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Dirty Harry (1971)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  23 December 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 107,927 users  
Reviews: 289 user | 145 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as R.M. Fink) , 5 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Killer (as Andy Robinson)
John Larch ...
Mae Mercer ...
Mrs. Russell
Lyn Edgington ...
Ruth Kobart ...
Bus Driver
William Paterson ...
James Nolan ...
Liquor Proprietor
Maurice Argent ...
Sid Kleinman (as Maurice S. Argent)


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


Detective Harry Callahan. He doesn't break murder cases. He smashes them. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

23 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Right  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 1,540,127 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Clint Eastwood performed all his own stunts, including the stunt where he jumps onto the roof of the hijacked school bus from a bridge. His face is clearly visible throughout the shot. See more »


At the cross on Mount Davidson, Scorpio makes Harry toss his gun a good distance away onto concrete, which would cause noticeable damage to the revolver's blued finish. However, in the final scene (when Harry again delivers his famous speech,) there is no visible damage to the weapon. See more »


Gonzales: No wonder they call him "Dirty Harry", always gets the shit end of the stick.
Bressler: One more word out of you and you're chopped off at the ankles!
See more »


Referenced in The Golden Girls: Break In (1985) See more »


Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Written by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Go ahead, make my day"
23 February 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's interesting seeing Dirty Harry for the first time, since I expected to hear that catch phrase over and over again. I only heard it twice and both were well merited- the first is said to a caught bankrobber and it's spoken like it's right out of the script, direct. The second comes near the end when Harry finally has his culprit cornered, and all the rage and fury is revealed, which made me want to cheer even though I was watching it by myself.

Dirty Harry is one of the best and indeed grittiest action films from the 70's, possibly from the 20th century, and it makes Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry into a star by making such an anti-hero witty and likeable, sort of in a sense like an avenging, cop version of McDowell's character in Clockwork Orange (both released in 1971). In this first installment of the "Callahan" movies, Harry is brought on the case of the zodiac killer (Andrew Robinson), and is given a new partner, which Harry can't stand, and as the events unfold he knows he has to get him. Robinson is perfectly cast as the killer, with his scene on the bus ranking as one of the more terrifying, visceral scenes in the movies. Very 70's, but it's hard-boiled status can't be denied for Clint buffs. A+

39 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is the original the best Dirty Harry movie? rsilva00-1
Did Harry know he fired six shots? alextimman
mistake in one of cinema's most famous scenes CantRainAllTheTime512
If they every made another Dirty Harry movie... Jersey_Red
Surprised they haven't re-done it makinithappen09
The Liquor store scene... peterhaavik
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