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Sudden Impact (1983)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 25,445 users  
Reviews: 111 user | 49 critic

A rape victim is exacting revenge on her agressors in a small town outside San Francisco. Dirty Harry, on suspension for angering his superiors (again), is assigned to the case.

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Title: Sudden Impact (1983)

Sudden Impact (1983) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Paul Drake ...
Audrie Neenan ...
Ray Parkins (as Audrie J. Neenan)
Jack Thibeau ...
Kruger
Michael Currie ...
Albert Popwell ...
Mark Keyloun ...
Officer Bennett
...
Hawkins
...
Leah
Nancy Parsons ...
Joe Bellan ...
Burly Detective
...
Tyrone
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Storyline

A vicious serial-killer is on the loose in San Francisco and the police trace a link to a small town further down the coast. When Harry Callahan upsets the press and the mayor in his usual style, he's shipped out of town to investigate while the heat is on. With the help of his new Magnum handgun Harry goes on the trail leaving behind the usual trail of dead criminals along the way. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two killers are at large. One of them is Dirty Harry. [Video] See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Impacto fulminante  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$67,600,000 (USA)
 »

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

The highest-grossing of the Dirty Harry film series. See more »

Goofs

The snub-nosed revolver used by Jennifer Spencer starts out has having black rubber hand grips. By the time Jennifer is confronted by Chief Jannings, the revolver now has wooden grips. See more »

Quotes

D'Ambrosia: When are you gonna learn, Harry? Sixth sense doesn't count any more. You can't bust suspects because you *think* they're dirty. *Psychic* don't *cut it*!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Eastwood... A Star (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

THIS SIDE OF FOREVER
Performed by Roberta Flack
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Lyrics by DeWayne Blackwell (as Dewayne Blackwell)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
lacking in some ways and stronger in others, it's a good- if mixed- Eastwood bag
8 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's a strange thing to see a film where some scenes work rather weakly (if only in comparison to other films in its legacy), and others in a 'sub-plot' or supporting story are surprisingly provocative and strong. Sudden Impact is one of those cases, where Clint Eastwood as star/producer/director shows when he can be at his best, or at his lessor of times when dealing with a crime/mystery/detective story in his Dirty Harry fame. We get that 'make my day' line, and un-like in the first film where his 'do I feel lucky' speech was playful and cool the first time and the second time at the end tough as nails, here it's switched around. He gets into another shamble with the department, as usual, when he tries to fight crime 'his' way, in particular with a diner robbery (inspiration for Pulp Fiction?) and with a high speed pursuit with a senior citizen bus. He's told to 'take a vacation', and that's the last thing on his mind. This whole main plot isn't very convincing aside from the expectancy of the story and lines, which just adds to the frustration. But soon his story merges with the sub-plot that Eastwood develops from the start.

Enter Sandra Locke's character, Jennifer Spencer, whom we soon learn after some (appropriately) mysterious scenes that she and her shy sister were victims of a cruel, unjust sexual assault (err, outright rape), and is sleekly, undercover-like, getting revenge. Her scenes and story are the strongest parts of the film, the most intense, and finally when it goes into Callahan's storyline (he's getting facts in the same small town she's in on a murder), the film finally finds a focus between Eastwood's classic form of clearly defined good vs. evil (though sometimes blurred, to be sure). Eastwood films the flashbacks, not to say too much about them, expertly, in a fresh, experimental style; the trademark Lalo Schifrin score is totally atmospheric in these scenes and in others. It almost seems like a couple of times an art-house sensibility has crept into Eastwood's firmly straightforward storytelling style, which helps make the film watchable.

It's a shame, though, that in the end it goes more for the expectable (or maybe not expectable) points, and until the third act Callahan doesn't have much to do except his usual 'it's smith...Wesson...and me' shtick. However, with Locke he gets out of her a very good performance (more subtle and touching than the one in the Gauntlet) and an exciting climax at an amusement park. In a way I do and don't agree with Ebert's remark that it's like a 'music video' in Eastwood's style here. I admit there is comparisons with the simplicity of both, the directness, but the scenes where Eastwood does break form are superior to those of any music video. It's cheesy, it's hard-edged, it's not up to par with the first two 'Harry' pictures, but hey, there could be worse ways to spend a couple hours with the master of the .44.


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