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Dirty Harry (1971)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  23 December 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 108,892 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 ...
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


do you feel lucky punk? 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?


After the film was released, actor Andrew Robinson received several death threats, and had to get an unlisted phone number. 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 »


Harry Callahan: You from around here?
Gonzales: Yeah, but I went to school at San Jose State.
Harry Callahan: You play ball?
Gonzales: Uh, no, I boxed. Light heavyweight.
Harry Callahan: Just what I need, it's a college boy.
Gonzales: You haven't found one thing you like about me?
Harry Callahan: Well, it's early yet. Get your degree?
Gonzales: Sociology.
Harry Callahan: Sociology? Oh, you'll go far. That's if you live.
See more »


Referenced in The Nanny: The Hockey Show (1996) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Eastwood and his .44 Magnum blew away this original action classic!
7 May 1999 | by (Suffolk, Virginia) – See all my reviews

In quoting these famous lines: "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!" and "Go ahead, make my day!". They meant something for Clint Eastwood, turning from cowboy to hit man with a surge of raging anger and ambition. The mountain terrains became an urban metropolis, thus putting the guy off the saddle and into the bloody streets of San Francisco. Which makes DIRTY HARRY an incredible classic not to be missed, as well as Eastwood's shift to the action genre where society is run by evil. Its continuous impact of the events take place with a tight grip and a smooth pace. This remains to be one of the most entertaining experiences in classic movie history. All it takes is a cop over the edge and "The Most Powerful Handgun In The World".

Violence was the key factor of DIRTY HARRY, and continues to be violent even today. We've never come to see staggering sights of brutalities before, but it was made possible to heighten the overall realism of a dark San Francisco infested with crime. Another was the quality of Clint Eastwood's character as "Harry Callahan", which was obviously a breakthrough for him at the time. He is best described as a smart-talking cop who hated criminals and broken the laws in serving time for the police. A very unique character he was, for going by his own personal business and taking the job "dirty". The best acheivement goes for the cinematography. It sure doesn't look pretty, but the effectiveness of the dark renders this haunting where no place is safe enough to run or hide. The real winner is Don Siegel, for presenting the perfect atmosphere to shoot a picture that already had a premise driven by fear and anxiety, anger and tension. He sure hasn't done anything like this before, and possibly no movie had since then. Otherwise, we would have still been seeing these one-dollar Western shows in the afternoon!

Watch DIRTY HARRY today and you can see how the styles of moviemaking has evolved slow and easy, but it still packs a powerful bullet or two. If you've seen this six times or only five, you knew how lucky Clint Eastwood got the perfect part for being an all-new action star. This is the one, and original cop movie. And remember, this is "In Tribute To The Police Officers Of San Francisco Who Gave Their Lives In The Line Of Duty"!

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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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