The Enforcer (1976)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  22 December 1976 (USA)
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Reviews: 97 user | 59 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 overview, first billed only:
Kate Moore
John Mitchum ...
DeVeren Bookwalter ...
Bobby Maxwell
John Crawford ...
The Mayor
Samantha Doane ...
Robert F. Hoy ...
Buchinski (as Robert Hoy)
M.G. Kelly ...
Father John
Albert Popwell ...
Bill Ackridge ...


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


The "dirtiest" Harry of them all! See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Moving Target  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 2,665,006 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Harry meets Uhuru leader, Mustapha (played by Albert Popwell), he asks "Where do I know you from?" - Popwell played the bank robber in "Dirty Harry" to whom Harry first asked "do you feel lucky?", and in fact appeared, playing different characters, in all but the last Dirty Harry film, "The Dead Pool". See more »


At the autopsy of the elderly security guard, the medical examiner says that the killer put his hand over the guard's mouth before stabbing him in the back, but as shown in the earlier scene the killer clearly didn't do this. See more »


Harry Callahan: For $75, you get to make it with a rubber dolly.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Enjoyable on its own. Not quite a Harry movie, but a Clint movie
6 November 2001 | by (Melbourne) – See all my reviews

I think many fans have mixed feelings about THE ENFORCER. It represents both a departure from and an adherence to the familiar Harry tradition. However, despite its many shortcomings, it excludes a great 70s feel.

Fans of the first two installments will still delight in Harry's struggles with bureaucracy in the department, and to this end Bradford Dillman is a valuable addition to the series as the new Chief. Once again, Clint has some killer dialogue but while for the most part he is as stern as in his previous performances, some of his lines are offered just a little too sparingly and nonchalantly.

The villains – this time a group of mere misfits who kidnap the Mayor of San Francisco for a ransom of five million dollars – just aren't as menacing as the crooks in DIRTY HARRY and MAGNUM FORCE. There's no mystique surrounding their identity and their performances are particularly flat and nondescript (even to the point where their plot points may wash over you and you momentarily lose your place.)

The script begins very promisingly with Harry being assigned a female partner. The relationship that develops between the two - as Harry is forced to deal with his subconscious sexist prejudice – leads to some surprising comical moments, and this addition to the dynamic of the usual animosity between Harry and his partners comes across very well.

The soundtrack is overwhelmingly orchestral giving THE ENFORCER a Hollywood music make-over instead of the usual gritty and upbeat Lalo Schrifin score which was used to full effect earlier. The chase scene in which Harry ends up in the Church builds up some tension and only serves thereby to remind the viewer of a hitherto absence of the moody jazz that was so prevalent in the original.

The original Dirty Harry's success was not due to any specific formula but rather was the result of a film full of subtleties. These subtleties included a perfect music score, a balanced tension between Harry and his partners, Harry's contempt for the red tape of police bureaucracy, and the sinister nature of the villain(s). Together, these dynamics made the original two movies stronger than the sum of their parts: THE ENFORCER is simply not as magical. This is a great pity. For the next Harry outing would see an older, greyer, and wrinklier Clint - and the series could only ever descend into some sort of parody.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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