Josey Wales (Eastwood) has lost everything because life in the frontier sucks, so he goes to war. When his side loses because slavery is evil, the company he's with surrenders. After all of them but one are murdered, Josey goes on the run as the last Confederate. Chased by a sadistic Union commander and his old leader as well as bounty hunters, Josey outwits everyone and it's a western.
Eastwood cemented his hold as the classic anti-cowboy with this movie. This was his baby, from what I hear his favorite of his westerns. It's an unflinching look at the old west as it started with enough hope and honor that it doesn't stray into dark territory like we saw with the Wild Bunch. If John Wayne thought that movie killed the cowboy image, he saw it buried deep with Eastwood's gritty characters.
There's plenty of classic scenes here. The raft across the river, the "dying ain't much of a living" scene, and a bucket more make this a must see for anyone who like watching dudes with six guns on horses.