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Dirty Harry (1971)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  23 December 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 108,916 users  
Reviews: 290 user | 146 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 ...
John Mitchum ...
Mae Mercer ...
Mrs. Russell
Lyn Edgington ...
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


Double Trouble! 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
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Did You Know?


When Universal allowed its option on the film and characters to lapse, Warner Bros. purchased the rights with a view to cast Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was interested, however he had broken his wrist during the filming of The Manchurian Candidate (1962) eight years previously, and during contract negotiations, he found the large handgun too unwieldy. Additionally, his father had recently passed away, and Sinatra decided he wanted to do some lighter material. After Sinatra dropped out, Warner Bros. considered Marlon Brando for the role, but never officially approached him. Next, they offered it to Steve McQueen and then Paul Newman, both of whom turned it down (McQueen didn't want to do another cop movie after Bullitt (1968) and Newman felt the film was too right-wing). Newman however suggested Clint Eastwood as a possible star. See more »


As powerful as the 44 Magnum round is, it cannot and will not knock a person backwards as it strikes them. Not even the .500 Smith And Wesson Magnum will do it either. If the 44 Magnum (or any other magnum handgun round) could knock a person backwards, the shooter also would be knocked backwards per Newton's Third Law of Motion. See more »


Big Black Man: [Big Black has just been given a wad of cash by Scorpio] You want to go all the way?
The Killer: Every penny's worth.
Big Black Man: Relax. Take it easy. It's gonna be all right.
[pulls on a pair of leather gloves and methodically beats Scorpio into a bloody pulp]
Big Black Man: You sure you want the rest of it?
The Killer: Every penny's worth, you black son of a bitch!
Big Black Man: [kicks Scorpio hard] This one's on the house!
[flattens him with one last punch and walks away]
See more »


Referenced in Dolan's Cadillac (2009) See more »


No More Lies, Girl
Written and Performed by Lalo Schifrin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

No Nonsense, No Baloney
22 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was the first of the always-entertaining "Dirty Harry" cop series and it was a good one - maybe the best of the series.

One of Harry's famous lines was in this opener: "Do ya feel lucky, punk?" Speaking of punks, Andy Robinson, who played the villain, never got famous as Clint Eastwood ("Harry") certainly became but he was tremendous in this film. He didn't even have to utter a line: he just looked deranged! Great casting.

Looking back, the one thing I really appreciate about this film as opposed to the rest of them in this series was the absence of Harry's annoying superiors constantly on his case. He actually got support from his bosses in this movie.

The film as a big hit because people were already tired of all the liberal preaching of the 1960s in which we were supposed to feel sympathy for the criminal instead of the victim. This series was on the side of the cops, not the crooks, which is probably why the sick film critics never liked Dirty Harry.

This is one solid crime story with no boring spots and no sappy sub-plots with romances, either. And it's always nice to enjoy the interesting San Francisco skyline.

91 of 138 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
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The Liquor store scene... peterhaavik
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