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DIRTY HARRY (1972)
Director Don Siegel's DIRITY HARRY, is a classic, slambang action thriller, on of the films that helped make Clint Eastwood a huge star in the 70s.
Harry Callahan quote...
This basic good against evil story pits Eastwood, as a politically uncorrect San Francisco undercover homicide cop, Harry Calahan, and his partner, Chico (Rene Santoni) against tough criminals and a lenient justice sytem. When a crazed serial Scorpio killer terrorizes the people of San Francisco, by killing people with his high-powered sniper rifle, as he tries to extort money from the city, Clint is determined to bring him down, whatever it takes, by illegal or legal means.
This action-packed classic screenplay was written by the talented Dean Riesner, who also wrote "The Enforcer," "The Fighting 69th," and "Play Misty for Me."
The fabulous direction was provided by experienced action film director, Don Siegel, who also directed such classics as "Telefon," "Escape From Alcatraz," "Two Mules for Sister Sara," "Beguiled," and Charley Varrick."
The cast assembled did a great job bringing this dark story to life. Numerous stars of the day were offered the "Dirty Harry" script, including Spencer Tracy, Steve McQueen, and Frank Sinatra, who turned it down for being "too violent." The script eventually got to Clint, and the rest, as they say, is movie history. Clint Eastwood got out of the saddle, and onto the mean streets of San Francisco, portraying a tough, fair, sometimes "dirty" cop that always got the job done.
This is the film where Harry first gave a cornered bank robber his convincing speech, about his .44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, ending up with the classic line, "...so the only question is do you feel lucky? Well, do you punk?" As the bank robber eyes his own gun lying just out of reach, he has to decide whether Harry is out of bullets or not, and if he could get his gun before Harry shoots him, if Harry does have bullets left. Lucky for Harry, the guy chickens out as Harry was out of bullets and bluffing!!
John Vernon is appropriately oily as the Mayor of San Francisco, he was later seen to good effect in "Animal House."
Andy Robinson gives an unforgettable performance as the crazed Scorpio killer, that matches wits with Callahan. His crazed, evil behavior has the audience rooting for Callahan to give this creep his just desserts.
My favorite scene with Eastman and Robinson takes place late in the film. As killer Robinson drives a school bus of kidnapped kids, he spots someone on the freeway overpass: its Harry, cool shades on, big gun in hand. As the bus passes beneath, Harry leaps down onto the bus's roof, the killer shooting up at Harry through the roof. Its a classic confrontation between good and evil, delivered with snap, crackle and pop.
Because of the violence, this action yarn cop classic is rated R for good reason. It is definitely for the over 17 crowd, who enjoy the action genre.
If you liked DIRTY HARRY you may enjoy IN THE LINE OF FIRE, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, SPEED, MAGNUM FORCE, THE ENFORCER, THE FRENCH CONNECTION, LEATHAL WEAPON 4, SHAFT, PULP FICTION, and THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN.