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Dirty Harry (1971)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 102,406 users  
Reviews: 278 user | 143 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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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)
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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:

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is being run all over town by Scorpio, he passes a wall which bears the graffiti "Kyle", the name of Eastwood's son, Kyle Eastwood. See more »

Goofs

It is often claimed that Harry is incorrect when he refers to the .44 Magnum as the most powerful handgun in the world. Technically, he is and he isn't. In 1971, the .44 Magnum (developed in 1957) was the most powerful commercially available handgun in the world, meaning it fired the most powerful production cartridge. This means it was the most powerful handgun round made by ammo companies and sold on the market. In 1971, the .454 Casull (developed in 1959) was more powerful than the .44 Magnum, but the .454 Casull wasn't produced commercially until 1983, so Harry is inaccurate in stating that it is the most powerful handgun in the world, but he is accurate in stating that it is the most powerful handgun available for use. See more »

Quotes

Gonzales: There is one question, Inspector Callahan: Why do they call you "Dirty Harry"?
De Georgio: Ah that's one thing about our Harry, doesn't play any favorites! Harry hates everybody: Limeys, Micks, Hebes, Fat Dagos, Niggers, Honkies, Chinks, you name it.
Gonzales: How does he feel about Mexicans?
De Georgio: Ask him.
Harry Callahan: Especially Spics.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nail Gun Massacre (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Harry's Hot Dog
(uncredited)
Written by Lalo Schifrin
Performed by Lalo Schifrin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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Recent Posts
Why is Scorpio convincing? TVippy
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... zsb2003
Surprised they haven't re-done it makinithappen09
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