206 user 82 critic

Magnum Force (1973)

2:21 | Trailer
San Francisco Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan is on the trail of vigilante Police Officers who are not above going beyond the law to kill the city's undesirables.


Ted Post


Harry Julian Fink (original material), Rita M. Fink (original material) (as R.M. Fink) | 3 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Harry Calahan
Hal Holbrook ... Lt. Briggs
Mitchell Ryan ... McCoy
David Soul ... Davis
Tim Matheson ... Sweet
Kip Niven ... Astrachan
Robert Urich ... Grimes
Felton Perry ... Early Smith
Maurice Argent Maurice Argent ... Nat Weinstein
Margaret Avery ... Prostitute
Richard Devon ... Ricca
Tony Giorgio ... Palancio
Jack Kosslyn ... Walter
Bob March Bob March ... Estabrook
Bob McClurg Bob McClurg ... Cab Driver


San Francisco Police Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) and his new partner, Earlington "Early" Smith (Felton Perry) have been temporarily reassigned from Homicide to Stakeout Duty. Meanwhile, those of the city's criminals who manage to avoid punishment by the courts are nevertheless being killed by unknown assassins. Callahan begins to investigate the murders despite orders from his superior officer, Lieutenant Neil Briggs (Hal Holbrook). A man has to know his limitations. Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Clint Eastwood is Dirty Harry in Magnum Force See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This is the last time Ted Post directed Clint Eastwood. See more »


Before the famous line, "Man's got to know his limitations", (very often erroneously quoted with a leading "A", as in "A man's got........", the camera angle on Harry's face changes drastically between just prior to the car exploding, and just a few seconds later when the cut goes back to him, as can be evidenced by the lettering on the sign behind Harry's face. See more »


[first lines]
Harry Callahan: [at end of main titles] This is a 44. Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and it could blow your head clean off. Do you feel lucky?
[fires at the audience]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are played over a hand (presumably Harry's) holding a 44 Magnum against a red background. As such, this is the only Dirty Harry movie in which the opening credits are not played over San Francisco scenery. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Swedish rental VHS has some cuts for violent content. Most notably the killing of the pimp; only two shots are fired instead of six. See more »


Referenced in 10 to Midnight (1983) See more »

User Reviews

"A man's got to know his limitations."
3 March 2019 | by actionstar-89625See all my reviews

Clint's Back!...Errrr....Dirty Harry's back I mean. Two years after the successful DIRTY HARRY comes its first sequel. Here, someone is out there killing all the city's dirtiest criminals. Soon enough Inspector Harry Callahan is on the case with his new partner Early Smith (Felton Perry).

Really gets a strong 7 out of 10 from me and has some great memorable scenes like the original, but it does bring some problems. Like the film does seem to go on for a little long after the biggest surprise is revealed. So the film may work better as a deeper look into Harry Callahan and his further thoughts on justice or injustice than it being looked at as a mystery which it pushes itself as. For there are way too few possible suspects especially when you watch the killer and his face.

Like the original a spectacular score from Lalo Shifrin and really some pretty good actors in supporting roles such as Hal Halbrook as Harry' boss Lt. Briggs and four new cops to the force in David Soul as Davis, Tim Matheson as Sweet, Kip Niven as Astrachan and the late Robert Urich as Grimes. Written by Michael Cimino and John Milius (who did uncredited work on the screenplay from DIRTY HARRY). In the end though, if you enjoyed the first one you will likely enjoy this one too. Followed by THE ENFORCER.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 206 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






Release Date:

25 December 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vigilance See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed