MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 1,203 this week

Dirty Harry (1971)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 95,411 users  
Reviews: 270 user | 135 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 14 May 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 17 Apr 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 04 Sep 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Dirty Harry (1971)

Dirty Harry (1971) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Dirty Harry.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sudden Impact (1983)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A rape victim is exacting revenge on her agressors in a small town outside San Francisco. Dirty Harry, on suspension for angering his superiors (again), is assigned to the case.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle
The Dead Pool (1988)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dirty Harry Callahan must stop a sick secret contest to murder local celebrities, which includes himself as a target.

Director: Buddy Van Horn
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson
The Enforcer (1976)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dirty Harry must foil a terrorist organization made up of disgruntled Vietnam veterans. But this time, he's teamed with a rookie female partner that he's not too excited to be working with.

Director: James Fargo
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Harry Guardino
Die Hard (1988)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save wife Holly Gennaro and several others, taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

John McClane and a Harlem store owner are targeted by German terrorist Simon Gruber in New York City, where he plans to rob the Federal Reserve Building.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, Samuel L. Jackson
Ronin (1998)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A freelancing former US intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone
Die Hard 2 (1990)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

John McClane, officer of the NYPD and hero of the Nakatomi Hostage Crisis, attempts to avert disaster as rogue military officials seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

Director: Renny Harlin
Stars: Bruce Willis, William Atherton, Bonnie Bedelia
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

When Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent launch an assault on the mob, they let the clown out of the box, the Joker, bent on turning Gotham on itself and bringing any heroes down to his level.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her - a team she was once part of.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Eight years on, a new evil rises from where the Batman and Commissioner Gordon tried to bury it, causing the Batman to resurface and fight to protect Gotham City... the very city which brands him an enemy.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Chico
...
...
Killer (as Andy Robinson)
John Larch ...
...
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

Plot Keywords:

dirty harry | sniper | ransom | mayor | partner | See more »

Taglines:

You don't assign him to murder cases, You just turn him loose. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original draft of the script by Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink was set in New York City. When Clint Eastwood and Don Siegel became involved in the project, they initially planned to relocate the film to Seattle, Washington before ultimately deciding on San Francisco. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the bank robbery Harry delivers his famous line which includes "Did I fire 5 times or 6"? Some viewers have suggested that Harry fired only 4 times, but in actuality you only see Harry fire 4 times - if you listen carefully you hear 6 shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Harry Callahan: Jesus.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Presidio (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Old MacDonald Had a Farm
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Harry Hates Everybody!"
14 February 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

How radically different cinema history, and our collective consciousness, would have been if Frank Sinatra hadn't injured his hand before shooting started on "Dirty Harry". Sinatra was due to play Harry, but had to withdraw, clearing the way for Clint. Given Sinatra's unique brand of self-loathing, Harry would have been an uglier personality than Clint made him. As it is, Lieutenant Callaghan is an ornery anti-liberal cuss of a guy, but he is straight and likeable. Arguably, it was this characterisation which made Eastwood a megastar.

San Francisco in 1971 was ready for stardom itself. The West Coast love-in scene and the gay 'boom', together with McQueen's "Bullitt", raised awareness of San Francisco as an exciting liberal city with a photogenic skyline. The film's funky score by Lalo Schifrin is perfectly-judged, and spawned numerous imitators.

The central narrative concerns a lone nut who is trying to hold the city to ransom. He starts by murdering citizens to extort money from the mayor, then progresses to kidnapping children. This plays cleverly on the inchoate anxieties of Middle America, where law-abiding people were puzzled and alarmed at the 'crime wave' and the threat it posed to them and their families. Crime in the decades before the Kennedy assassination had been compartmentalised by Hollywood. Gangsters were bad, but they killed other gangsters. Now the danger was unpredictable, irrational - and solitary. The lone madman was as likely to strike against me or you as against an institution. Only a single-minded strong man, operating on the fringes of the rules, could combat this new terror.

Harry is a paradox. In one sense, he is an 'outlaw'. He has little respect for formal authority (in the opening minutes, we see him being rude to the mayor) and he carries a strictly non-regulation monster of a gun. Harry is openly racist and mutinous. And yet he is also deeply moral. He conforms to an unarticulated ethical code that is anglosaxon American. He protects the weak and confronts the wrongdoers, no matter how the odds are stacked against him. Indeed, the cowardly bureaucrats who will never reward him or promote him are able to exploit his profound decency. They send him on all the difficult, dirty jobs because they know that his sense of right and wrong won't allow him to walk away.

Early in the film, the famous bank robbery scene occurs. This has become so familiar that it hardly needs elaborating here, but to summarise, Harry foils an armed robbery using icy courage and grim humour - and his magnum handgun. The special brand of Eastwood humour recurs throughout the story (eg, the suicide jumper and the gay called 'Alice'). White anglosaxon America is encouraged to laugh at the undergroups which supposedly threaten it.

When the bad guy 'Scorpio' is cornered, he immediately starts bleating about his civil rights. This is meant to arouse our fury, because we have seen him callously destroying the lives of others, and here he is exploiting the protection of the state. To make matters worse, the state agrees with him. We see the DA and a judge explaining to Harry why the cogent evidence against Scorpio is inadmissible. Just exactly why the DA would call a meeting with a lowly policeman in order to explain department policy is far from clear, but the scene is thematically necessary. Scorpio is using the System against the decent, godfearing people who own it. The liberal apparatus is skewed if it lets a killer walk away scot-free.

There are some illogicalities about the plot. Such an important event as the cash drop is left to two cops working alone, when in reality there would be a massive covert operation. When Scorpio beats the rap, there is no public outcry or media storm, and he is allowed to get on with his anonymous existence virtually untroubled.

However, this hardly matters since the main thrust of the story is the coming showdown between Harry and the bad guy. As the climax approaches, Harry drops out of the police operation. Scorpio is at his manic worst on the hi-jacked school bus, alienating us nicely and suppressing any liberal twitches we may still be feeling. Then we see Harry, standing as upright and sturdy as the Statue Of Liberty ....


108 of 151 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why is Scorpio convincing? TVippy
Surprised they haven't re-done it makinithappen09
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
Discuss Dirty Harry (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?