When a madman calling himself "the Scorpio Killer" menaces the city, tough-as-nails San Francisco Police Inspector "Dirty" 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
2,386 ( 100)
2 wins & 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 Georgio
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 1971, San Francisco faces the terror of a maniac known as the "Scorpio Killer" (Andrew Robinson), who snipes at innocent victims and demands ransom through notes left at the scene of the crime. Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is assigned to the case along with his newest partner Inspector Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni) 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:

do you feel lucky punk? See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne received the script through his Batjak production company, but passed, feeling it was too gratuitously violent. He also objected to getting a role that Frank Sinatra was offered first, but declined. He said later that he made a mistake, cited the role would ultimately have been a good fit for him and made two Dirty Harry-type movies, McQ (1974) and Brannigan (1975), later on as a result. See more »

Goofs

When Scorpio is baited to come after the priest, Harry is wielding a Winchester Model 70 in .458 Winchester Magnum. In the ensuing shootout, Harry fires 6 rounds without reloading. In reality, the size of the .458 Win Mag case is so large that it limits the magazine capacity to 3 (2 in some rifles). With one round in the chamber, the maximum number of rounds he could have fired without reloading is four. See more »

Quotes

Doctor: Sure, Harry. We can save the leg.
[takes out some scissors]
Harry Callahan: What are you going to do with those?
Doctor: Going to cut your pants off.
Harry Callahan: No. I'll take them off.
Doctor: It'll hurt.
Harry Callahan: $29.50, let it hurt.
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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

Spoofed in Erkan & Stefan gegen die Mächte der Finsternis (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
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User Reviews

 
I feel awkward about liking this movie. But it's still an inimitable classic.
17 March 2019 | by GiraffeDoorSee all my reviews

For me this is that movie that you love when you're young but as you get older you see the dark side to it.

I mean...it's not exactly Masha and the Bear even on a superficial level but you know what I mean.

As an action movie, this is just timeless. It has a gentle, yet uncompromising tone that immediately puts you in the mindset that you are in an unforgiving, violent world. It's clearly going for the X rating. It's not about elegance, it's just about being honest.

There's something folkloric in this tale of hunter and hunted where it's hard to tell who is the more brutal. That was indeed meant to be the gimmick: "two killers on the loose, one carries a badge".

It's a vivid movie about sadism and unapologetic brutality. Where there is only kill or let others get killed. Harry is a delicious character and Eastwood's cool portrayal, always seeming to be one jolt away from going nuts is captivating.

But in recent years I've had new feelings. Harry seems to personify that kind of cop who hates the 4th amendment, who sees themselves as the only barrier between the innocent and monsters and is devoted to protecting without a thought for who will protect the public from him. It's that counter-counter-cultural thinking wear one wants more power to law enforcement not less. I know the title suggests that these are Harry's negative traits but when watching, these are why we fall in love with him as a character. It's kind of a double bluff. Especially when Harry's violation of protocol is seemingly respesented as necessary.

Scorpio is amazing. He is played with maniacal relish that complements the stony Harry like how the Joker does for batman. But I would say he's scarier. We don't get the comic fantasy as a barrier.

I might be overthinking this movie but it is a fascinating rumination on grey morality and how it's not always easy to tell who to root for. even when you think you've realised that the official heroes aren't always good.

it's a difficult movie to interalize and ultimately, that's why it's brilliant.

There's never been a movie quite like it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

$35,976,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,976,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Malpaso Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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