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.
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
Andrew Robinson (the Scorpio Killer) claims to have ad-libbed the line "Hubba, hubba, hubba, pig bastard" while taunting Harry on the phone. See more »
When Harry runs up the stairs inside San Francisco City Hall to attend a meeting in the Mayor's office, he continues straight on at the top of the stairs. However, the Mayor's office is directly behind him at this point, overlooking the front of the building. He would have needed to turn a full 180 degrees at the top of the stairs, in order to go towards the office. See more »
[to Harry Callahan]
No, don't pass out on me now cop! No, no, no, no, no. Don't pass out on me yet, you dirty, rotten oinker! Do we understand each other? You better answer me, if you want to know where the girl is. Okay? Now listen... I've changed my mind. I'm going to let her die! I just wanted you to know that. You hear me? I just wanted you to know that before I killed you!
[Chico fires at Scorpio to defend Harry, who's lying on the ground]
Chico! Don't... ...
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During the opening credits, the word "Dirty" in the title is in brown as opposed to the rest of the credits' yellow. See more »
When screened on the cable TV channel, AMC, the first shootout was edited in such a way as to create a continuity error with Harry's "Did I shoot five times, or six?". In the edited version, his third shot is missing, as is his sixth shoot (which sends the robber crashing through a window). Thus, he only fires four times, not six, as he does in the unedited version. See more »
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
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Something wild about Harry
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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