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.
Philo Beddoe is an easy-going trucker and a great fist-fighter. With two friends - Orville, who promotes prize-fights for him, and Clyde, the orangutan he won on a bet - he roams the San ... See full summary »
Philo takes part in a bare knuckle fight - as he does - to make some more money than he can earn from his car repair business. He decides to retire from fighting, but when the Mafia come ... See full summary »
Buddy Van Horn
San Francisco Police Inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan and his new partner, Early Smith have been temporarily reassigned from Homicide to Stakeout Duty. Meanwhile, those of the city's criminals who manage to avoid punishment by the courts are nevertheless being killed by unknown assassins. Callahan begins to investigate the murders despite the orders of his superior officer, Lieutenant Briggs. A man has to know his limitations... Written by
Bruce Janson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After Harry discovers that there's a bomb in his mailbox, he goes upstairs to his room and pulls out his Smith & Wesson. He then puts it on top of his chest of drawers and searches for a screwdriver. Finding the screwdriver, he picks up his gun to leave, and puts his thumb on the hammer. The sound of a Model 29 uncocking is heard, but Harry doesn't actually uncock it because it was never cocked. See more »
[at end of main titles]
This is a 44. Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and it could blow your head clean off. Do you feel lucky?
[fires at the audience]
See more »
The credits are played over a hand (presumably Harry's) holding a 44 Magnum against a red background. As such, this is the only Dirty Harry movie in which the opening credits are not played over San Francisco scenery. See more »
Second outing for Clint Eastwood's anti-hero is an absorbing thriller, let down by some sloppy characterisation and the lack of a killer (no pun intended) scene or even iconic dialogue. It starts off poorly with the title credits lamely played over an almost static shot of the title weapon (very "Sledge Hammer") but once we get past the token scene reminding us of Harry's "shoot first, ask questions later" policing policy, the main plot strand about an internal police death-squad violently taking out known felons dominates the film.
There are some humanising touches around Harry's character, although these stereotypically show him as irresistible to women, rebellious to authority and almost friendly and caring for his young black sidekick, so that nothing new is revealed about what makes him tick. There is something condescending about the treatment of these supporting characters, especially the portrayal of Callahan's young Oriental neighbour who despite hardly seeing him around, seems desperate to jump into bed with him.
Better to stick with the action of which there is plenty. There's intrigue as Callahan's instincts lead him to find the true identities of the assassination bureau and a good twist as their ringleader emerges from the shadows.
The acting is mostly fine, Eastwood naturally dominating in his typical laconic manner. Hal Holbrook is also excellent as his testy superior and David Soul shines in a pre-Hutch role. Ted Post directs with some flair with some blunt lapses while Lalo Schifrin contributes a typically gritty soundtrack. The film makes its main point about the dangers of vigilantism and cleverly uses Harry Callahan of all people as a counterpoint to its proponents.
Some might argue as to whether all the violence was necessary and I felt the grisly death of a black prostitute bordered on the gratuitous but on the whole this was superior cop-fare and a good sequel to the trailblazing "Dirty Harry".
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