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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 35.29%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 2.35%
Total Crap: 0%

4 reviews, 61 user ratings

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Dirty Harry
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by Chris Parry

"Piss and vinegar and guns and psychopaths and Dirty Harry."
4 stars

“I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya… PUNK?”

If you’ve seen a movie in the last forty years, you’ve undoubtedly heard those lines before. The reason is that the movie they came from, Dirty Harry not only launched the already strong career of Clint Eastwood into the stratosphere, but it also scored humungous box office and saw the rise of one of moviedom’s finest and ickiest psychopaths – Scorpio.

Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is a San Francisco cop who does things the easy way – she shoots first and asks questions… well, never. So when a sniper starts killing random people around SF, Harry is called in to eliminate the threat, but the killer isn’t an easy catch, especially when the DA is more worried about due process than saving lives.

Like any film from the early 70’s, Dirty Harry really doesn’t ‘look’ very good. The clothes are awful, the music likewise, and much of the acting comes right out of the Freddie Prinze Jr textbook, “How to be Called an Actor Without Ever Moving a Facial Muscle or Inflecting Tone in Your Voice." But that doesn’t really matter, because just as with any early 70’s Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen of Yul Brynner film, the result is the point, not the method used to get there. This is a film about bad, bad, bad guys and good guys who kick ass and don’t take names. Harry acts the way we all wish our cops could act, if they didn’t have that pesky Constitution to worry about. He gets his man without fuss, even though the whole world is against him. The people dig Harry and audiences flocked.

Of course, any good action movie of the 70’s had an abundance of beaver as a side attraction and Dirty Harry is no exception to the rule. While the flesh is brief, it’s certainly there in the guide of a dead corpse who would go onto be better known as ‘Hotzie Totzie’ in Welcome Back Kotter.

Eastwood isn’t particularly noteworthy in the lead role, he basically does what the script says, winces now and then and fires his gun convincingly, but what more do you want when a damn pyscho killer is out there? You don’t want a Timothy Dalton, you want a Clint when the chips are down.

Worthy of big time praise for his performance in this film is Andrew Robinson, who plays the killer, Scorpio. He’s so damn irksome and brazen that you just want to kick the heck out of the squirmy little bastard, so much so that since the film Robinson has received death threats and has an unlisted phone number to this day.

The precursor to many sequels, Dirty Harry isn’t exactly fine filmmaking, but it’s a film that has become an indelible part of the American cinema landscape. Catch it on cable sometime - a fine time will be had by all.

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originally posted: 09/17/02 09:27:18
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User Comments

1/23/18 Jill Great 70s actioner w/ the sickest villain since Tommy Udo 5 stars
9/13/17 morris campbell a iconic exciting film 4 stars
3/05/15 stanley welles corny, poorly-paced and flatly acted 2 stars
6/22/11 Silkworm Gripping, atmospheric, eye for an eye, fuck off movie 5 stars
7/15/10 MP Bartley An iconic film, character and performance that oozes cool. 5 stars
12/01/09 action movie fan a great classic terrific action drama 5 stars
10/13/08 Shaun Wallner One of my favorite all time films. 5 stars
8/06/08 Screwball I love Dirty Harry !!! 5 stars
3/24/08 Bonkey the Cow America could use more cops like Dirty Harry!!! Shoot first...ask questions later! 5 stars
11/09/07 jukalooka can't stop watching, the psycho is great 5 stars
9/28/07 mr.mike history is made 5 stars
6/13/07 al smith wow clint is of the best screen characters of all time 5 stars
5/13/07 Quigley Aside from the odious nudity this movie is totally awesome. Classic lines and great action 4 stars
1/16/07 David Pollastrini brilliant, great action 5 stars
12/08/06 R.W.Welch You gotta love the intensity. Clint's top characterization. 5 stars
6/08/06 Peggy Doty GOOD MOVIE IN ITS DAY 4 stars
1/11/06 JM Synth That there is currently no rating lower than "Worth a Look" says it all 5 stars
3/22/05 indrid cold It's too bad; so many cliches started with DH that it loses all impact. 4 stars
1/04/05 fuck im a goooooooooooooooodsf u idiot ARCHANIST 101 clint's genres r completely different 2 their's 5 stars
12/10/04 MOVIE GUY WAT A MOVIE..............FUCK!!! 5 stars
8/27/04 Archanist 101 Before Seagal... Before Stallone... Before Chow-Yun Fat... There was Clint Eastwood!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/03/04 oparz best.movee/eva 5 stars
5/28/04 jesse when he shoots scorpio accross the football oval 5 stars
5/10/04 john bale Classic Serial Killer v/s relentless Cop, often later imitated, but never bettered 5 stars
3/23/04 KGB Without a doubt, an instant classic 5 stars
2/20/04 LIAM JACKSON We need more cops who are allowed to use callahan's methods without superior persecution. 5 stars
2/17/04 john the best of the series - great urban western! 5 stars
12/25/03 Sugarfoot Wonderful....Great move to see alongside Death Wish. 4 stars
10/21/03 Keneth Frequency Great movie. 5 stars
10/20/03 Lesterwink23 A badass action landmark with many imitators and few equals. 5 stars
9/30/03 Shane Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ONE OF MY TOP FAVOURITE FILMS OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/04/03 Sam Moszynski The greatest police action-thriller ever made! 5 stars
7/02/03 AD clints orignal and best 5 stars
6/18/03 Andrew Callaway Clever dialogue. Incredible action sequences. Realism at it's best. 5 stars
1/14/03 Paul Coleman Timeless Eastwood masterpiece! Great Lalo Schifrin music score! 5 stars
9/27/02 Tom Fleeman Do you feel lucky? You fucking PUNK! Great Flick! 5 stars
9/17/02 Charles Tatum Wow, an action film with a brain 4 stars
5/26/02 chris wright they don't make like this anymore. 5 stars
5/19/02 john waite offensive..sexist,so politicly uncorrect it hurts!!...a true classic!! 5 stars
1/26/02 Andrew Carden Overrated, but Still Worth Watching For A Memorable Performance By Eastwood. 4 stars
1/22/02 Michael Flynn "Ah, ah, I know what you're thinking..." you know the rest. 5 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith "Did I fire 5 shots or 6?" "I got's to know!" Yeah, Eastwood! 5 stars
7/21/01 viking A landmark action film 5 stars
6/09/01 Shams Huque Great film. One of Eastwood's best. Classic dialogue! 5 stars
5/26/01 Padraic Coffey Stylish, gripping and violent, this is one of Eastwood's best. 5 stars
5/21/01 Monster W. Kung It's a good movie, but I can't see why this gained such a cult following. 4 stars
5/08/01 Monday Morning Klassik Kop flick. Gotta luvvit. 5 stars
3/17/01 matt perry the original crazed action hero !5 stars 5 stars
2/03/01 Evan Jones Titanic performance by Robinson as Scorpio! 5 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla the best in the series, 5 stars
5/19/00 tank A great film. Harry's not fascist. Critic Pauline Kael should look up the word. 5 stars
4/23/00 Scott Unfried Don Siegel directed a great modern classic, accomodated by superbly acted roles,great music 5 stars
12/01/99 JonnyAngel Too ill. 5 stars
7/07/99 Ben Leostein Rating: *** (out of ****) Category: "Good" 4 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg This is truly a great, fast-paced, never boring, bubble gum popcorn flick. Luv it. 4 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Fucking A- what the fuck happened to Clint after the 70's were over with???? 5 stars
5/13/99 best "cop-as-anti-hero" movie ever made. 5 stars
4/27/99 Lucas jackson Dirty Harry is one the best movies ever made,you a facist cop with one hell of a big gun, 5 stars
3/03/99 little jerry Why doesn't Harry quit moaning & live like The Man With No Name if society sucks so bad. 4 stars
11/28/98 Mr.Pink One of Clint's best! 4 stars
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  22-Dec-1971 (R)

  N/A (18)

  02-Jul-1972 (MA)

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