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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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as R.M. Fink) | 3 more credits »
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Harry
... Bressler
... Chico
... The Mayor
... Killer (as Andy Robinson)
... Chief
... De Giorgio
Mae Mercer ... Mrs. Russell
Lyn Edgington ... Norma
... Bus Driver
... Mr. Jaffe
... Rothko
William Paterson ... Bannerman
... Liquor Proprietor
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:

With his .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, Dirty Harry wipes out crime to hell. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Right  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scorpio's sniper rifle is a 7.7 Arisaka type 2 Takedown rifle fitted with a Maxim & Hiram suppressor. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, Scorpio directs the mayor to provide an airplane for his escape at Santa Rosa airport. When he hijacks the bus, he directs the bus driver to exit the 101 northbound at Sir Francis Drake Blvd - which makes no sense, as Santa Rosa Airport is some 50 miles north of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. See more »

Quotes

[after a battered crook has accused Harry of beating him]
Chief: Have you been following that man?
Harry Callahan: Yeah, I've been following him on my own time. And anybody can tell I didn't do that to him.
Chief: How?
Harry Callahan: Cause he looks too damn good, that's how!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parallax: The Battle of Mundi's World (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Old MacDonald Had a Farm
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of "The" films of the 1970s
27 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

Don Siegel's "Dirty Harry" was arguably the start of the serial killer/cop genre inherent in so many mainstream American movies released today. Setting the stage for countless rip-offs and sequels, "Dirty Harry" was one of the true first of its kind--not only in regards to its genre influence but also in terms of its content. (Full frontal nudity, heavy vigilante-style violence and strong language.) It is, in fact, one of the quintessential 1970s films--capturing the very essence of the typical gritty '70s film style we're all familiar with. If "Midnight Cowboy" began the trend, "Dirty Harry" extends it.

Clint Eastwood delivers one of his finest performances as the titular "Dirty" Harry Callahan. He's got just the right amount of cocky cynacism and inset sense of self-justice and importance to make the character realistic and likable, despite his flaws.

The plot almost seems routine now, but back in '71 it was controversial stuff: Harry is a tough cop trying to track down a mad serial killer in San Francisco, who is murdering victims in an effort to receive ransom money. When he kidnaps a young girl, Harry makes it his mission to disobey direct orders and take on the killer by himself.

It's easy to point at this now and say, "I've seen this already." In many cases film classics can only be graded well for nostalgic purposes, because their imitators have improved upon the original material.

Not here. The original really does still remain (one of) the best.

Siegel would later follow up "Dirty Harry" with another examination of criminals and cops, and would also team up again with Clint Eastwood. This is probably his best film, which is saying a lot. Its reputation precedes it, but in this case, the strength of the film itself really is deserving of its popularity. The final speech is awesome stuff.


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