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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 Slyder

"A hard-hitting ass kicker of a film"
5 stars

Up till the end of the 60’s Clint Eastwood was known as a western hero due to his and Sergio Leone’s Man with No Name Trilogy, and he had flirted a couple of times with different genres with the decent Coogan’s Bluff, the war thriller Kelly’s Heroes and his directorial debut in Play Misty for Me, but it wasn’t until this little film in which Eastwood fully broke out of the Western genre and into full-fledged star. Directed by the legendary Don Siegel, Dirty Harry followed The French Connection’s revolution of the cop thriller genre, while making a mark of its own right imposing one of the most memorable characters ever on screen and spawning countless imitators, notably the Charles Bronson vehicle Death Wish.

"Dirty” Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is a tough motherfucker cop whose only policy is to shoot first and ask questions later if you want, and get the bad guys regardless of politics. He's called "Dirty" Harry because in his own words, they always give him the dirty jobs. Recently, a serial killer named Scorpio (Andy Robinson) is on the loose and has kidnapped a teenager in exchange for money, and the Mayor (John Vernon) does not want any blood spilled and tries to meet his demands. But Harry will not take any shit, as he will go after Scorpio by any means necessary and the constitution be damned.

There’s really not much to discuss here: The movie’s fucking perfect, as Siegel and cinematographer (and longtime Eastwood collaborator) Bruce Surtees capture the naked lifestyle of the 70’s as well as the now dated driving score of Lalo Schifrin. The film’s structure is simple, but within that simplicity lies a complex and engrossing piece of work that is as effective today as it was back in its heyday. The violence is of course tame by today’s standards but it’s still psychologically effective. Several of the movie’s moves are clichés by today’s standards and have been done and redone to ad-nauseaum, but this film is absolved since it’s the one who pretty much invented those clichés.

The heart of the film of course is in the character itself, and Clint Eastwood grabs the role and makes it his own. His screen presence is fearsome and effective even to this day. Sure, today you see action movies with the heroes packing a shitload of guns and involving several explosions and dead bodies, but compared to Dirty Harry, none hold a bag of shit to it. Eastwood’s own quiet yet snarly voice and his .44 Magnum six-shooter is all that it takes, and the action he gives is hard hitting especially since Harry isn’t somebody who shoots for the hell of it and he’s a fucking hell of a good shot. Apart from Eastwood, Andy Robinson as the killer also gives out a memorable performance of his own matching Eastwood pretty much scene by scene.

Liberals who watch this film will always fume at this film just the same way they would fume 3 years later with Death Wish due to its fascist right-wing politics but hey, these are the same people that bring us the flawed judicial system which we live in and the one that’s capable of even letting white-collar and blue-collar criminals walk away and sometimes is by its own means incompetent, hence the existence of this film. And there will be cases in which sometimes the ends DO justify the means due to these same flaws and whenever the shit goes too far, sometimes you’ll have to take matters into your own hands. That’s just the nature of the human race, and no law can change that since we’re born with it.

In the end, this is one of the best cop movies ever, and whether or not you agree with its ends-justify-the-means politics, it remains a cornerstone in the genre and a definite must see. Watch it by all means… PUNK! 5-5

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originally posted: 09/26/04 06:40:45
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

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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