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The Gauntlet is a 1977 action film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. The film also stars Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, and longtime personal friend Mara Corday who would appear with Eastwood in another three films.

The film was given a loose remake treatment in the Bruce Willis film 16 Blocks, with both films being about an alcoholic detective protecting a loud-mouthed witness from corrupt police officers, and both films ending with the protagonists driving an inter-city bus through a gauntlet of police officers.


Ben Shockley (Clint Eastwood), a cop from Phoenix, is well on his way to becoming a down-and-out when he is given the task to escort witness Gus Mally (Sondra Locke) from Las Vegasmarker. Mally protests that they are both set to be killed in a hit, which a jaded Shockley doubts. Mally soon reveals herself to be a belligerent prostitute with mob ties and is in possession of incriminating information concerning a high figure in society. Her suspicions are confirmed when the transport vehicle is bombed and Mally's house is fired upon. Shockley and Mally are then pursued across the open country with no official assistance and with the police force regarding them as fugitives.


Steve McQueen and Barbra Streisand were originally cast; however, in-fighting between the two forced McQueen to drop out of the project. Eastwood took over production, later replacing Streisand with Sondra Locke, as well as using his own production crew.


Frank Frazetta painted the super-stylized promotional billboard poster for the film.


References to political corruption and organized crime were depicted in the film. Although a moderate hit with the viewing public, critics were mixed about the film. Eastwood's long time nemesis Pauline Kael called it "a tale varnished with foul language and garnished with violence". Roger Ebert, on the other hand, gave it three stars and called it "...classic Clint Eastwood: fast, furious, and funny." The Gauntlet is currently rated 83% ("fresh") on movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

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