Dirty Harry (1971)


Action, Crime, Thriller


Don Siegel




Clint Eastwood, Andy Robinson, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, John Vernon, John Larch, John Mitchum, Woodrow Parfrey, Josey Sommer, Mae Mercer, Albert Popwell, Lyn Edgington, Ruth Kobart, Lois Foraker, William Paterson, Craig Kelly


When a mad man calling himself Scorpio (Andy Robinson) menaces the city of San Francisco, Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is assigned to the case which later unravels into a cat-and-mouse game between the cop and the killer.


Callahan's is another of those franchises I set my mind on watching this year which means if all the movies are as good as Dirty Harry, I sure am going to have some wonderful time/weeks.

The story is loosely based on the real-life Scorpio killer - Fincher's Zodiac is also based on the same case - which actually means the writers used real-life events to create a simple fictional cop story that is gripping and engaging, but most importantly, it does not bore with some useless subplots, like a romance for example. It is simply about a cop trying to catch a sick psycho, and Don Siegel builds so good suspense and tension, especially towards the end.

What makes Dirty Harry so good is the cop. Harry Callahan who kind of reminded me of the typical film noir anti-hero is a tough cop who doesn't play by the rules. He acts like a vigilante who doesn't believe in the legal system and thinks that justice should be made in the streets. He is a very unlikeable guy. And yet you can't help but root for him. Callahan having Clint Eastwood's face and charms sure do help.

This film, however, isn't by any mean perfect. Sure, I had a good time watching it. It was fun. It was exciting. It was entertaining. But there are some things I just can't overlook, like the one-dimensional characters - there's really no more development that distinction between good guy and bad guy. There is also quite some gratuitous nudity but I think that was normal in the 1970s.

1 comment :

  1. Oh gosh, yes, that was very 70's and wit til you see the next Dirty Harry movie with the music and the style of the African Americans....it's quite a Hoot. I like the basic ness of this film and the bad guy is just really creepy.