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Dirty Harry (1971)

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) (as R.M. Fink) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

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

With his .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, Dirty Harry wipes out crime to hell. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

23 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Right  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's line "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" was voted as the #51 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). But if you can read lips, or know someone on the original sound crew (like me) you can see that Eastwood says "buck" not "punk". "Punk" was looped in in post because the term "buck" is an offensive term for a male African American. So, the John Milius script really made Harry very Dirty. Too dirty for 1971 Warner Bros. See more »

Goofs

When Harry is following Scorpio's instructions to run from phone booth to phone booth, he boards the subway. When he arrives at his destination, it is the exact same station as the one where he boarded. See more »

Quotes

Suicide Jumper: [Harry is being lifted by a crane to try to talk down a suicide jumper standing on the edge of a building] Don't you try to get me!
Harry Callahan: [chuckles] Not me, no. You're the one who wants to get yourself killed. Not me. That always happens with you men, you know? At the last minute, you wanna grab on to something or take somebody with you, but down you go. Not me, brother.
Suicide Jumper: Aren't you gonna try to grab me?
Harry Callahan: A friend of mine was up about 20 floors with a jumper a few years ago. The jumper grabbed him, they ...
[...]
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Connections

Spoofed in Beetlejuice (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Something wild about Harry
29 January 2005 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Don Siegel's highly polished .44 magnum-opus, with Clint Eastwood as the daddy (or should that be mutha?) of all maverick cops. Given an A-picture budget by Warners, Siegel delivered a tremendously taut thriller, as provocatively amoral as anything he had done in his 20-year career of expert B-pics like The Killers.

Dirty Harry also gave Eastwood a definitive Hollywood identity after leaving spaghetti westerns behind. It may lack the humour of Siegel and Eastwood's first collaboration, Coogan's Bluff, but it packs a much more uneasy political punch.

Inspector Harry Callaghan is the taciturn, laconic spokesman of Nixon's Silent Majority, elevated to iconic status. His dialogue with criminals is delivered behind the barrel of a devastatingly phallic Magnum hand-gun. "Feel lucky, punk?" he taunts one wounded miscreant in a famous line he repeats at the end of the film.

There's just enough moral ambiguity about Harry in this film to escape it being an endorsement of vigilantism – but if it poses resonating questions about how a liberal society can be held hostage by those outside the law, it also contrives a worryingly two-dimensional picture of psycho-killer Scorpio (Andy Robinson) - and of Harry, himself – with which to frame those questions.

Made by the veteran director in the same year as Hollywood-new wave young gun William Friedkin shot The French Connection, it's just as coolly authoritative and exciting. Siegel uses Bruce Surtees' always serviceable photography of San Francisco locations with flair (years before, he had shot the low-budget but excellent The Line-Up there). The swooping helicopter shot out of the baseball stadium, as if to rush the audience away (either as witnesses or as voyeurs) as Eastwood presses his foot on Scorpio's wounded leg, shows Siegel's smooth mastery of the medium.

Siegel made the insouciant Charley Varrick with Walter Matthau next, after which his career went into slow decline.


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