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Top Customer Reviews
At least in the larger U.S. cities 30 years ago, residents had become totally fed up with traditional law enforcement initiatives. It was no longer safe to walk the streets at night. Even more dangerous to do so in public parks. Homes were robbed while people worked during the day. Many of the same homes were robbed again later after insurance coverage replaced the articles previously stolen. Racial animosities, drug abuse, and a widespread contempt for institutional authority all contributed to such problems.
Under Don Siegel's crisp direction, Eastwood and his associates in the cast bring R.M. Fink's screenplay to life (and yes, to death) as they focus on what is obviously an irreconcilable conflict between Callahan and his superiors who include the mayor of San Francisco. Callahan's motto seems to be "Whatever it takes." In some situations, it may take his 44 Magnum, "the most powerful handgun in the world.Read more ›
Tough cop "Dirty" Harry Callahan has his own simple, commonsense rules for dealing with crime, based on a strong sense of right and wrong and an impatience with needless details and constraints. The latter gets him into continual trouble with the system which, as portrayed in the movie, is more about politics and bureaucracy than doing what needs to be done. This reflected well the frustrations and fears of Americans in the '70s that criminals were taking over the streets and that the law was powerless to stop them because the "criminal-coddling" courts were holding them back. I personally value the Fourth Amendment and other such niceties and shiver to think of some of the political and moral ramifications of this movie (some of which are still very much with us), but whatever one's politics, Dirty Harry is very effective as a police-action thriller, largely because of Eastwood's unique persona. It's hard not to admire and root for him even if you think he's not always right. There are also the standard gunfights and car chases, and high suspense, all well done.Read more ›
The film makes plain that while he describes his vulgar world in vulgar terms, he is actually above it. We learn from the beginning of the film that his doctor, who he chats up with more warmth than his white bosses, is black. Remember, in 1971 it was still commonplace to just write off blacks as "monkeys" or worse. The idea of a black man being a doctor, period, was unusual... let alone a white man seeing him for medical care and considering him his equal.
It is cues like these that reveal the true heart of the picture. So many soft-handed worryworts miss the point of the film because they do not understand the CONTEXT. The film is full of signs that Dirty Harry is an egalitarian in a time (1971) where such a point of view was rarer than it is now. Dirty Harry says the word "Spic" and a certain class of people are all aflutter, even as he embraces (insomuch as he embraces ANYTHING) his hispanic partner and his black doctor, and is enraged by the murder of a black, and so on ad infinitum.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good movie but Magnum force is better. (one of his other dirty Harry movies)Published 27 days ago by helena
I worked in a gun store when the original Dirty Harry movie made it debut. A couple of weeks after the movie's premiere, we couldn't keep S&W Model 29's in stock. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Drifter
I love it! I bought the movie because I want to see it again and keep it for future viewing. I'm not much of a critic or a fault finder at this stage but I'm just after... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Masamit Yaaro