Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.
In the year 1971, San Francisco faces the terror of a maniac known as Scorpio- who snipes at innocent victims and demands ransom through notes left at the scene of the crime. Inspector Harry Callahan (known as Dirty Harry by his peers through his reputation handling of homicidal cases) is assigned to the case along with his newest partner Inspector Chico Gonzalez to track down Scorpio and stop him. Using humiliation and cat and mouse type of games against Callahan, Scorpio is put to the test with the cop with a dirty attitude. Written by
The role of Harry Callahan was originally written for John Wayne. The writers, husband and wife team Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink, had just finished working with Wayne on Big Jake (1971) and when they were trying to sell their script, they used him as an example of how they envisioned the character. Wayne however said he wasn't interested in the role as he felt the violence in the script was unjustified and glorified. Eventually, the Finks sold their script to Universal, who were thinking of using it as a Clint Eastwood vehicle, but they never followed up on initial plans, and they let the rights to the script run out. Spurred by the success of the Dirty Harry series John Wayne would later make the only two cop movies of his career, Brannigan (1975) and McQ (1974). See more »
The white pillarless sedan seen during the bank robbery scene (not the getaway car - which is a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500) changes from a 1970 Ford Galaxie to a Torino (where Harry walks up to the bank robber where he does the famous line of 'six shots or only five'). See more »
No wonder they call him "Dirty Harry", always gets the shit end of the stick.
One more word out of you and you're chopped off at the ankles!
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Don Siegel's "Dirty Harry" was arguably the start of the serial killer/cop genre inherent in so many mainstream American movies released today. Setting the stage for countless rip-offs and sequels, "Dirty Harry" was one of the true first of its kind--not only in regards to its genre influence but also in terms of its content. (Full frontal nudity, heavy vigilante-style violence and strong language.) It is, in fact, one of the quintessential 1970s films--capturing the very essence of the typical gritty '70s film style we're all familiar with. If "Midnight Cowboy" began the trend, "Dirty Harry" extends it.
Clint Eastwood delivers one of his finest performances as the titular "Dirty" Harry Callahan. He's got just the right amount of cocky cynacism and inset sense of self-justice and importance to make the character realistic and likable, despite his flaws.
The plot almost seems routine now, but back in '71 it was controversial stuff: Harry is a tough cop trying to track down a mad serial killer in San Francisco, who is murdering victims in an effort to receive ransom money. When he kidnaps a young girl, Harry makes it his mission to disobey direct orders and take on the killer by himself.
It's easy to point at this now and say, "I've seen this already." In many cases film classics can only be graded well for nostalgic purposes, because their imitators have improved upon the original material.
Not here. The original really does still remain (one of) the best.
Siegel would later follow up "Dirty Harry" with another examination of criminals and cops, and would also team up again with Clint Eastwood. This is probably his best film, which is saying a lot. Its reputation precedes it, but in this case, the strength of the film itself really is deserving of its popularity. The final speech is awesome stuff.
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