Magnum Force (1973)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Mystery  |  25 December 1973 (USA)
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Reviews: 164 user | 73 critic

Dirty Harry is on the trail of vigilante cops who are not above going beyond the law to kill the city's undesirables.



(original material), (original material) (as R. M. Fink) , 3 more credits »
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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 »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Briggs
Kip Niven ...
Early Smith
Maurice Argent ...
Nat Weinstein
Richard Devon ...
Tony Giorgio ...
Jack Kosslyn ...
Bob March ...
Bob McClurg ...
Cab Driver


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Clint Eastwood is Dirty Harry in Magnum Force See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vigilance  »

Box Office


SEK 2,295,452 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The air traffic controller who speaks to Lt. Briggs wears a pocket protector which reads "PATCO". This stands for "Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization" and was the union whose members were fired by Ronald Reagan for going on strike in 1981. See more »


The motorcycles used by the vigilantes in the final chase are Guzzi model 850 T3 California. However after entering the aircraft carrier they turn into Triumph T120 Bonneville. See more »


[first lines]
Harry Callahan: [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 »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Referenced in Being Erica: Born This Way (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Clint Eastwood knows his limitations.
20 February 2007 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

After a known criminal, with clout over the city, manages to escape the punishment of the law, he and his partners are gunned down by a vigilante dressed as a cop and with a .44 Magnum. Drawn to the case Infamous San Francisco Detective "Dirty" Harry Callahan starts to investigate as the vigilante continues to take out criminals citywide. Soon there are suspicions that the criminals are getting their information from inside the police force.

If there is one actor that can be plainly badass, macho, and tough in the most stereotypical way without making a fool of himself, it's Clint Eastwood. Never has an actor been so plain and stoic, yet so entertaining and funny at the same time. That's because Eastwood knows his limitations and, as a result, never becomes totally ridiculous. Whether he's dropping one liners, shooting his cannon of a revolver, or mysteriously seducing women with no effort whatsoever Clint Eastwood just plays it cool. Steve McQueen also managed the same with his classic "Bullitt" and Dirty Harry uses essentially the same formula, but it does it well with its own unique spin and style. Also Clint Eastwood has lived well past McQueen's early death so his films are more prevalent in the current movie mindset.

The film isn't quite perfect and there is one sequence in particular - at the airport where Harry takes out two hijackers single handedly - that seems to be just there to show that Harry Callahan is a badass who makes his own rules and gets things done. Yet this scene does nothing to advance the plot. With the film clocking in at over two hours this could have easily been dropped. Along with a few trimmings here and there for a slightly brisker film.

That said, the movie remains entertaining and a good part of Eastwood's action era. --- 8/10

Rated R for violence

14 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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