'Big .45 calibre fruit! Macho mentality!' - Eastwood under siege as Sondra Locke leads the assault on his monolithic image. As much comedy as action picture, The Gauntlet mines the vein of humour discovered in The Outlaw Josey Wales: again most of the laughs are at Eastwood's expense. In his most mellow cop role yet, he plays a long-suffering, rather dumb officer who extradites a smart, fast-talking hooker, but ends up hiking her cross country, pursued by mob and cops alike (more identical than alike). The well paced script is an effective mixture of worldliness and naïveté: despite the couple's graphic sparring scenes, in which Eastwood more than meets his match, their relationship remains curiously innocent; a kind of fugitive romanticism pervades. A major source of amusement is watching Eastwood the director leaving Eastwood the actor barely in control throughout. Eastwood's Annie Hall?