Directed by: Don siegel
Genre: Drama, Mystery & suspense
Runtime: 102 Minutes
“You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” This quote would soon become renown from the mouth of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry himself. Don Siegel excellently directed this crime drama and the gripping plot was very exuberant. The film being released in1971 is one of the earliest ‘cop team up’ films, and later ones like “Lethal Weapon” would come. I love the concept of cops after thugs and criminals and it makes for an exciting film. You get plenty of action, nice bits of humour and an excellent thrill ride from “dirty Harry” and his escapades and Eastwood’s performance will make you remember this film for quite some time.
Harry Callahan (Clint Easwood) is a sardonic, hard-working San Francisco cop who can't finish his lunch without having to foil a bank robbery with his 44 Magnum, "the most powerful handgun in the world." When hippie-esque psycho Scorpio (Andy Robinson) goes on a killing spree, Harry and new partner Chico (Reni Santoni) are assigned to hunt him down, but not before the Mayor (John Vernon) and Lt. Bressler (Harry Guardino) admonish Callahan about his heavy-handed tactics. Racing against a deadline to save a kidnap victim from suffocating to death and unbothered by the niceties of Miranda rights and search warrants, Callahan brings in Scorpio, only to see him released on technicalities. Now it is a race to get Scorpio.
I know as a film buff I am very late on checking Clint Eastwood’s films out, but now that I have seen him in action, I can say he is a fine actor. His on screen personality is fantastic and his performance as Harry was energetically powerful. Alongside Eastwood is Andy robinson as Scopio, the film’s bi antagonist. In the moments we see him he does an excellent psycho-esque job. You will likely remember him for the kid’s school bus scene where he definitely makes an impression. The supporting cast consists of John Vernon, Harry Guardino and Reni Sentoni who were all fine in their roles making the film well balanced.
In 1971, the film created uproar because of its fascist message about the power of one. For today’s film viewers, this is sort of cut out and seeing how much control Scorpio has is unrealistically powerful. It all makes for a great story and it makes Scorpio one great antagonist. We see him doing vicious and crazy things, holding ransom’s and getting away with things easy; all of which representing the ‘power of one’.
The story is completely solid, and very exciting. Don Siegel’s direction made the film unwind in a wonderful manner, taking us in to a crime suspense adventure. In one scene Harry finally catches up with Scorpio after a long night chase were Scorpio pleads that he has rights, which unbelievably, he does. The camera dolly’s back out of the stadium in which they are in through thick fog that soon makes the stadium disappear, leaving the audience in the thought that harry just may kill the man. It is one of the many glorious shots of the film.
The film’s final scene concludes us with a message that you are sure you will know of the consequence, and you will have to find out for yourself what that is. Forty years has passed and “Dirty Harry” still holds a status in the film world. The unforgettable quote and performance from Eastwood has become a catchphrase in cinema, and the film is deserving of its status. Now I will be exploring Eastwood’s films, as well as checking out the following Dirty Harry films, starting with “Magnum force”. If you like, police related films filled with action, thrills and suspense, then “dirty Harry” is the perfect film for you.
My Rating: 9/10