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Magnum Force (1973)

Dirty Harry is on the trail of vigilante cops 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 »

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2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Harry Callahan
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 and his new partner, Early Smith have been temporarily reassigned from Homicide to Stakeout Duty. You 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 Briggs. A man has to know his limitations... Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Clint Eastwood is back in 'Full Force' as Dirty Harry in "Magnum Force." See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

25 December 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vigilance See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,871,011, 30 December 1973

Gross USA:

$44,680,473, 31 December 1974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Malpaso Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The air traffic controller who speaks to Lt. Briggs wears a pocket protector which reads "PATCO". This stands for "Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization" and was the union whose members were fired by Ronald Reagan for going on strike in 1981. See more »


(40. min) The taxi driver drives a hooker and looks at her in the rear view mirror while she hides money in her panties - you cannot see things lower than your rear windshield in the rear view mirror (especially not as low as seats are), and even if you adjust it (rear view mirror), you cannot see because front seats are in the way. 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 original closing credits were altered by way of chyron on VHS prints issued since 1992 to change the Warner Bros. in-credit logo w/Warner Communications byline at the time to the Warner Bros. shield logo w/Time Warner Entertainment byline. The original closing credits are left intact on the DVD print. See more »


Referenced in Lethal Enforcers (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The greatest action sequel masterpiece of all time!
10 December 2015 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Magnum Force (1973) is the greatest action sequel of all time! Dirty Harry and Magnum Force are my two best favorite sequels of all time. It is one of my personal favorite movies. I always, always enjoy those two movies so much from Clint Eastwood, I grew up watching those two movie and they are the best action movies of all time! I just kept watching them. My second best favorite action flick of all time!

The movie had a good edition - good actors in this and Clint was his usual bad ass self. Hal Holbrook is a great villain in this. The flick is proof sequels can be damn fine films and not redundant. It is my favorite entry's of the series and no doubt one of the greats action flicks of the 70's! Magnum Force has...everything. Immortal perfection personified. Hal Holbrook does a marvelous job as do the three rookies who later became famous on their own. Robert Urich and David Soul well-performed the berserk cops. I do believe that Harry "crosses the line," and obviously so do those berserk cops, but unlike them, he never kills innocent by-standers and women.

Magnum Force is old school 70's action flick with 'acting' and 'actors...none CGI or special effects in it. It is not that I hate CGI or special effects ...it's just so nice to watch the way it was done. Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) goes up against rogue cops here and he never waivers on his 'justice'. Great pistol shooting scenes and very well done film. Eastwood rocks. I forgot to mention Dirty Harry series are more similar to Charles Bronson's Death wish series. In my opinion I enjoy Dirty Harry Series much better than any other action movies. So the film is set when a mysterious wave of killings sweeps the Mafia underworld, it's Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan who answers with Magnum Force. Despite a demotion by Lt. Neil Briggs for his questionable methods, Harry will stop at nothing to find the killers. A rouge traffic cops are killing criminals who have escaped from court, they killing them brutally and they don't care if they kill an innocent person or not. Those cops are different from Scorpio from previous movie and they are more vicious than psycho sniper Scorpio.

A tough, hard-core and explosive action-thriller that gets the job done. It's sharply written and well-constructed action film that has lots of flavor. Clint Eastwood is in top form as Dirty Harry, showing that truly no cop series can stand next to his classic character or these films. Compared to the original, this was a much better movie: The main story and characters were more interesting, the writing was less uneven and the overall pacing was better. It was still quite dated but a lot easier to take than the original. And, once again, I enjoyed the "retro-ness" of it. Mr. Eastwood's unshakable cool-as he dismantles a bomb or refuses a local anesthetic for seven stitches. In the film, Harry is certainly not a dictator. The law is. The law decides who lives and who dies. Nor does Harry glorify the state; or in this case, the system. He hates the system--the liberal legal system that has made a mess of things and Harry's the janitor who must clean it up; which makes sense considering his name derives from always getting the dirty jobs. Well, somebody's got to do it. Ironically, he sometimes makes a mess of his own, but delivers efficient results in the end. In Magnum Force, there's some new enforcers in town, and they ride dark horses. If ever a fascistic label could be applied, it's on them.

Magnum Force is a 1973 American action film and the second to feature Clint Eastwood as maverick cop Harry Callahan after the 1971 film Dirty Harry. Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in the television series Rawhide and the feature film Hang 'Em High, directed the film, the second in the Dirty Harry series.

I love this movie to death, it is my favorite best sequel of all time, Just like Terminator the first two movies, I love those two sequels to death! This movie deserves 10, it is almost so good as Dirty Harry, the only problem I have with the film is it 2 hrs. long, it could have been shorter.

All the actors did a great job acting and the story was amazing. I have enjoy this movie to death and I always will! Throughout, there's a stress on dear old hubris: Harry earnestly repeats that "a man's got to know his limitations." Thus, it's reasoned that the killings he commits are justified - "There's nothing wrong with shooting, as long as the right people get shot" - but murderers do have to be discriminating. The action scenes are fabulous and the fantastic, the gun play is terrific, you will sea a lot of hand gun use and they are used well.

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