Clint Eastwood's acting swan song 'Gran Torino' shocked audiences with its hard-line depiction of a man rebelling against the changing times.

In 'Torino,' Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran. He struggles to come to terms with his changing neighborhood -- which is becoming occupied by predominantly Asian immigrants. Eventually, he befriends two young Hmong teenagers -- Thao and Sue -- who are terrorized by a local gang that controls the neighborhood.

Walt decides to stand up to the gang and restore an old way of order to his community, taking the gang head on. With the film's approach to racial tension and violence, shooting on location in the actual neighborhoods of low-income Michigan cities gives the film a more direct message. One of the most notable locations in the movie is Walt's home, which is an actual residence located in Detroit's neighboring city of Highland Park.

Clint Eastwood's acting swan song 'Gran Torino' shocked audiences with its hard-line depiction of a man rebelling against the changing times.

In 'Torino,' Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran. He struggles to come to terms with his changing neighborhood, which is becoming occupied by predominantly Asian immigrants. Eventually, he befriends two young Hmong teenagers -- Thao and Sue -- who are terrorized by a local gang that controls the neighborhood.

Walt decides to stand up to the gang and restore an old way of order to his community, taking the gang head on. With the film's approach to racial tension and violence, shooting on location in the actual neighborhoods of low-income Michigan cities gives the film a more direct message. One of the most notable locations in the movie is Walt's home, which is an actual residence located in Detroit's neighboring city of Highland Park.

Location as Character: After Walt loses his wife, he resides in his home, like it's the last vestige to a former life. His relationship with his sons has deteriorated, and his only companion is his dog, Daisy. From his home, he watches his community change with the times and represent something completely new, whether he likes it or not. In the garage, he keeps his most prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.

Historical Significance: 'Gran Torino' was one of the first films to take advantage of new tax breaks in the state of Michigan designed to encourage film productions. In addition, Detroit has a sizable authentic Hmong population that gave the film an added authenticity. The character of Walt is a retired car plant worker, and setting the film in the economically challenged auto cities of Michigan offers another commentary on the state of affairs in small neighborhoods.

Directions: The house is located 238 Rhode Island Street, in Highland Park, MI. To reach the house from I-75 South, take exit 56B for M-8 West towards the Davison Freeway. Stay right at the fork, following signs for Oakland Ave./Woodward Ave. Turn left at Oakland Street, then right onto Rhode Island. Walt's residence is located on the left.

Visitor Info: As it is a private residence, no tours of the inside of the house are available. However, you are free to walk by and snap a picture. Just make sure to stay off the lawn.
CATEGORIES On the Scene