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Sudden Impact (1983)

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A rape victim is exacting revenge on her aggressors in a small town outside San Francisco. "Dirty" Harry Callahan, on suspension for angering his superiors (again), is assigned to the case.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Harry Julian Fink (characters), Rita M. Fink (characters) (as R.M. Fink) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Harry Callahan
Sondra Locke ... Jennifer Spencer
Pat Hingle ... Chief Jannings
Bradford Dillman ... Captain Briggs
Paul Drake Paul Drake ... Mick
Audrie Neenan ... Ray Parkins (as Audrie J. Neenan)
Jack Thibeau Jack Thibeau ... Kruger
Michael Currie Michael Currie ... Lt. Donnelly
Albert Popwell ... Horace King
Mark Keyloun ... Officer Bennett
Kevyn Major Howard ... Hawkins
Bette Ford ... Leah
Nancy Parsons ... Mrs. Kruger
Joe Bellan Joe Bellan ... Burly Detective
Wendell Wellman ... Tyrone
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Storyline

A vicious serial-killer is on the loose in San Francisco and the police trace a link to a small town further down the coast. When Harry Callahan upsets the press and the mayor in his usual style, he's shipped out of town to investigate while the heat is on. With the help of his new Magnum handgun Harry goes on the trail leaving behind the usual trail of dead criminals along the way. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two killers are at large. One of them is Dirty Harry. [Video] See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Impacto fulminante See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,688,561, 11 December 1983

Gross USA:

$67,642,693
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (5.1)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only sequel directed by Clint Eastwood. See more »

Goofs

When the young uniformed officer is shot during the bank robbery, he reaches to the left side of his forehead. Later, in the police station, he is seen with a bandage on the right side of his forehead. See more »

Quotes

Ray Parkins: [to blond-haired suspect] You dipped your wick just like the rest of them!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Harry Callahan's character name becomes Harry ''Callaghan'' in the Italian version and titles because the local distributor thought it sounded better. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Empty: No One Knows What Goes on Behind Closed Doors (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

THIS SIDE OF FOREVER
Performed by Roberta Flack
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Lyrics by DeWayne Blackwell (as Dewayne Blackwell)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
lacking in some ways and stronger in others, it's a good- if mixed- Eastwood bag
8 September 2005 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

It's a strange thing to see a film where some scenes work rather weakly (if only in comparison to other films in its legacy), and others in a 'sub-plot' or supporting story are surprisingly provocative and strong. Sudden Impact is one of those cases, where Clint Eastwood as star/producer/director shows when he can be at his best, or at his lessor of times when dealing with a crime/mystery/detective story in his Dirty Harry fame. We get that 'make my day' line, and un-like in the first film where his 'do I feel lucky' speech was playful and cool the first time and the second time at the end tough as nails, here it's switched around. He gets into another shamble with the department, as usual, when he tries to fight crime 'his' way, in particular with a diner robbery (inspiration for Pulp Fiction?) and with a high speed pursuit with a senior citizen bus. He's told to 'take a vacation', and that's the last thing on his mind. This whole main plot isn't very convincing aside from the expectancy of the story and lines, which just adds to the frustration. But soon his story merges with the sub-plot that Eastwood develops from the start.

Enter Sandra Locke's character, Jennifer Spencer, whom we soon learn after some (appropriately) mysterious scenes that she and her shy sister were victims of a cruel, unjust sexual assault (err, outright rape), and is sleekly, undercover-like, getting revenge. Her scenes and story are the strongest parts of the film, the most intense, and finally when it goes into Callahan's storyline (he's getting facts in the same small town she's in on a murder), the film finally finds a focus between Eastwood's classic form of clearly defined good vs. evil (though sometimes blurred, to be sure). Eastwood films the flashbacks, not to say too much about them, expertly, in a fresh, experimental style; the trademark Lalo Schifrin score is totally atmospheric in these scenes and in others. It almost seems like a couple of times an art-house sensibility has crept into Eastwood's firmly straightforward storytelling style, which helps make the film watchable.

It's a shame, though, that in the end it goes more for the expectable (or maybe not expectable) points, and until the third act Callahan doesn't have much to do except his usual 'it's smith...Wesson...and me' shtick. However, with Locke he gets out of her a very good performance (more subtle and touching than the one in the Gauntlet) and an exciting climax at an amusement park. In a way I do and don't agree with Ebert's remark that it's like a 'music video' in Eastwood's style here. I admit there is comparisons with the simplicity of both, the directness, but the scenes where Eastwood does break form are superior to those of any music video. It's cheesy, it's hard-edged, it's not up to par with the first two 'Harry' pictures, but hey, there could be worse ways to spend a couple hours with the master of the .44.


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