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The Enforcer (1976)

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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 28,008 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 57 critic

Dirty Harry must foil a terrorist organization made up of disgruntled Vietnam veterans. But this time, he's teamed with a rookie female partner that he's not too excited to be working with.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kate Moore
...
...
John Mitchum ...
DeVeren Bookwalter ...
Bobby Maxwell
John Crawford ...
The Mayor
Samantha Doane ...
Wanda
Robert F. Hoy ...
Buchinski (as Robert Hoy)
...
Miki
M.G. Kelly ...
Father John
...
Martin
Albert Popwell ...
Mustapha
...
Mendez
Bill Ackridge ...
Andy
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Storyline

Picking up three years after the events in Magnum Force, a threatening terrorist group called, The People's Revolutionary Strike Force declare war to the city of San Francisco and demand a ransom to be paid, otherwise they plan to blow the city apart. While Inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan is at a limbo following his unorthodox method during a robbery, he's at it to dispatch the terrorist group, by playing their game by being more dirty than ever. But this time, he's got a new partner, which might prove the task to be somewhat more difficult than ever, unless the two can work together. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

First, there was 1971's "Dirty Harry, then "Magnum Force" in 1973. And now on the Bi-centennial year, Harry Calahan is "THE ENFORCER". See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Moving Target  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 2,665,006 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point, director James Fargo had to prevent co-star Tyne Daly from taking a tumble as she had been running full out down a steep hill. See more »

Goofs

During the training session with the M72 LAW Rocket, Inspector Moore never would have been allowed to step behind the rocket tube, thus exposing her to the back-blast. Range Safety Officers would have made the area clear before allowing the operator to fire the rocket. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Al Bressler: [Harrys playing pool when Bressler and KcKay approach him about the case] No. We play as a team.
Harry Callahan: As I remember, the last time we played as a team I got the cue stuck in my ass.
See more »

Connections

References Brannigan (1975) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
What can Dirty Harry not take on?
5 September 2008 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

For me the sequels to "Dirty Harry" never came close topping the original, but I thoroughly enjoyed and think highly of them anyway... well maybe with the exception of "The Dead Pool". Each one seemed to add its own distinguishable touch to the typical formula. The third film (and probably the cheapest, as it looks like it) of the series 'The Enforcer' seemed to have that swinging and carefree vibe of the times, with the biting reality and stark realisations (heavily implemented in the first two) taking a backseat for forceful (if crass) humour. However the violence is still gritty, mean, explosive and openly displayed. Director James Fargo ('Forced Vengeance', 'Every Which Way But Loose', 'Caravans' and 'A Game for Vultures') has appeared in some of Eastwood's early films as assistant director, and here he paces it well-enough and let's the foundation play out more like an expansive low-key action fling filled with the constant buddy routines (as Harry is paired up with a young green-horn female detective fidgety played by Tyne Daly. Who does bring an authentic and potent side to her role) that are credibly developed, long-winded build-ups finishing off with brute force and the quick-witted response. Harry also has got a catch-phrase… just 'marvellous'.

Eastwood laconically pulls it off with dominant ease and certain authority of truly delving into this character (as now there's more to that monomaniacal search for one's own justice), as his hands out punishment (against a bunch of terrorists who call themselves 'The People's Revolutionary') and has time to let fly what he really thinks. Copping the cynical barbs are amusing support performances by Harry Guardino, John Crawford and Bradford Dillman. The bad guys here aren't overly memorable, but the DeVeren Bookwalter bestows a steely glance and has a quietly dangerous psychotic air to him. Showing up again, but in another different character is the wonderful Albert Popwell.

I never tire of the San Francisco locations (where most of the films are shot), and the camera superbly details the on-screen action and striking background features. What I like about the ending of these earlier 'Dirty Harry' films, was how they weren't afraid to end on such an powerful note involving something represented visually to express the mindset, as the camera slowly zooms out and the harrowing score cues in. On the point about the music. I would say I was a little put off by the racy and bouncy jazz score arrangement of composer Jerry Fielding (who by-the-way has done some magnificent scores for films of Sam Peckinpah, Michael Winner and Clint Eastwood) just didn't have the stinging, sombre and self-reflecting quality of Lalo Schifrin's efforts. That's not to say it was bad or felt out of place, because it didn't with the feel that this one opted for. But a darker or more subtle take could've done it wonders since Fielding has chalked up some jarringly bold pieces in other films.

The script has some political context (home-grown terrorism, political correctness and equal-gender opportunity), but always stays true to the story than trying to undermine or overdo it. While it should be predictable, it does keep one step ahead and offers a surprise or two.

An up-to-par sequel.


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