Back in 1973, then 43 year old actor Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) was best known for tough guy roles in such films as Dirty Harry and Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy. He had branched out in directing two years previously with the thriller Play Misty For Me, which he followed with the western High Plains Drifter. Immediately afterwards, he made his first movie in which he didn’t star, a little romantic drama that Eastwood claims to this day is his favorite directed film, the forgotten classic Breezy.
Breezy is a pretty teenage hippy girl, who is very talkative and has a big heart. One day, while looking for a ride, she stumbles upon Frank, a dry, middle-aged real estate agent, and basically forces herself into his life. Slowly, through several subsequent encounters, an unconventional yet beautiful love story is formed.
Breezy reunited Eastwood with his Play Misty For Me screenwriter Jo Heims, and stars the late great William Holden (The Bridge On The River Kwai) and relative newcomer Kay Lenz (House). Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd in Star Trek: The Original Series) and Marj Dusay (MacArthur) play supporting roles while Clint himself appears in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. Review and excerpt after the jump.
Sorry about the excerpt’s poor picture quality, and the fact that it’s subtitled in French. It doesn’t really represent the film well at all but it’s the only video I could find along with this one which you can view on The Movie Planet’s YouTube Channel.
It’s easy to see why Breezy is Eastwood’s favorite, as the film is possibly is most touching and personal. William Holden and Kay Lenz are virtually alone throughout most of the film, and both actors are spot on, have great chemistry and deliver some of the best performances of their respective careers. Meanwhile, Eastwood’s direction is pretty much perfect, creating a feeling close proximity between the viewer and the characters.
I really don’t have much to say, and have nothing but praise for this movie. The film’s score, by French composer Michel Legrand (Never Say Never Again) is quite beautiful, soft and understated, and the film’s theme song is surprisingly touching and memorable. Jo Heims’ script is intelligent, witty, and touching. Basically, Breezy is an absolute must watch and perhaps truly Eastwood’s best film. At very least it is one of the very best, alongside his many other masterpieces.
Breezy was a big financial failure upon its release, and despite recognition from the Golden Globes with three nominations, it remains one of Clint Eastwood’s least known films. Often overlooked and forgotten, Breezy was only released on home video in 2004, in a criminally barebones DVD release. It might not be the easiest film to find, but it’s well worth the effort. You should definitely seek out this movie and buy it, you won’t regret it.