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Coogan's Bluff (1968)

Approved | | Action, Comedy, Crime | 2 October 1968 (USA)
An Arizona deputy goes to New York City to escort a fugitive back into custody.


(as Donald Siegel)


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Roth
James Ringerman
Ellen Ringerman
James Edwards ...
Sgt. Jackson
Running Bear
Pushie (as David F. Doyle)
Taxi Driver
Big Red
Mrs. Fowler
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Coogan, an Arizona cop, is sent to New York to collect a prisoner. Everyone in New York assumes Coogan is from Texas, much to his annoyance. To add to Coogan's problems the prisoner isn't ready, so he decides to cut a few corners. In the process the prisoner escapes, and Coogan is ordered home. Too proud to return home empty handed, Coogan sets out into the big city to recapture his prisoner. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Before "Dirty Harry"... there was Coogan. See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coogans großer Bluff  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Last film role for Betty Field. See more »


Lampposts: The movie is set in New York yet shows side street lighting usually found in San Francisco. By 1967, half of New York had replaced street lighting with new aluminum poles, and those that had not been replaced would have seen the more common 'bishops crook' masts or 'long arm' poles. See more »


Mrs. Ellen Ringerman: [angry] Hey, wait a minute. You think you can come in here and write down a name and put on that fancy hat and just go? You know what you are?
Coogan: Fancy.
See more »


Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel
Lyrics by Wally Holmes
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Sung by The Pigeon-Toed Orange Peels
See more »

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User Reviews

It took me by surprise!
30 July 2005 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Walt Coogan (Clint Eastwood) an Arizona deputy sheriff is sent to New York to collect a prisoner (Don Stroud). After learning that it might take a while before he can get his prisoner he decides to take it in own hands to bring him back, but while doing so he is jumped at the airport and the prisoner escapes. So now it's personal and he uses his western methods to recapture his man, but the city cops don't share his ways.

Before they teamed up for the classic cop film "Dirty Harry" (1971) - Don Siegel directed Clint Eastwood in an earlier and under-appreciated cop drama "Coogen's Bluff". I came across this film only knowing that it starred Eastwood and that's about it. But to my surprise it had more to it than Eastwood's strong persona, but it was engaging and clever entertainment by director Don Siegel. What it generates is a violent and hard-hitting police story that has superb attention to detail and is particularly well crafted. There's so many things going for it that you may or may not notice all the small hints that the film possesses on the clash of two different cultures (city vs. western) and the protagonist being dragged into the wicked and dirty side of the hippie drug circuit. This is when he learns that he is out of his league and that he has to adapt to this city way off life to get his man, sometimes with dire consequences because he grows slowly attached to it. Add in some psychedelic overtones and a spaced out feel to evoke the carefree era. The whole setup is naturally staged and doesn't feel forced. Siegel seems to have a knack of creating a gritty mood, but also capturing the life of the unique surroundings, from the Arizona deserts (excellent opening sequence) to the harsh city life. This was helped by fluid camera-work with its high shots and smooth pans that are well staged. The location photography and dashing settings are two of the strong points of this production. Another is the rousing score that mixes some western tang into the equation. Throw in edgy and sharp dialogue, with also scathing humour and an abundance of Texas gags against our protagonist. Siegel's paces the film perfectly and generates tension in some well-designed action scenes, one being the bike chase scene through the park. Though, this film isn't overtly filled with just action and violence. It's an amusing watch with a set-up that has more to it! Eastwood gives an iconic cool-as-ice performance as the Texas, ah I mean Arizona deputy sheriff who adapts his hunting techniques for the big city and who's quick with a sharp reply. Lee J. Cobb is good as the arrogant Det. Lt. McElroy, NYPD who has no time for Coogan or his antics. Susan Clark plays Julie Roth a probation officer and possibly Coogan's love interest. A superb Don Stroud weaselly plays James Ringerman the criminal who Coogan's after and Tisha Sterling plays Ringerman's hippie girlfriend. There's also a small role by a feisty Betty Field as Mrs. Ellen Ringerman.

Actually, it's hard to find one thing that I didn't actually like about the film. Highly recommended!

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