Clint Eastwood

The Netflix R-Rated Dark Western Turns A Hero Into A Monster

Although they’re known for creating some incredible original content, Netflix wouldn’t be the gargantuan streaming platform that it is without nabbing the rights to titles from other studios.

Blending the new with the old, there’s something to like for every age of viewer. This can definitely be said for fans of Clint Eastwood as the legendary actor’s 1973 Western flick, High Plains Drifter, is now available to watch at home.

High Plains Drifter

clint eastwood

High Plains Drifter is one of many movies that Clint Eastwood has both starred in and directed, marking his second time behind the camera following 1971’s Play Misty for Me.

Eastwood’s name is synonymous with the Western genre, making it no surprise that he would lean fully into the vibe for his sophomore title.

Clint Eastwood Is The Stranger

In High Plains Drifter, Eastwood stars as a character known as The Stranger – a mysterious wandering man who goes from town to town, showing off his skills with a gun.

After arriving in a tiny town called Lago, The Stranger finds himself pushed to the edge of society, with the locals not really knowing what to make of him – that is, until they discover his shooting abilities.

With a group of criminals harassing the townsfolk, they ask The Stranger to step in and help get rid of the bandits, something he obliges to, holding some secrets of his own.

Clint Eastwood Wasn’t Alone

high plains drifter

Joining Clint Eastwood in the creation of High Plains Drifter was scribe Ernest Tidyman.

Known for his work behind other classic films of the time including John D.F. Black’s Shaft and William Friedkin’s noir action thriller The French Connection, Tidyman approached the Western’s screenplay with a bit of true crime history.

Getting High Plains Drifter Made

high plains drifter

With the perfect screenplay and famous actors of the day signed on, the next step in getting High Plains Drifter up and running was bargaining with Universal Pictures to move production from their back lot to the beauty of nature.

A tall order for some, it was no sweat for Clint Eastwood to do so, choosing the area of Mono Lake (a saline lake just east of Yosemite National Park) for the perfect spot of his Western tale.

With that, a group of workers managed to build 14 houses, a church, and a two-story hotel in just under three weeks, allowing filming to begin on the double.

Box Office Reception

high plains drifter

As for the film’s box office run, High Plains Drifter earned $15.7 million against its $5.5 million budget, marking it a financial success.

The title also performed well with audiences and critics, marking yet another milestone in Clint Eastwood’s burgeoning directorial career, something he’s just now preparing to retire from with his upcoming film, Juror No. 2.

High Plains Drifter On Netflix

high plains drifter

Once you’re finished streaming High Plains Drifter, you can keep your Clint Eastwood movie-a-thon going with a handful of other titles now available on Netflix.

Included in the lineup for your ultimate action-packed night in are In the Line of FireThe Mule, and Joe Kidd. Happy watching!

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