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Magnum Force (1973)

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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 37,766 users  
Reviews: 149 user | 68 critic

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

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(original material), (original material) (as R. M. Fink) , 3 more credits »
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Title: Magnum Force (1973)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lt. Briggs
...
McCoy
...
Davis
...
Sweet
Kip Niven ...
Astrachan
...
Grimes
Felton Perry ...
Early Smith
Maurice Argent ...
Nat Weinstein
...
Prostitute
Richard Devon ...
Ricca
Tony Giorgio ...
Palancio
Jack Kosslyn ...
Walter
Bob March ...
Estabrook
Bob McClurg ...
Cab Driver
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Storyline

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 <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Clint Eastwood is Dirty Harry in Magnum Force See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vigilance  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 2,295,452 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 124 mins, this is the longest of all the films in the Dirty Harry series. See more »

Goofs

SFPD Motor Division officers ride Moto Guzzi Eldorado V7 850 Police Specials throughout the film. The SFPD has always used Harley Davidson FL Electra Glides. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Force majeure
30 November 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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".


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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