Dirty Harry


(DutchEngstrom) #1

Scorpio(a character loosely based on San Francisco’s Zodiac killer) terrorizes the city with random sniper attacks. The mayor recruits the help of the police department’s loosest cannon, Dirty Harry Callahan, in Don Siegel’s urban-noir classic. A great cast including Rene Santoni, Andy Robinson, Harry Guardino, John Vernon and John Mitchum round out the film. Composer Lalo Shifrin gives one of his best urban-Jazz influenced scores. I know what your thinking, did he fire six shots, or only five…


(ENNIOO) #2

Magnum Force I think is the best sequel to Dirty Harry, and is quite brutal in bits.

Lalo Schifrin’s score is more laid back on the whole in Magnum Force.


(DutchEngstrom) #3

[quote=“ENNIOO, post:2, topic:647”]Magnum Force I think is the best sequel to Dirty Harry, and is quite brutal in bits.

Lalo Schifrin’s score is more laid back on the whole in Magnum Force.[/quote]I have to agree. I started tuning out of the series around Sudden Impact. It had gotten pedestrian by then. But Magnum had a great premise, and a lot of good supporting players. It remained truest to the original, and Ted Post was a good faux- Siegel director. Dead Pool was the worst for me. I’ve seen it a couple times now, and I still don’t remember it.


(ENNIOO) #4

Yes, Ted Post did a good job on Magnum Force.

And The Dead Pool is pretty poor, especially when compaired to the other films in the series.
Buddy Van Horn is a standard director, and was responsible for one of the few Clint Eastwood films that did not get a mainstream cinema release here in the U.K… Pink Cadillac.


(The Swede) #5

Magnum Force rules. Screenplay by Michael Cimino and John Milius = awesome.


(alk0) #6

Magnum Force is based on an very interesting idea also - Dirty Harry fights the guys who do basically the same thing he does [in more violent and illegal way but you know what i mean]


(DutchEngstrom) #7

[quote=“alk0, post:6, topic:647”]Magnum Force is based on an very interesting idea also - Dirty Harry fights the guys who do basically the same thing he does [in more violent and illegal way but you know what i mean][/quote]This movie was the turning point for the Callahan character. After this, he started to become the kinder, gentler not-so-Dirty Harry. More feminist themes started infiltrating the plots, and Harry was no longer on the side of the extreme right. By Dead Pool, the character had little to do with the original, other than the name.


(Cian) #8

Dirty Harry, or rather the script writers, gradualy become victims of political correctness as the series of films develop.


(DutchEngstrom) #9

[quote=“Cian, post:8, topic:647”]Dirty Harry, or rather the script writers, gradualy become victims of political correctness as the series of films develop.[/quote]Clint, by that time, was in complete control of his films and I think he was re-thinking his stance on his over-all world view. All of his films after Magnum were infused with more complex(and for me, irritating) issues. Magnum is where he finally parted with the pure action movie. Something his competitor, Charles Bronson, never did. As a result, Bronson never achieved the successes of Eastwood.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #10

Clint Eastwood is my favourite actor, Dirty Harry and Magnum force are definately the best two, and they both have awesome Schifrin scores


(DutchEngstrom) #11

[quote=“Yodlaf Peterson, post:10, topic:647”]Clint Eastwood is my favourite actor, Dirty Harry and Magnum force are definately the best two, and they both have awesome Schifrin scores[/quote]You belong to any of his sites?


(Yodlaf Peterson) #12

Didn’t know there was any, do you have any reccomendations?


(DutchEngstrom) #13

The main one I know of is Clint Eastwood Forum, which I think is affiliated with FistfulofLeone. Lot’s 'o women on it, and it is pretty staid. And Eastwood is the only subject, don’t think of talking about anything else.


(scherpschutter) #14

http://imageshack.us MAGNUM FORCE (1973, Ted Post)

The first Dirty Harry sequel, and more or less a comment on it. The villains, a group of rookie vigilante cops, are doing what Harry was doing in the first film himself: they refuse to play it by the rules when disposing of the scum of society that threatens to circumvent the law. Only they do it in a more crude, criminal way.

It takes some time to get going (there’s a very silly scene set at an airport, echoing a much better scene from the first film), but once it does, it passes the time quickly. Clint and his Magnum are a good couple and it was also a good idea to cast a ‘softy’ like David Soul as the most dangerous of the vigilante cops. A shooting contest, involving him and Eastwood, is about the best part of the picture. Somehow they manage to transmit the feeling that they are two ice-cold sharpshooters who’ll face each other in a deadly duel near the end. Ironically, we won’t have this duel, or better: the duel we get is not what we were hoping for. It’s not the only drawback of a film that is – as said – quite enjoyable, but fails to be anything more than that.

The first film was marked by a nervous kind of tension, giving viewers the impression that they were personally menaced by the maniac Dirty Harry was after. Dirty Harry confronted us with some of our own darker sides: deep down we’re all a bit dirty, deep down we all want to do it to them before they do it to us. We sympathized wholeheartedly with Dirty Harry, and somehow this was an uncomfortable feeling. The problem with Magnum Force is that it’s nearly completely uninvolving. We never get the feeling Harry is tempted to join this bunch of vigilantes, if only because the aim of the entire film seems to be to soften his character a little. In this aspect it would’ve been nice if a bit more had been done with Mitchell Ryan character of Harry’s colleague with psychological problems. It’s clear that the rookie vigilantes must have a mentor, and it would have complicated things if this mentor were a friend of Harry ‘s (in one scene he even hints at the possibility Ryan is the person they’re looking for), but the script opts for another solution (one that doesn’t really pay off). The script was written by John Milius and Michael Cimino, two guys not known for their subtlety. On the contrary, their names are usually identified with a certain rudeness & crudeness, and in this aspect, they certainly do deliver. But that was what we were hoping for, of course.


(ENNIOO) #15

Dirty Harry was controversial upon release with Harry taking the law into his own hands and of course used violence to do so. I think this is why in the second film the filmakers wanted to soften the character a little, and of course you have the twist of a bunch of cops who are more brutal than Harry. I think there is some brutal violence in Magnum Force mainly from the rogue cops. Many Italian cop films copied alot from the episodic plot of Magnum Force.


(Silvanito) #16

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:14, topic:647”]http://imageshack.us MAGNUM FORCE (1973, Ted Post)

The script was written by John Milius and Michael Cimino, two guys not known for their subtlety. On the contrary, their names are usually identified with a certain rudeness & crudeness, and in this aspect, they certainly do deliver. But that was what we were hoping for, of course.[/quote]

John Milius was involved in the first Dirty Harry movie aswell, I think he wrote some of the script, at least he did the “Do you feel lucky, punk” speech, delivered by Harry Callahan.

The first one is the only truly good one and is a classic, probably Eastwood’s most important American movie.

Eastwood’s career from the 70s and onwards was rather odd, he did movies of all sorts, most of them pretty bad to be honest.

What do you others think?


(Yodlaf Peterson) #17

[quote=“Lindberg, post:16, topic:647”]Eastwood’s career from the 70s and onwards was rather odd, he did movies of all sorts, most of them pretty bad to be honest.

What do you others think?[/quote]
Eastwood is my favourite actor of all time, apart from the spaghetti’s i’d say the 70’s was his best era, the first 3 (and best) Dirty Harry films, The Gauntlet, Outlaw Josey Wales, High plains drifter… the list could go on.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #18

Dirty Harry was the first Eastwood movie I ever saw. Andy Robinson should’ve gotten an Oscar. I like the Enforcer as well even though I’m not a fan of Tyne Daly.

Eastwood has made some of my favorite American westerns such as Josey Wales, Unforgiven, High plains drifter and Pale Rider.

Interestingly enough I also though Eastwood made some of my least favorite AMerican westerns. I thought Hang em High and Joe Kidd were just horrible. A slight notch above Fidani.


(Phil H) #19

[quote=“Lindberg, post:16, topic:647”]Eastwood’s career from the 70s and onwards was rather odd, he did movies of all sorts, most of them pretty bad to be honest.

What do you others think?[/quote]

Those ‘Every Which Way’ films and Pink Cadillac were awful but he still made some great stuff too.


(lordradish) #20

Ah… my kinda thread. I think the original DH was an incredible piece of American cinema, on so many levels. It most certainly can be seen as a right-wing reactionary film (which I think Bronson’s Death WIsh was even moreso), but overall aside from that, an excellent score, topnotch acting and story, and basically the creation of a genre make this film one of my top 10’s ever. I’m about as liberal as you can get in America, and I still love that movie. I think they got progressively worse and the series went on, the Enforcer seems incredibly dated with its hippie terrorists that look like they coulda come out of the 1979 movie “Hair”. Sudden Impact had a few good moments ut kind of sinks into parody, and the Dead Pool was a cringe-inducing piece of shit.

Eastwood’s one of my favorite actors, and like other modern greats (like DeNiro and Pacino), they have their masterpieces and they have their shit. I remember an interview I read or saw with Eastwood where he explained that he would do those commercial films so he could make the money to make his more serious ones. I can’t wait to see Eastwood’s new one, Gran Torino.

Bit of trivia… Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra (!) were both considered for the role. In fact, here’s a trade ad that appeared in the Nov. 9, 1970 issue of Boxoffice magazine, promoting the then-‘In Production’ Warner Bros. release Dirty Harry, and offers a rare glimpse of Sinatra’s Harry Callahan. Note that at this stage, Irvin Kershner was still set to direct:

I guess the downside to Dirty Harry is that we had to endure a ton of shitty cop films in the 80’s.