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 »
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>
David Soul's performance as Officer John Davis, one of the vigilante cops, led to his being cast as Detective Ken Hutchinson in the classic cop series Starsky and Hutch (1975). See more »
Near the end of the movie when the back windshield is shot out, the bullet passes close to Callahan in the front seat. Yet later when Briggs is driving away, the bullet hole is close to the passenger side of the car. 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]
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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 »
It's all about the man, his politics, and his methods. Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is a tough, no-nonsense cop. In this second "Dirty Harry" movie, Callahan is on the trail of a ruthless vigilante gang. The story starts off well enough, with a fair amount of suspense. As the plot moves along, however, it becomes less tight and more drawn out. Suspense fizzles. And the puzzle solution is revealed too soon.
The film conveys an angry tone, especially directed at the American court system. The idea is that the "law" doesn't really protect innocent people. So we need loners like Dirty Harry to hunt down the bad guys. The film glorifies guns, a symbol of "rough justice". As such, Harry is very much a modern representative of the Old West cowboy gunslinger. Right is right; wrong is wrong; there's no in-between. I hate that overly simplistic mentality.
Color cinematography is fine; there's some good overhead camera shots. Many scenes take place on city streets. Way too much time is spent on car chases. Acting is acceptable. I especially liked the performance of the always reliable Hal Holbrook.
The original "Dirty Harry" was quite suspenseful. By contrast, "Magnum Force" is much less so. Still, it's not a bad movie, if you don't mind lots of car chases and the sounds of screeching tires, and if you adhere to a philosophy that a lone tough-guy cop can protect us, with the help of his trusty "44-Magnum", "the most powerful handgun in the world".
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