Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world.
A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
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
Harry uses clear tape to secure a switchblade knife to his leg when he goes to deliver the ransom money. When Harry lifts his pant leg to gain access to the knife, the knife is in his sock with no tape securing it to his leg. See more »
Don Siegel's "Dirty Harry" was arguably the start of the serial killer/cop genre inherent in so many mainstream American movies released today. Setting the stage for countless rip-offs and sequels, "Dirty Harry" was one of the true first of its kind--not only in regards to its genre influence but also in terms of its content. (Full frontal nudity, heavy vigilante-style violence and strong language.) It is, in fact, one of the quintessential 1970s films--capturing the very essence of the typical gritty '70s film style we're all familiar with. If "Midnight Cowboy" began the trend, "Dirty Harry" extends it.
Clint Eastwood delivers one of his finest performances as the titular "Dirty" Harry Callahan. He's got just the right amount of cocky cynacism and inset sense of self-justice and importance to make the character realistic and likable, despite his flaws.
The plot almost seems routine now, but back in '71 it was controversial stuff: Harry is a tough cop trying to track down a mad serial killer in San Francisco, who is murdering victims in an effort to receive ransom money. When he kidnaps a young girl, Harry makes it his mission to disobey direct orders and take on the killer by himself.
It's easy to point at this now and say, "I've seen this already." In many cases film classics can only be graded well for nostalgic purposes, because their imitators have improved upon the original material.
Not here. The original really does still remain (one of) the best.
Siegel would later follow up "Dirty Harry" with another examination of criminals and cops, and would also team up again with Clint Eastwood. This is probably his best film, which is saying a lot. Its reputation precedes it, but in this case, the strength of the film itself really is deserving of its popularity. The final speech is awesome stuff.
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