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Dirty Harry

By Jim Emerson

Whether or not you can sympathize with its fascistic/vigilante approach to law enforcement, Dirty Harry (directed by star Clint Eastwood's longtime friend and directorial mentor, Don Siegel) is one hell of a cop thriller. The movie makes evocative use of its San Francisco locations as cop Harry Callahan (Eastwood) tracks the elusive "Scorpio killer" who has been terrorizing the city by the Bay. As the psychopath's trail grows hotter, Harry becomes increasingly impatient and intolerant of the frustrating obstacles (departmental red tape, individuals' civil rights) that he feels are keeping him from doing his job. A characteristically taut and tense piece of filmmaking from Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Shootist, Escape from Alcatraz), it also remains a fascinating slice of American pop culture. It was a big hit (followed by four sequels) that obviously reflected--or exploited--the almost obsessive or paranoid fears and frustrations many Americans felt about crime in the streets. At a time when "law and order" was a familiar slogan for political candidates, Harry Callahan may have represented neither, but from his point of view his job was simple: stop criminals. To him that end justified any means he deemed necessary. The digital video disc preserves the film's anamorphic widescreen format.

Share Your Memories!

Is Dirty Harry one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I saw Dirty Harry at the Garland Theatre in Spokane, Washington. It was part of a double feature with Magnum Force in the spring of 1975 and the tag line for the re-release was "Double Action/Double Trouble!" Four hours of what Judith Crist referred to as "gut-bashing, brain-splattering cop movies." Oh, well, there's no accounting for taste, Judy!"

--Anonymous

"Clint Eastwood is in my opinion the most under rated actor ever on screen. Clint Eastwood exemplies the american male or at least what most would like to be. I have been waiting for someone to follow in his foot steps, but I know it ain't going happen. Clint is the last of a dying breed of male actors that America will never see again."

--Anonymous

"To me this was the best movies ever made; and I only wish someone would re-run them again; or even make new and better ones."

--Peabroch

"If you pay close attention to the scene where Callahan has his .44 pointed at the bank robber he had just shot, you will notice he cocks back the hammer of the .44 while asking do you feel lucky. He begins to walk away and the robber says "I gots to know". Callahan turns back raising his .44 and pulls the trigger in a full double action pull, whereas in the previous scene the gun was cocked back in a single action mode. It is possible he may have decocked his gun but it did not appear that way in the scene. I'm sure I'm not the only one to have noticed this. Appreciate any responses."

--Anonymous

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Don Siegel

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Andrew Robinson

Released: December 23, 1971

Availability: DVD VHS


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