue invites him over to their barbecue next door. Scene 12. Self- recognition (41:57-46:43) 13. Mingling with the Hmong (46:43-51:42) 14 Thao's compensation (51:42-54:43) Scene 15. Shaping up the neighborhood (54:43-58:35) 16. Walt's fatal disease (58:35-1:01:44) 17. Helping each other (1:01:43-1:07:48) Content Int. Thao's House (same time) Phong's angry outburst at Walt's presence makes Sue and others embarrassed. Sue teaches Walt about Hmong traditions. Int. Living Room (same time) The family's shaman reads Walt's mind. He is stunned at the shaman's knowledge about him as the wise man gives a true portrayal of Walt's failed life. Int. Bathroom (same time) Walt takes a long look at himself in the mirror. The shaman's words have led to an act of self-recognition, visualized by the reflection of Walt's face in the mirror. Int. Kitchen (later) Walt enjoys tasting different Hmong dishes. Int. Basement (same time) The young Hmong have gathered in the basement. Sue takes Walt down there, and he seems to feel somewhat out of place. As he leans against the dryer, he realizes that the machine wobbles. So he looks under it to balance it out. Then he observes Youa fancying Thao, who sits passively in a corner. Walt begins to teach him how to act like a man, e.g. how to address women. Ext. Walt's Yard (day) Hmong women bring food and flower baskets. Walt is reluctant to accept the gifts but is more friendly than before. He starts to enjoy the Asian food. Ext. Walt's House (evening) Sue and her mother beg Walt to allow Thao to work off his debt in order to undo his dishonoring the family. It's obvious that it is not Thao's decision. Ext. Walt's Porch (next morning) Walt does not know what kind of jobs he should give Thao. The first tasks are absolutely senseless. Content Ext. Walt's House / Neighborhood (next few days) Seeing a very dilapidated house across the street, Walt makes Thao shaping up the neighborhood. Despite the hard work and miserable conditions, he finally rises up to the tasks presented to him and renovates various houses under Walt's close scrutiny. Int. Walt's Bathroom/Entryway (morning) Walt spits blood into the sink. When Thao is ringing the doorbell, he gives him a day off. Int. Doctor's Office (day) Walt wonders about the absence of his regular doctor who has obviously retired years ago. He feels uncomfortable with the new Asian female doctor. Int. Mitch's Living Room (later) Walt calls his son who is busy with bills. Although Walt is seriously ill, he does not tell his son. Ext. Thao's Front Yard (o Yard (day) When Spider and his gang pass the house, Walt points his hand like an imaginary gun at them. Int. Thao's Kitchen (morning) Thao asks Walt for help with the faucets in his house. Everything seems to be run-down and in need of repair. Int. Walt's Garage (a little later) Thao is impressed by all the tools. Their relation gets closer when he sees Walt coughing up blood again. Walt understands the circumstances of the initiation ritual. Int. Walt's Basement / Ext. Walt's Backyard (day) Walt can't get the freezer upstairs and asks Thao for help. Thao takes the lead. Walt then sells the freezer to him. Ext. Walt's Porch (day) Sue thanks Walt for being a role model for Thao. Scene 18. Manning vo Thao (1:07:48-1:13:19) 19. Getting a job (1:13:19-1:16:47) 20, THUỘC punishment (1:16:47-1:19:30) 21. Retaliation and joy (1:19:30-1:24:42) Scene 22. Escalating violence (1:24:42-1:25:34) 23. Walt's despair (1:25:34-1:29:39) 24. Preparations for his own death (1:29:39- 1:32:33) Content Ext. Walt's Backyard (day) Thao is busy dong yard work. Talking about Thao's future, Walt sees a necessity in manning him up. He suggests a job as a construction worker. Int. Old School Barbershop (day) Walt and his friend Martin try and teach Thao to talk like a man. Ext. Construction Site / Int. Job Trailer (day) Walt and Thao walk up to the Office Trailer on the construction site to see the super. With Walt's help, Thao gets a job. The teenager is good at applying his recently acquired male language and behavior. Int. Walt's Truck/Hardware Store (later) Walt equips Thao with a tool belt for which the Hmong boy shall pay him back after getting his first paycheck. Ext. Bus Stop (afternoon) Smokie presses a lit cigarette into Thao's cheek as a punishment for his disobedience. Ext. Walt's Alley (morning) Walt gets aware of Thao's burn. Although Thao does not want him to do anything, Walt's reaction shows that he is about to do something in retaliation for the gang's violent act. Ext. The Hmong Gangbangers' House (day) Walt kicks and beats Smokie hard, warning him to stay away from Thao. Ext. Walt's Backyard (day) Walt is enjoying himself with the Hmong neighbors, Thao has asked Youa out. Walt lets them take his Gran Torino for their date. Int. Walt's House (later) In an act of auto-aggression Walt hurts himself smashing several pieces of furniture. His knuckles are bleeding, and he is sitting in a chair alone in the dark. When Father Janovich drops by to talk to him, Walt expresses his view that there will be no peace for Thao and Sue until the gang has gone away forever. Content Int. Walt's Living Room (evening) Walt is watching baseball when he witnesses gunfire in the direction of Thao's house coming from a van in the street. Int. Walt's Kitchen (morning) Thao cannot wait to kill Spider and his gangbangers, but Walt calms him down and tells him to come back at 4 o'clock. Ext. Thao's House (same time) Thao suffers from a cut at his neck, but the Hmong gang- bangers deliberately aimed high with their guns so that nobody else is hurt; however, Sue is missing. When she returns home, she is heavily bleeding. Obviously, she has been brutally beaten and raped. Int. Walt's Bathroom Walt enjoys having a bath. He smokes a cigarette for the first time in the house. Scene 25. An alarming confession (1:32:33-1:34:38) Int. Barbershop Walt gets his hair cut. To the surprise of the barber he also wants to have a straight shave for the first time ever. 26. Locking up Theo (1:34:38-1:39:29) Int. Men's Clothing Store Walt has a new suit tailored. 27. Walt's death (1:39:29-1:41:47) Content Int. Catholic Church/Confessional Booth To Father Janovich's surprise, Walt wants to make a confession. However, he does not confess any severe sins, so the priest is alarmed about what he might do to the Hmong gang. Walt is finally at peace with himself. Int. Walt's Kitchen/Basement (3:51 p.m.) Walt tricks Thao into the basement and locks him up. He does not want the Hmong teenager to have blood on his hands. He confesses that he killed at least 13 Koreans, among them an innocent teenager of about Thao's age. Walt announces that he will "finish things" alone. Ext. Walt's House / Porch to Thao's House (same time) Despite animosities between Walt and Phong, the old man brings his dog Daisy to his neighbors' porch to make them look after her. Int. Bar (afternoon) Walt phones Sue, telling her to free her brother. Ext. The Gangbangers' House (afternoon) Father Janovich has called the police in order to prevent bloodshed. However, the police do not want to wait any longer as there is no evidence of any serious confrontation. Ext. The Gangbangers' House (evening) Walt provokes the Hmong gangbangers. When he tries to get out his lighter, he is shot by the nervous gang. While the Hmong gangbangers are arrested by the police, Thao and Sue arrive on the scene and are informed by an officer that Walt didn't even have a gun on him. Scene 28. Walt's funeral his last will (1:41:47-1:46:30) 29. A new beginning (1:46:30-1:51:42) Content Int. Catholic Church (day) Walt's funeral takes place. Walt is dressed in his new suit. Sue and Thao are there in their traditional clothes as well as Walt's own family. Father Janovich admits that he had not known anything about life and death before he met Walt. Int. Law Office (day) According to Walt's last will, the Gran Torino goes to Thao on the condition that he doesn't modify it. On the Road (day) Thao is driving along Jefferson Avenue / Lake Shore Drive in Walt's Gran Torino together with Daisy on the front- passenger seat. Plot Exposition • Introducing Walt Kowalski, his family, Father Janovich and the Hmong neighbors • The plot starts on the day of Dorothy Kowalski's funeral which sets the tone and atmosphere of the beginning • Walt Kowalski is introduced as a growling old man, unable to understand the changes around him and embittered by his loneliness. • The relation to his two sons Mitch and Steve is rather distanced • Walt's grandchildren are presented as disrespectful teenagers with regard to their clothing and behavior • Father Janovich, an inexperienced, young Catholic priest, delivers an impersonal eulogy. However, he is quite eager to fulfill his promise to Dorothy Kowalski to bring her husband to confession. • The neighboring Hmong family is introduced in a scene juxtaposed to Walt's funeral feast. In contrast to mourning the deceased, the Hmong celebrate the beginning of life of a new-born baby. • The 16-year-old Thao is portrayed as a shy young man who cannot live up to the role expectations of the future man in the house as he is ordered around by his sister, mother and grandmother. • Parallel to Walt's deeply rooted racial prejudices towards his neighbors, Phong, a widowed first-generation immigrant, cannot understand that Walt does not leave like all the other white Americans in the neighborhood Gang Pressure on Thao Temptation and resistance • Thao is molested by a Latino gang when his cousin Spider and the Hmong gang appear. Both gangs provoke each other, until the Latinos give in, when Smokie shows his machine gun. ● •Spider and Smokie want Thao to join their gang. While Sue stands up to the gangbangers, Thao is easily pressurized into becoming a member. •As an initiation ritual Thao should steal the Gran Torino but when Walt wakes up, gets his rifle to confront the thief in the garage, Thao runs away. • In a conversation with Father Janovich at the Veteran's bar, Walt reveals that he is still haunted by the "horrible things" he did in the Korean War. In a final attempt, the Hmong gangbangers try take Thao by force. In an act of self-defense Walt takes his military rifle from Korea and makes them flee Hero to the Neighborhood • Savior against his will • Walt's porch is covered with presents from the Hmong community. Disrespecting the Hmong's gratefulness, he dumps the gifts in the trash. • Thao admits having tried to steal the Gran Torino. • Walt suffers most from the deeds he was not ordered to do in Korea. • He saves Sue from harassment by a group of African Americans. • Sue teaches Walt about Hmong history and culture. In her view Hmong "girls go to college and the boys go to jail." Painful Self-Recognition • Walt's birthday • Walt's horoscope foreshadows the forthcoming events. • Mitch and his wife Karen are ignorant of the inappropriateness of their birthday presents. The Hmong shaman offers Walt some deep insight into himself. In an act of self-recognition, he realizes that he has got more in common with his Hmong neighbors than with his own family. • When he mingles with the young Hmong in the basement, he starts teaching Thao, e.g. how to address women Teaching Thao (How) to Become a Man Walt and Thao are becoming friends Thao has to work off his guilt to undo his dishonoring of the family. • Walt makes him shape up the whole neighborhood. It is the first time that the young Hmong teenager is able to rise to tasks presented to him. • Despite the doctor's (presumably) fatal diagnosis of lung cancer, Walt does not tell his son Mitch about it. •When Spider and his gang pass Thao's house, Walt points his hand like an imaginary gun at them. He and Thao help each other (faucets, freezer). • Sue thanks Walt that he has become a role model for her brother. • Walt und Martin try to teach Thao about how men talk to each other. . With the old man's help, Thao gets a job in construction Escalating Violence Retaliation and despair • The Hmong gang waylays Thao to avenge his resistance against them. Smokie presses a lit cigarette into Thao's cheek. • When Walt notices the burn, he beats up the gangbanger, warning him to leave Thao alone In retaliation for this, the Hmong gang fires several shots in the direction of Thao's house. • Sue is brutally beaten and raped. • For obvious reasons, Walt feels guilty for the escalation • In a conversation with Father Janovich he expresses his view that there will be no peace for Thao and Sue until the gang has gone away forever Walt's Death • Preparations for an anticlimax • Thao cannot wait to avenge his sister's suffering, but Walt tells him to come back at 4 p.m. • The old veteran prepares for his own death by e.g. having a haircut, a straight shave and a fitted suit for his funeral. • Walt locks up Thao to prevent him from becoming a murderer • He makes two confessions: He tells the Hmong teenager that he was awarded with a Silver Star medal, although he killed an innocent Korean boy. His formal confession to Father Janovich gives the priest a hint of what might happen within the next few hours. Therefore he calls the police. • Walt provokes the Hmong gangbangers in front of their house. When he tries to get out his lighter, the gang shoots him down, as expected. For Walt, his death is a redemption of all the evil in his life. He didn't' even have a gun on him. • The gangbangers are arrested. As a lot of people witnessed their shooting an unarmed man, they will be imprisoned for the rest of their lives. Thao inherits the Gran Torino