Clint Eastwood is one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation, and returns to the director's chair this week with Jersey Boys.

Jersey Boys is based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, and follows the rise and success of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

To celebrate the release of the film - which sees Eastwood tackle the musical genre for the first time - we take a look at some of his best directorial work.

- Unforgiven (1992)

Eastwood made a name for himself in the Western genre as an actor, and that really continued for him as a filmmaker. Unforgiven is just one film in this genre that we are going to be talking about.

It was back in 1992 when this film hit the big screen, and it is just as fantastic over twenty years later.

At the time that the movie was released, Unforgiven really did breathe new life into this tired genre, and it remains one of the greatest Westerns of all time.

The movie follows retired Old West gunslinger William Munny who reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Unforgiven really is a terrific character study that looks at the kind of man you need to be to exist and survive in this society.

In a way, Eastwood ditches all of the stereotypes that gone with characters in this genre, and really gets under the skin of this central character: he really is on top form as Bill Munny.

Unforgiven was met with acclaim when it was released, as critics fell over themselves to heap praise on the film.

It went on to be nominated for nine Oscars: including a Best Actor & Best Director nod for Eastwood. He would win Best Director as well as Best Picture.

- The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

Eastwood returned to the director's chair in 1976 for The Outlaw Josey Wales, which was based on the book The Revel Outlaw: Josey Wales by Forrest Carter.

Eastwood took on the title role as well as being in the director's chair, for what was his fifth film at the helm.

The movie followed Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

The Outlaw Josey Wales really is an epic tale of redemption, as well as being an incredibly intelligent and thoughtful picture.

This movie is not just the journey about one man, but also of a scarred and divided country. This film is very much about healing the divides in the country, and everyone accepting that change in inevitable.

Mixed in with that, comes some terrific shootouts as well as plenty of humour: it really is an action packed watch.

Much like Unforgiven did nearly twenty years later; The Outlaw Josey Wales really did set the benchmark for all Westerns that were to follows.

This movie is widely regarded not only as one of Eastwood's best films as a director, but also one of the best Westerns of all time.

- Mystic River (2003)

Of all of Eastwood's movies as director, I have to say, Mystic River remains my favourite.

Mystic River was an adaptation of the novel by Dennis Lehane, and sees Sean Penn, Tom Robbins, and Kevin Bacon all star.

The movie follows three childhood friends who are reunited when one loses a daughter because of murder.

Mystic River is one of Eastwood's darkest movies, that is driven by a series of terrific central performances.

Penn and Robbins are the two truly stand out turns in the film as a man grieving for the loss of this daughter, and the other haunted by his abusive past.

This movie explores the themes of evil, and how a person can be driven to evil themselves as a way to combat that. No character embodies that more than Penn's.

Penn would go on to win the Best Actor Oscar, while Robbins scooped Best Supporting Actor for his work. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.

Mystic River may have celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, but it remains one of the best crime/dramas of recent years.

- Pale Rider (1985)

Eastwood had already enjoyed huge success in the Western genre as a filmmaker, but in 1985, he returned to it with Pale Rider.

Eastwood starred as well as directed the film, which followed a mysterious preacher protects a humble prospector village from a greedy mining company trying to encroach on their land.

This is another of Eastwood's films that is beautifully crafted; it is as if Eastwood really wanted to show off just how great a genre of film the Western is.

As well as developing interesting characters, this script also takes into consideration the historical period in which the time is set.

The writers & Eastwood also interweave some great religious themes, which do make Pale Rider a very interesting watch.

Pale Ride is perhaps one of Eastwood's more under-rated movies, but it really is a terrific piece of filmmaking.

When Pale Rider was released, it went on become the highest grossing Western film of the decade.

Other highlights of Eastwood's directing career include Million Dollar Baby, Bird, Play Misty For Me, & Flags of Our Fathers/Letters From Iwo Jima

Jersey Boys is released 20th June.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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