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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lt. Briggs
...
McCoy
...
Davis
...
Sweet
Kip Niven ...
Astrachan
...
Grimes
...
Early Smith
Maurice Argent ...
Nat Weinstein
...
Prostitute
...
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:

A man's got to know his limitations. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vigilance  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the death squad officers is named Red Astrachan - which is a popular variety of apple grown in central California. See more »

Goofs

After Harry is thrown off the hood of Palancio's car the car windshield runs into the arm of some sort of building equipment, killing Palancio. The arm clearly misses the driver. The dummy in the driver's seat is quite apparent. 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

Followed by The Enforcer (1976) 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


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