Clint Eastwood Forums

General Information => The Dirty Harry Films => Topic started by: Ken Dodd on May 31, 2017, 03:26:13 PM

Title: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Ken Dodd on May 31, 2017, 03:26:13 PM
The film is great until Harry is sent packing to San Paulo and then the film drags and goes all forgettable on us.

Do you agree?

- Dodd

Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Perry on July 14, 2017, 06:48:30 PM


No I dont agree. The movie fails cause its not a good movie. The Callahan character  had become tired and cartoonish.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Jed Cooper on August 21, 2017, 07:57:09 AM
^^^Good point, Perry and I agree.  Not at first, because upon release I was happy to experience seeing my first Dirty Harry movie on the big screen as a fan.  Unfortunately, this film has not aged well.  Cartoonish is a good adjective describing one of the problems.  While Sondra Locke was good in The Gauntlet and "Which Way" films, her acting here is bad.  Not only that, but constantly revisiting her past is what drags the film down.  What I come away with from revisiting this movie these days is nostalgia and satisfaction of seeing Eastwood on film, a rarity these days.
 
What I don't understand about this film is how it's constantly ignored whenever 80's-themed magazines hit the bookstores.  Sudden Impact was a mega hit in it's day, a widely successful movie at the box office that had Eastwood in the limelight once again.  Not only that, "Make My Day" was an oft-repeated quote, from commercials, other actors all the way up to then President Reagan.  I've noticed that whenever a 1980's movie-themed magazine comes out, Sudden Impact is ignored.  I wonder why.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Perry on August 21, 2017, 03:32:43 PM
 Outside of that quote and the fact it did make money J.C, I never liked the movie. When i saw it originally I have to admit my first thought was " Jeez, Locke is in this movie too?" so my hatred was in full mode, but I just thought the whole movie was ridiculous and it had become a tired act. Go watch 'The Dead Pool' which is even more embarrassing. The movie Eastwood did that should had got more response as far as 80's movies was 'White Hunter Black Heart' which is a great movie. One last point J.C.. Locke I agree is very good in The Gauntlet, but she's mediocre in anything else she did with Eastwood.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Jed Cooper on August 22, 2017, 11:22:48 AM
I hear ya.  I’m not a fan of The Dead Pool anymore but admit I enjoyed seeing it upon first release more than Sudden Impact.  Eastwood did start the 90’s off right with White Hunter, Black Heart but slipped with The Rookie before his tour de force two years later, Unforgiven.  So Locke was in all of six Eastwood movies, her best performance being The Gauntlet.  I’d say she was at least passable in the Which Way films.  At least those two comedies are good enough regardless of her appearance.  Her acting is actually better in Bronco Billy, but the Which Way comedies are better films overall.   
 
 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: PeterD on September 23, 2017, 01:18:19 AM
I think the movie was ok (lets face it, how many Eastwood films were bad as in unwatchable?) but I never liked Sondra Locke as an actress and some of the scenes were a bit so-so in the movie, little bit on the gratuitous side.

I did like one of the scenes near the end where Dirty Harry is silhouetted with his gun when the 2 bad guys have Locke, that was memorable.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Perry on September 23, 2017, 06:42:02 PM
The merry-go-round scene is too loooooooong.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Matt on September 25, 2017, 08:08:03 PM
I love Sudden Impact, even though it has one of the worst villains in all of Eastwood...

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/f/fa/DH4ColtDS-6.jpg/600px-DH4ColtDS-6.jpg)
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Gant on December 04, 2017, 02:58:47 PM
I think Sudden Impact has some great, crowd pleasing scenes and I loved it when I saw it at the cinema all those years ago... But I don't think it works too well as a thriller. It seems a little disjointed to me and doesn't really flow...
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Perry on April 14, 2018, 12:41:34 PM
Outside of that quote and the fact it did make money J.C, I never liked the movie. When i saw it originally I have to admit my first thought was " Jeez, Locke is in this movie too?" so my hatred was in full mode, but I just thought the whole movie was ridiculous and it had become a tired act. Go watch 'The Dead Pool' which is even more embarrassing. The movie Eastwood did that should had got more response as far as 80's movies was 'White Hunter Black Heart' which is a great movie. One last point J.C.. Locke I agree is very good in the Gauntlet, but she's mediocre in anything else she did with Eastwood.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: AKA23 on June 01, 2018, 06:48:56 AM
I actually didn't mind "Sudden Impact" being set away from San Francisco. I think that "Sudden Impact" was one of the lesser "Dirty Harry" efforts because it was tonally inconsistent from the rest of the series. It was far too dark, and quite downbeat and Sondra Locke was really not a good choice for the vigilante role. Her only good performance in an Eastwood film was in "The Gauntlet."

In my opinion, the film also thematically didn't fit in well with the rest of the series since in "Magnum Force" Dirty Harry led the charge to bring the vigilante cops to justice while in this film, he lets the vigilante go and arguably aids in covering up her crimes. That never made any sense to me. It did not seem true to the values "Dirty Harry" lived by.

On the other hand, it did have it's high points too. It did give us "Make My Day," and that iconic photo of Dirty Harry in silhouette by the merry-go-round!
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Tang Lung on September 09, 2018, 05:12:37 AM
Not perfect but I prefer it over The Enforcer  :P
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Perry on September 11, 2018, 02:38:21 PM

Best parts of The Enforcer are Eastwood's scenes with Albert Popwell.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Jed Cooper on September 12, 2018, 05:25:46 PM
For me, the first 3 Dirty Harry stand alone the strongest in the series, a perfect trilogy.  Time has not been good to Sudden Impact, but justifiably so.  Regardless, it holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first Dirty Harry film I’d seen on the big screen upon initial release.  I saw it twice and remember enjoying it very much both times. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on October 10, 2018, 02:22:29 AM
In my opinion, the best Dirty Harry movie is the original one, directed by Don Siegel.
Clint Eastwood’s performance is still one of his best. Andy Robinson’s performance is good too.
The cat and mouse game is convincing and memorable.
The music, the atmosphere reflect so well the era of the 70’s.
The Dead Pool and The Enforcer are the weakest movies because of the lazy and not so convincing stories.
Even Clint seemed to be bored with his character.
Magnum Force is interesting because it seems to be an answer to Pauline Kael, who disliked the Don Siegel film and wrote a very bad review on it.
Clint’s performance in Magnum Force is still good and convincing.
In Dirty Harry, we just see Harry Callahan at work.
Harry’s private life is more developped in Magnum Force.
Sudden Impact is different from the other sequels.
Sudden Impact can even stand alone.
Is Sudden Impact a failure ? And why ?
I don’t think that Sudden Impact is really a failure.
I think that in many ways, Clint enters in the 80’s with Sudden Impact and Firefox.
Of course, Bronco Billy and Honkytonk Man were released in the 80´s too but belong to the 70’s.
I mean that these movies have the spirit of the 70’s.
When Clint did Sudden Impact, he played with his audience and obviously, Clint knows very well his audience.
In the first half, he gave his audience what the audience expected from a traditional Clint Eastwood movie: punch lines, action sequences, shootouts. In the second half, Clint walked the audience to his personal universe: the San Paulo part, the flashbacks and the great final which is reminiscent of movies like a Fistful of Dollars and High Plains Drifter.
In the end, Harry became a vengeful ghost in many ways.
I think that the second half of Sudden Impact announces Tightrope, which is often considered as a better movie than Sudden Impact.
Bruce Surtees photography is good, the Lalo Schifrin music almost became funk music.
Like in The Gauntlet and Tightrope, Clint had a conversation with his own character in Sudden Impact.
Sudden Impact is darker and more depressing than the other sequels.
The Roberta Flack song, This Side of Forever, is beautiful and melancholic at the same time.
Sudden Impact may not be perfect but is one of the most interesting Dirty Harry sequels because Clint put his character out of his comfort zone.
So, I wouldn’t say that Sudden Impact is a failure artistically speaking.
Clint is aware of his audience and his screen persona.
The conversation between Clint and his screen persona began after his collaboration with Sergio Leone and still goes on
and leads us to The Mule.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: AKA23 on October 10, 2018, 04:38:47 AM
In the end, Harry became a vengeful ghost in many ways.

Hocine, great post. What do you mean by this? How do you see this manifesting in “Sudden Impact?”
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on October 10, 2018, 07:09:28 AM
Hocine, great post. What do you mean by this? How do you see this manifesting in “Sudden Impact?”

Thank you, AKA23.
Well, if you remember, near the end of Sudden Impact, Harry Callahan was seriously beaten up by Mick and his two buddies.
Then, Harry fell into the ocean. The three villains let Harry and they were satisfied, thinking he was drowned.
Of course, the audience knew that Harry survived because one scene showed Harry coming out of the water, injured but still living. He went to his hotel room and found his friend Horace dead.
He took his 44 Magnum Automag.
When Harry appeared in the end, after the carrousel sequence, the three villains looked at him like he was a ghost.
They were terrified. Because they thought that Harry was dead. It’s like in the end of A Fistful of Dollars, when the Man with No Name appeared in order to save Silvanito from Ramon and his gang.
Symbolically, it’s like a resurrection. The light, the music and the sound effects went that way too.
The audience doesn’t want Harry/Clint Eastwood to be killed off.
The end of Sudden Impact symbolically represents the fantasy of the audience: the audience wanted Jennifer Spencer to be saved by Harry and they wanted the villains to be punished by Harry as well.
This is how Clint plays with his audience and with his character.
By the way, the Sudden Impact ending is better than the other Dirty Harry sequels endings, Magnum Force included.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: KC on October 10, 2018, 10:59:09 PM
Thanks for another great observation, Hocine! You also mention High Plains Drifter. I think the Sudden Impact ending is even more reminiscent of that.

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6mze6ExGvJM/VdovyjANniI/AAAAAAAAPNc/Yu9PwKhahXE/s1600/BoardwalkGiantDipperAlley1_SantaCruz.jpg)

(https://i1.wp.com/www.rebeatmag.com/wp-content/uploads/highplainsdrifter007.png?resize=620%2C264)

Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on October 11, 2018, 03:37:13 AM
Thank you, KC.
I agree with you.
Sudden Impact and High Plains Drifter endings almost have horror film atmosphere.
In many films, Clint Eastwood’s characters make some appearances as if they were supernatural beings.
For instance, in A Fistful of Dollars, Dirty Harry, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Sudden Impact, Pale Rider, Unforgiven, Absolute Power and Gran Torino.
Clint Eastwood made some iconic and beautiful shots.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: AKA23 on October 12, 2018, 06:39:33 AM
KC, I had never associated those two images from HPD and “Sudden Impact” with each other before, but you are so right! You can really see Eastwood’s directorial hand at work in those images.

Hocine, I’ve never thought of Callahan in “Sudden Impact” as an avenging angel, but the way you explain it, it makes total sense to me now.

KC, Hocine seems to be interested in symbolism. He really reminds me of Xichado, who doesn’t post anymore, but who always made interesting and thought-provoking posts here.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Aline on October 21, 2018, 01:33:03 PM
If there was some failure in Sudden Impact it wasn't because it was not set in San Francisco. It was because of the central topic of the movie. Rape. So bad taste, whose idea was that?
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: KC on October 21, 2018, 08:35:38 PM
It was interestingly treated, though. The trauma the two women suffered was in no way belittled; it was insisted upon. Both had been irreparably damaged by the experience. Indeed, the younger sister seems to be in a permanently catatonic state.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Jed Cooper on October 27, 2018, 04:10:38 PM
Very interesting perspective.  If by “fail” it is meant the movie hasn’t aged well, I’d agree.  Although, It certainly didn’t fail at the box office and is the most successful film of the Dirty Harry series.  The movie was so successful and popular that just about everybody was saying “Make my day”, even then President Ronald Reagan.  The phrase would be re-used and kept appearing in pop culture for years.

At the time, it had been three years since Clint had a major box office hit, with Any Which Way You Can.  Becoming a fan in 1981, I noticed the dry spell with the release of Firefox and Honkytonk Man.  I was pleased to see my first Dirty Harry film when Sudden Impact came out and there was quite a bit of media hype surrounding the film’s success and catchphrase.  I thought it was perfect the way Callahan said, “Make my day” at the beginning and end of the film, just as he’d done with the “Well do ya, punk?” comments in Dirty Harry.

The major drawback for me these days are Spencer’s memory sequences.   It feels like too much time is focused on the sexual assault committed against Jennifer and her sister.  They affect the pace of the film.  The point could’ve been made as effectively in less time. 

In the grand scheme of things, Time has not been kind to Sudden Impact.  However, it stands as one of Eastwood’s most successful movies.  Not that you’d know that when commemorative 80’s magazines hit the bookstores.  I’m amazed to see little to no mention at all.  That is not only disappointing, but puzzling as well. 

It’s still entertaining and enjoyable to watch.  Lots of memorable moments.  That’s the one thing I think Sudden Impact has more so than the first three in the series, great scenes and quotes not only from Eastwood, but the costars and even supporting players as well. 







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on October 30, 2018, 02:42:46 PM
If there was some failure in Sudden Impact it wasn't because it was not set in San Francisco. It was because of the central topic of the movie. Rape. So bad taste, whose idea was that?

Originally, Sudden Impact’s script was supposed to be a vehicle for Sondra Locke, a rape and revenge movie with no link with Dirty Harry. It wasn’t even supposed to be a Clint movie.
But Clint read the script and liked it. Then, he wanted the script to be rewritten in order to make a Dirty Harry movie.
In many Clint movies, Sondra Locke’s characters were sexually abused: The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Bronco Billy and Sudden Impact.
Rape seems to be an obsession in Clint movies.
It brings some tragedies and traumas: in Unforgiven and Mystic River for instance.
Sometimes, Clint movies explored the worst sides of humankind: crimes, murders, rapes, wars.
These subjects are obviously hard, depressing, sad and ugly.
But Clint is a storyteller and sometimes he wants to tell something about the loss of innocence, violence and justice in human societies.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: KC on October 30, 2018, 10:22:19 PM
Thanks once again for your insight, Hocine!

There isn't actually a rape in Unforgiven though, is there?
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Aline on October 31, 2018, 08:53:06 AM
Originally, Sudden Impact’s script was supposed to be a vehicle for Sondra Locke, a rape and revenge movie with no link with Dirty Harry. It wasn’t even supposed to be a Clint movie.
But Clint read the script and liked it. Then, he wanted the script to be rewritten in order to make a Dirty Harry movie.
In many Clint movies, Sondra Locke’s characters were sexually abused: The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Bronco Billy and Sudden Impact.
Rape seems to be an obsession in Clint movies.

Thank you for saving me, Hocine, you took the words from my mouth. I didn't say it before because I was afraid of offending someone or even Clint himself. But that's it, really. I always thought he was obsessed with rape. Maybe because it the most brutal violence against a woman and he had a daughter? Or maybe because the situation puts him like the savior, the alpha male that always came to the rescue? I always think he felt more powerful in situations like that. Or going too far, I even sometimes I thought it could be a secret fantasy Clint hilmself had and expressed it in his movies. No way I want to create controversy about it but it's known many men has fantasies about that and even women (rape it is not about sex, it's about power).

When I told friends I was a Clint fan and asked which movies they had watched, they named ones but they always said "and there was one with a woman raped"... I didn't like the tone they said, you know? So many awesome movies but "the one with the woman raped" seems to be the one that sticked on their heads. :-\

 I need to say the only rape scene in his movies that I don't feel much uncomfortable is the one from High Plains Drifter, maybe because it is not Sondra Locke or maybe because is a Clint's character doing it. >:D

The thing is, when I re-watch Sudden Impact sometimes, because I do, I always fast forward the part because is very bad taste. They could just have suggested the rape or made it a shorter scene. As Hocine said, there were rape scenes in other movies but it was not whole theme of the whole movie. The movie became a rape/revenge tale, not a Dirty Harry movie at all. Big mistake, sorry guys, my opinion. :-[

Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: AKA23 on November 01, 2018, 06:54:57 PM
What an interesting post, Aline. Clint definitely does seem to have an attraction to depicting stories that involve rape. He would likely say that that is because he likes stories that involve conflict (that's usually his standard response to questions about why he's attracted to particular stories), but there may be a deeper motivation that we, and perhaps even he, just don't know. I often wish that Clint were a little more introspective, since I don't think his answers are ever very revealing when he talks about why he chooses particular projects or discusses how and why he directs the way that he does.

I don't think there's any evidence that Clint has any kind of rape fantasy, so I don't agree with that part of your post, but I agree with you that this is a consistent theme in his work. In addition to what has already been discussed, "Gran Torino" also features rape and an attempted rape was depicted in "Pale Rider" as well. Sexual violence is also shown in "Tightrope," "The Rookie" and, as you stated, "Unforgiven" and "Mystic River."

Unlike you Aline, the scene that most disturbs me involving rape in an Eastwood film is actually the scene in "High Plains Drifter." I've long advocated that that scene should have been removed from the film, and I think Clint himself even admitted that if the film were made today, he wouldn't have included that scene.

I've also consistently stated that I thought that "Sudden Impact" was tonally inconsistent from the rest of the Dirty Harry series and that it seemed far too dark to me. I think those are the reasons the film isn't thought of more highly. I've never really thought that that was because the film centered around rape, but reading your post, it makes me think that maybe that's what I've meant by the film being too dark all along.

Thanks to you and Hocine for contributing your thoughts on this topic. This is such a great conversation.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on November 02, 2018, 05:40:34 AM
Very interesting perspective.  If by “fail” it is meant the movie hasn’t aged well, I’d agree.  Although, It certainly didn’t fail at the box office and is the most successful film of the Dirty Harry series.  The movie was so successful and popular that just about everybody was saying “Make my day”, even then President Ronald Reagan.  The phrase would be re-used and kept appearing in pop culture for years.

At the time, it had been three years since Clint had a major box office hit, with Any Which Way You Can.  Becoming a fan in 1981, I noticed the dry spell with the release of Firefox and Honkytonk Man.  I was pleased to see my first Dirty Harry film when Sudden Impact came out and there was quite a bit of media hype surrounding the film’s success and catchphrase.  I thought it was perfect the way Callahan said, “Make my day” at the beginning and end of the film, just as he’d done with the “Well do ya, punk?” comments in Dirty Harry.

The major drawback for me these days are Spencer’s memory sequences.   It feels like too much time is focused on the sexual assault committed against Jennifer and her sister.  They affect the pace of the film.  The point could’ve been made as effectively in less time. 

In the grand scheme of things, Time has not been kind to Sudden Impact.  However, it stands as one of Eastwood’s most successful movies.  Not that you’d know that when commemorative 80’s magazines hit the bookstores.  I’m amazed to see little to no mention at all.  That is not only disappointing, but puzzling as well. 

It’s still entertaining and enjoyable to watch.  Lots of memorable moments.  That’s the one thing I think Sudden Impact has more so than the first three in the series, great scenes and quotes not only from Eastwood, but the costars and even supporting players as well. 







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you, Jed Cooper. Interesting post.
Sudden Impact, in spite of the « Make My Day » punchline and its box office success, is not really among the most iconic pictures of the 80’s.
These iconic pictures are E.T., The Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Beverly Hills Cop, Flashdance, Back to the Future, Top Gun, Die Hard, Rain Man, Dirty Dancing, Lethal Weapon, First Blood, Batman.
Even Rocky III and Rocky IV have this 80’s vibe.
Firefox did well at the box office but cost a lot of money because of the visual effects.
However, it was commercially successful.
Honkytonk Man failed at the box office but was a cheap movie: around 2 M$, I think.
But it was a disappointment because it was a personal project, like Bronco Billy.
If Honkytonk Man hadn’t been failed at the box office, perhaps Clint wouldn’t have made Sudden Impact.
Sudden Impact is Clint’s biggest hit of the 80’s, after Any Which Way You Can.
Clint’s box office appeal declined after Heartbreak Ridge.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Aline on November 02, 2018, 02:40:40 PM
I don't think there's any evidence that Clint has any kind of rape fantasy, so I don't agree with that part of your post

I know this, Aka this was really only a thing in my mind :D Once more, in those movies you mentioned, the act of rape was only implied and much more effective than that longer scene in Sudden Impact.

I know Clint said that about the scene in High Plains Drifter, he has changed his style over the years but Clint has never been a heavy handed moviemaker, he is a subtle director.

Oh, I had totally forgotten The Rookie. It was a long scene and of a female raping a male!!! That was too much, but that movie was a little crazy anyway :D
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Jed Cooper on November 02, 2018, 04:48:35 PM
Thank you, Jed Cooper. Interesting post.
Sudden Impact, in spite of the « Make My Day » punchline and its box office success, is not really among the most iconic pictures of the 80’s.
These iconic pictures are E.T., The Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Beverly Hills Cop, Flashdance, Back to the Future, Top Gun, Die Hard, Rain Man, Dirty Dancing, Lethal Weapon, First Blood, Batman.
Even Rocky III and Rocky IV have this 80’s vibe.
Firefox did well at the box office but cost a lot of money because of the visual effects.
However, it was commercially successful.
Honkytonk Man failed at the box office but was a cheap movie: around 2 M$, I think.
But it was a disappointment because it was a personal project, like Bronco Billy.
If Honkytonk Man hadn’t been failed at the box office, perhaps Clint wouldn’t have made Sudden Impact.
Sudden Impact is Clint’s biggest hit of the 80’s, after Any Which Way You Can.
Clint’s box office appeal declined after Heartbreak Ridge.

Thanks, Hocine.  I understand what you mean about Sudden Impact not being one of the 80’s iconic movies.  It’s just that I lived through the success, popularity and hype around the film which is why I’m surprised it’s not even mentioned in retrospectives of that decade.  C’est la vie.  Firefox and 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture have in common that a lot of money was spent making them, were financially successful but are still horribly overlong, boring and dull.  I agree about Clint’s success, or lack thereof, in the late 80’s.  Thank goodness that would change with is tour de force in 1992’s Unforgiven.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on November 07, 2018, 06:00:14 AM
What an interesting post, Aline. Clint definitely does seem to have an attraction to depicting stories that involve rape. He would likely say that that is because he likes stories that involve conflict (that's usually his standard response to questions about why he's attracted to particular stories), but there may be a deeper motivation that we, and perhaps even he, just don't know. I often wish that Clint were a little more introspective, since I don't think his answers are ever very revealing when he talks about why he chooses particular projects or discusses how and why he directs the way that he does.

I don't think there's any evidence that Clint has any kind of rape fantasy, so I don't agree with that part of your post, but I agree with you that this is a consistent theme in his work. In addition to what has already been discussed, "Gran Torino" also features rape and an attempted rape was depicted in "Pale Rider" as well. Sexual violence is also shown in "Tightrope," "The Rookie" and, as you stated, "Unforgiven" and "Mystic River."

Unlike you Aline, the scene that most disturbs me involving rape in an Eastwood film is actually the scene in "High Plains Drifter." I've long advocated that that scene should have been removed from the film, and I think Clint himself even admitted that if the film were made today, he wouldn't have included that scene.

I've also consistently stated that I thought that "Sudden Impact" was tonally inconsistent from the rest of the Dirty Harry series and that it seemed far too dark to me. I think those are the reasons the film isn't thought of more highly. I've never really thought that that was because the film centered around rape, but reading your post, it makes me think that maybe that's what I've meant by the film being too dark all along.

Thanks to you and Hocine for contributing  your thoughts on this topic. This is such a great conversation.

Thank you, AKA23 !
I agree with you when you said that Clint is attracted to depicting stories that involve conflict.
In his interviews, he didn’t tell everything on his movies, even he is sometimes more talkative.
But when someone asked him why he did this or that movie, he usually answered that he liked the story, first of all.
The answers are actually in the movies, in my opinion.
So, we have to see the movies and find out the answers by ourselves.
We have to try to understand his movies by ourselves.
The interpretation of his movies is up to the audience.
I think that graphic violence in movies is a way to show and describe human conflict, its causes and its consequences.
And rape is a form of violence, of course.
In Gran Torino, there’s no rape on screen but we see Sue bleeding and seriously injured.
Then, we learned that she was actually raped.
Violence is graphic in many Clint films: westerns, cop movies, war films, dramas.

How violent will The Mule be ?


Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on November 07, 2018, 06:34:53 AM
Thank you for saving me, Hocine, you took the words from my mouth. I didn't say it before because I was afraid of offending someone or even Clint himself. But that's it, really. I always thought he was obsessed with rape. Maybe because it the most brutal violence against a woman and he had a daughter? Or maybe because the situation puts him like the savior, the alpha male that always came to the rescue? I always think he felt more powerful in situations like that. Or going too far, I even sometimes I thought it could be a secret fantasy Clint hilmself had and expressed it in his movies. No way I want to create controversy about it but it's known many men has fantasies about that and even women (rape it is not about sex, it's about power).

When I told friends I was a Clint fan and asked which movies they had watched, they named ones but they always said "and there was one with a woman raped"... I didn't like the tone they said, you know? So many awesome movies but "the one with the woman raped" seems to be the one that sticked on their heads. :-\

 I need to say the only rape scene in his movies that I don't feel much uncomfortable is the one from High Plains Drifter, maybe because it is not Sondra Locke or maybe because is a Clint's character doing it. >:D

The thing is, when I re-watch Sudden Impact sometimes, because I do, I always fast forward the part because is very bad taste. They could just have suggested the rape or made it a shorter scene. As Hocine said, there were rape scenes in other movies but it was not whole theme of the whole movie. The movie became a rape/revenge tale, not a Dirty Harry movie at all. Big mistake, sorry guys, my opinion. :-[

You’re welcome, Aline !
As AKA23 said, Clint likes telling stories involving conflict.
So, there is a lot of graphic violence in many Clint movies.
Sometimes, violence is just suggested and sometimes, violence is more graphic.
I think that Sudden Impact was a commercial vehicle for Clint and Warner Bros, after the box office failure of Honkytonk Man. The audience wasn’t ready to see Clint losing and dying in a movie.
Many fans liked and still like the violent side of Clint movies.
So, with Sudden Impact, he gave them that they wanted: punch lines, action, violence, blood, revenge.
Rape and revenge movies were quite fashionable in the 80’s:
for instance, Abel Ferrara’s Ms.45 or Extremities starring Farrah Fawcett.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: KC on November 07, 2018, 08:06:43 PM
Hocine, I edited the first of your two posts above just to show where the quote from AKA23 ended and your post began. :)

In Sudden Impact, unlike Clint's other films where rape features in the plot, rape is really central to the story, specifically the effects of rape on the survivors. True, it's a commercial vehicle for Clint, and "rape and revenge movies" were fashionable at the time (I haven't seen the two you mention). But among Clint's own movies, Sudden Impact still stands out because of how it portrays the devastating and indelible effects of a rape on one of the main characters. Jennifer is shown as a bitter, vengeful caricature of the vibrant young woman she once was (as we can see in the flashbacks, and in her self-portrait), while the same act has virtually ended her sister's life, reducing her to a catatonic shell. (Similar, interestingly, to one of the perpetrators: the police chief's son, who couldn't live with his own guilt and was crippled and brain-damaged in a suicidal car accident.)

This is a large part of the movie, along with the punch lines and more typical "Dirty Harry" kind of action scenes.

I can still sympathize with Aline's opinion that the rape didn't need to be shown so graphically. But I can understand why it was done that way.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on November 08, 2018, 12:52:19 AM
Thank you, KC !
I agree with you. Many violent scenes in Sudden Impact can be disturbing.
Moviegoers have to take some distance.
I was a teenager when I saw Sudden Impact on TV for the first time.
Of course, I was focused on Harry Callahan character.
I especially enjoyed the Make My Day scene and all the action scenes involving Harry Callahan, the final sequence when Harry suddenly appeared and Lalo Schifrin’s music score.
Jennifer Spencer character was quite fascinating and weird because, as a young teenager, it was unusual to see a woman attractive and violent at the same time.
Before meeting and killing her targets, Jennifer Spencer recalled the bad time spent with them (the flashbacks).
Quentin Tarantino did the same thing in Kill Bill movies: before meeting and killing her targets, Uma Thurman’s characters briefly recalled the bad time with them.
Of course, there are many female characters like that (femme fatale) in film noir genre played by Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Barbara Stanwyck, Lana Turner or Rita Hayworth for instance.
Jennifer Spencer character is also similar to Charles Bronson’s character in Death Wish, Paul Kersey. They were simple citizens who became vigilantes, mostly because of their pain and police forces’ inefficency.
After Sudden Impact, some critics declared Clint Eastwood a feminist director.
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Gant on December 03, 2018, 06:21:10 AM
I saw Sudden Impact on release and throrughly enjoyed it at the time although even then I felt it dragged in places and Pat Hingle's performance was slightly ludicrous..

I do think that Sudden Impact fails as a thriller tho.. It now feels to me like a load of set pieces strung together until we get to the end, by which time you never really feel Clints character is in any real danger and does indeded become something of an avenging angel, picking off the baddies one by one.. Having said that I do quite enjoy the ending and  think that some of it as an almost Hitchcock type feel to it..

I havnt watched it in quite a while and dont really plan to... For me its still 4th best in the series..
Title: Re: Sudden Impact fails because it removes Harry from SF
Post by: Hocine on December 08, 2018, 06:31:18 AM
This is just an opinion about the Dirty Harry movies:

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/dirty-harry-movies-ranked/