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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:

Dirty Harry is at it again. 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:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke named one of their parrots Meathead after the dog in the film. See more »

Goofs

When discussing the abrasive woman Callahan met in the bar, he tells the local officer that he'd, "brushed her, across her." This was clearly a blown line but, as is characteristic of an Eastwood-directed film, he didn't bother with a retake, knowing that the audience wouldn't mind. See more »

Quotes

Mick: I don't give a fuck about Tyrone. And Alby, he's covered.
Ray Parkins: Alby? How? The guy's a vegetable, he doesn't even know if he's pissing himself!
Mick: He's *covered*.
Ray Parkins: [teasingly] Ok.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Science Project (1985) 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

Fourth Dirty Harry entry changes the formula to a darker, character-driven style.... interesting but not wholly successful.
11 December 2003 | by Jonathon DabellSee all my reviews

Sudden Impact is the most unusual of the five Dirty Harry movies, but that doesn't make it the best. However, after the rather flat and comic-book heroics of the third film, The Enforcer, it's good to see some changes to the formula. Sudden Impact is quite a dark, moody piece of cinema with big emphasis on character. Yes, there's action, but the action in this one is only one piece of the jigsaw whereas in some of the other Dirty Harry outings the action was everything.

Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is in hot water with his superiors for carrying out an illegal search on a suspicious car. The young thugs he arrested are released because of the lack of evidence, and they set out to take revenge on Harry. However, Harry is a tough nut to crack - and pretty soon he is striking back in his own destructive style. Harry's boss decides to get Harry out of town for a while to avoid further bloodshed, so he assigns him to a quiet murder investigation in an isolated coastal town. Harry pieces together the mystery and discovers that the killer is a female artist (Locke) who is bumping off a bunch of drop-outs who gang-raped her and her sister years previously. Should he arrest her for the killings, or should he turn a blind eye and let her do away with these repellent scum-bags?

The film is probably the second best in the series (the original is always going to be considered the best). Peculiarly, it is the only Dirty Harry movie upon which Eastwood also doubled up as director. It isn't a whole success, with some needless scenes (what's the point of the sequence detailing the hold-up of a coffee shop?) and a couple of overly hammy performances by the main villains (especially the trailer trash redhead). On the whole, though, this is a very interesting and unusual addition to the series which gets by on the strength of being totally different to all the other four episodes.


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