One Of Clint Eastwood’s Biggest Movies Is Streaming For Free
The 1985 Clint Eastwood Western Pale Rider is currently streaming for free (with ads) on Tubi.
Clint Eastwood is one of the great living movie stars, an actor, director, producer, musician, and ice cream aficionado whose work spans decades of Hollywood history. While many actors might be content with one iconic role that influences cinema forever, Clint Eastwood has Dirty Harry Callahan, the Man with No Name, and that guy who hung out with an orangutang in Every Which Way but Loose. Pale Rider, one of Clint Eastwood’s best films and the highest-grossing Western of the 1980s, is currently streaming for free on Tubi.
Pale Rider stars Clint Eastwood in a very familiar role to his audiences: a rough, taciturn man with a talent for violence and no given name. This time, Clint Eastwood is simply called “The Preacher,” just one of a number of cryptic Biblical references that suffuse this stark and grim movie. True to the stripped-down and efficient storytelling that would come to be his trademark, there is never any definitive explanation of the man’s origin or story, merely that he wears a clerical collar (hence the name) and that he has six unexplained bullet scars on his back.
The actual plot of Pale Rider could also be that of a much more optimistic movie: a tiny mining community in the Old West of California is being threatened by a robber baron (Richard Dysart of The Thing), who is intimidating independent miners out of the area through fear and violence. But when a gang of his thugs kills a teenage girl’s (Sydney Penny) dog, she prays for a miracle to save their community. However, if God sends an angel in this movie, it is the Angel of Death.
It is hinted that Clint Eastwood might in fact be some kind of otherworldly being, though the movie shows no overt signs of the supernatural otherwise. At times, he seems superhumanly strong, able to break an immense boulder with one strike of a sledgehammer, yet his wounds also make it seem that he might just be a man. Eventually, the robber baron brings in a corrupt Marshal (John Russell, a veteran of Western television and films) and his deputies to rid him of this troublesome Preacher.
However, Pale Rider never makes anything exactly clear: Clint Eastwood could be a vengeful spirit sent by God to protect the innocent or he could be a man with a clear sense of morality and good aim with a gun. What is more certain is the stark simplicity of its violence; when Clint Eastwood fights veteran movie heavy Richard Kiel (Jaws of James Bond fame), it is no drawn-out, cinematic battle. Eastwood simply and brutally hits him in the crotch with a hammer and the fight is done.
Clint Eastwood both directed and starred in Pale Rider, continuing his journey from 1960s B-movie star to a four-time Academy Award winner. It is one of his most stark and simple movies, but all the better for having absolutely no fat on its bone. And fortunately, you can watch it for free right now.