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Dirty Harry (1971)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 100,708 users  
Reviews: 275 user | 138 critic

When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Title: Dirty Harry (1971)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Chico
...
...
Killer (as Andy Robinson)
John Larch ...
John Mitchum ...
Mae Mercer ...
Mrs. Russell
Lyn Edgington ...
Norma
Ruth Kobart ...
Bus Driver
...
...
William Paterson ...
James Nolan ...
Liquor Proprietor
Maurice Argent ...
Sid Kleinman (as Maurice S. Argent)
Edit

Storyline

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 commanderblue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

do you feel lucky punk? See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Right  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 1,540,127 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Serial killer Scorpio was loosely based on the Zodiac killer, who used to taunt police and media with notes about his crimes, in one of which he threatened to hijack a school bus full of children. The role of Harry Callahan was loosely based on real life detective David Toschi who was the chief investigator in the Zodiac case. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Harry is preparing to deliver the ransom money to Scorpio, he tapes a switchblade knife to his leg. The knife is positioned with the bolster or tip pointing upward. In the later scene at the cross, Harry pulls up his pant leg and exposes the knife - it is clearly pointing downward, the opposite of the way he taped it earlier. See more »

Quotes

[Harry is getting a dressing-down for his most recent arrest]
District Attorney Rothko: You're lucky I'm not indicting you for assault with intent to commit murder.
Harry Callahan: What?
District Attorney Rothko: Where the hell does it say that you've got a right to kick down doors, torture suspects, deny medical attention and legal counsel? Where have you been? Does Escobedo ring a bell? Miranda? I mean, you must have heard of the Fourth Amendment. What I'm saying is that man had rights.
Harry Callahan: Well, I'm all broken up about that man's rights.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sons of Anarchy: What a Piece of Work Is Man (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Eastwood and his .44 Magnum blew away this original action classic!
7 May 1999 | by (Suffolk, Virginia) – See all my reviews

In quoting these famous lines: "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!" and "Go ahead, make my day!". They meant something for Clint Eastwood, turning from cowboy to hit man with a surge of raging anger and ambition. The mountain terrains became an urban metropolis, thus putting the guy off the saddle and into the bloody streets of San Francisco. Which makes DIRTY HARRY an incredible classic not to be missed, as well as Eastwood's shift to the action genre where society is run by evil. Its continuous impact of the events take place with a tight grip and a smooth pace. This remains to be one of the most entertaining experiences in classic movie history. All it takes is a cop over the edge and "The Most Powerful Handgun In The World".

Violence was the key factor of DIRTY HARRY, and continues to be violent even today. We've never come to see staggering sights of brutalities before, but it was made possible to heighten the overall realism of a dark San Francisco infested with crime. Another was the quality of Clint Eastwood's character as "Harry Callahan", which was obviously a breakthrough for him at the time. He is best described as a smart-talking cop who hated criminals and broken the laws in serving time for the police. A very unique character he was, for going by his own personal business and taking the job "dirty". The best acheivement goes for the cinematography. It sure doesn't look pretty, but the effectiveness of the dark renders this haunting where no place is safe enough to run or hide. The real winner is Don Siegel, for presenting the perfect atmosphere to shoot a picture that already had a premise driven by fear and anxiety, anger and tension. He sure hasn't done anything like this before, and possibly no movie had since then. Otherwise, we would have still been seeing these one-dollar Western shows in the afternoon!

Watch DIRTY HARRY today and you can see how the styles of moviemaking has evolved slow and easy, but it still packs a powerful bullet or two. If you've seen this six times or only five, you knew how lucky Clint Eastwood got the perfect part for being an all-new action star. This is the one, and original cop movie. And remember, this is "In Tribute To The Police Officers Of San Francisco Who Gave Their Lives In The Line Of Duty"!


38 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Why is Scorpio convincing? TVippy
Did Harry know he fired six shots? alextimman
Is the original the best Dirty Harry movie? rsilva00-1
mistake in one of cinema's most famous scenes CantRainAllTheTime512
If they every made another Dirty Harry movie... zsb2003
Surprised they haven't re-done it makinithappen09
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