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Dirty Harry (1971)

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When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

Director:

Don Siegel

Writers:

Harry Julian Fink (screenplay), Rita M. Fink (screenplay) (as R.M. Fink) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
2,012 ( 53)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Harry
Harry Guardino ... Bressler
Reni Santoni ... Chico
John Vernon ... The Mayor
Andrew Robinson ... Killer (as Andy Robinson)
John Larch ... Chief
John Mitchum ... De Giorgio
Mae Mercer Mae Mercer ... Mrs. Russell
Lyn Edgington Lyn Edgington ... Norma
Ruth Kobart ... Bus Driver
Woodrow Parfrey ... Mr. Jaffe
Josef Sommer ... Rothko
William Paterson William Paterson ... Bannerman
James Nolan ... Liquor Proprietor
Maurice Argent Maurice Argent ... Sid Kleinman (as Maurice S. Argent)
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Storyline

In the year 1971, San Francisco faces the terror of a maniac known as Scorpio- who snipes at innocent victims and demands ransom through notes left at the scene of the crime. Inspector Harry Callahan (known as Dirty Harry by his peers through his reputation handling of homicidal cases) is assigned to the case along with his newest partner Inspector Chico Gonzalez to track down Scorpio and stop him. Using humiliation and cat and mouse type of games against Callahan, Scorpio is put to the test with the cop with a dirty attitude. Written by commanderblue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dirty Harry and the homicidal maniac. Harry's the one with the badge. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Right See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,153,434, 31 December 1972
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Malpaso Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A close-up shot was planned for Debralee Scott's appearance, in which she played the nude corpse of Ann Mary Deacon. She felt so cold in the dawn chill that she shivered uncontrollably. After several failed takes, her scene was filmed as a long shot. See more »

Goofs

Scorpio is not charged with any crime, due to lack of evidence. However, in reality, he could have been charged with assault on an on-duty police officer (when Harry is hit on the head as he's trying to deliver the money), assault with intent to kill (when he fires at Chico), and illegal possession of an automatic weapon. See more »

Quotes

Big Black Man: [Big Black has just been given a wad of cash by Scorpio] You want to go all the way?
The Killer: Every penny's worth.
Big Black Man: Relax. Take it easy. It's gonna be all right.
[pulls on a pair of leather gloves and methodically beats Scorpio into a bloody pulp]
Big Black Man: You sure you want the rest of it?
The Killer: Every penny's worth, you black son of a bitch!
Big Black Man: [kicks Scorpio hard] This one's on the house!
[flattens him with one last punch and walks away]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, the word "Dirty" in the title is in brown as opposed to the rest of the credits' yellow. See more »

Alternate Versions

Harry Callahan's character name becomes Harry ''Callaghan'' in the Italian version's subtitles and overdubbing because the local distributor thought it sounded better. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ice (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Something wild about Harry
29 January 2005 | by ian-433See all my reviews

Don Siegel's highly polished .44 magnum-opus, with Clint Eastwood as the daddy (or should that be mutha?) of all maverick cops. Given an A-picture budget by Warners, Siegel delivered a tremendously taut thriller, as provocatively amoral as anything he had done in his 20-year career of expert B-pics like The Killers.

Dirty Harry also gave Eastwood a definitive Hollywood identity after leaving spaghetti westerns behind. It may lack the humour of Siegel and Eastwood's first collaboration, Coogan's Bluff, but it packs a much more uneasy political punch.

Inspector Harry Callaghan is the taciturn, laconic spokesman of Nixon's Silent Majority, elevated to iconic status. His dialogue with criminals is delivered behind the barrel of a devastatingly phallic Magnum hand-gun. "Feel lucky, punk?" he taunts one wounded miscreant in a famous line he repeats at the end of the film.

There's just enough moral ambiguity about Harry in this film to escape it being an endorsement of vigilantism – but if it poses resonating questions about how a liberal society can be held hostage by those outside the law, it also contrives a worryingly two-dimensional picture of psycho-killer Scorpio (Andy Robinson) - and of Harry, himself – with which to frame those questions.

Made by the veteran director in the same year as Hollywood-new wave young gun William Friedkin shot The French Connection, it's just as coolly authoritative and exciting. Siegel uses Bruce Surtees' always serviceable photography of San Francisco locations with flair (years before, he had shot the low-budget but excellent The Line-Up there). The swooping helicopter shot out of the baseball stadium, as if to rush the audience away (either as witnesses or as voyeurs) as Eastwood presses his foot on Scorpio's wounded leg, shows Siegel's smooth mastery of the medium.

Siegel made the insouciant Charley Varrick with Walter Matthau next, after which his career went into slow decline.


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