Sudden Impact (1983)


Action, Crime, Thriller


Clint Eastwood




Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, Bradford Dillman, Paul Drake, Albert Popwell, Audrie J. Neenan, Jack Thibeau, Michael Currie, Michael V. Gazzo, Mark Keyloun, Kevyn Major Howard, Bette Ford, Nancy Parson


Jennifer Spencer (Sondra Locke), a rape victim has turned into a vigilante killer and kills her attackers one by one and Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is assigned to the case.


Right after the first film, Dirty Harry, the franchise started to drop in quality and given the level it has reached with The Enforcer, I was expecting another terrible film. But I guess a change of direction was what the series needed because Sudden Impact is quite good. Sure, it's far from being the best film of the series, but it's a solid-ish cop movie.

When I said change of direction I wasn't only talking about the director, but also about the tones of the film. It is moody and dark (as a matter of fact, there's almost no humour) and it's more focused on the characters, not only Callahan's, and they are better written, especially the bad guys.

There are two main storylines, Callahan's and that of the rape victim, the latter being the main focus of the film which is great since it's also the most interesting. It does take a while to take off, but when Callahan and Spencer finally meet it gets more engaging. Still, it's very clichéed and predictable.

The major difference between Sudden Impact and The Enforcer is easily the direction. Clint Eastwood clearly knows how to direct and, although there are some pretty dull scenes, for the most the film has a good pace and some suspense as well. Clint Eastwood is also a problem though. He is too old to play Harry Callahan and, while he does his best, he doesn't have the age or ability to make the action sequences look realistic and believable.  


  1. This was quite good and a rare film showing a serial killer who is a woman. Whatever happened to Sondra Locke??

    1. I know when they parted company she became quite vengeful. I think it was ...a bad relationship gone really bad but I wonder if he carried so much clout that he could stop her career since most of her acting gigs always seemed to be with him.

    2. I didn't realize she worked with him so much :O

  2. I also enjoyed this one. It's time for a revisit though. It's been some years since my last viewing.