"I love France. I love movies, and I love the appreciation that the French people have for movies," the BBC quoted the 79-year-old Hollywood icon as saying as he accepted the recognition of merit, which was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.
"As a commander of the arts and letters, I think I will go out on the streets of France today and throw my weight around," Eastwood added.
The veteran actor starred in the "Dirty Harry" action flicks, then went on to direct the celebrated films "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," "Mystic River," "Million Dollar Baby," "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Gran Torino." His movie "Invictus" is slated for theatrical release next month.