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Author Topic: Implied Harry's answers  (Read 418 times)
Aline
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« on: August 01, 2018, 09:15:20 AM »

I have some questions during all thoses years that now it's enough, I still don't get them and I need answers. >:(

In Dirty Harry, the scene where Harry and his partner Chico are going to do the surveillance on the rooftop.
Once there, Chico asks Harry:

Quote
How about the priest?
He knows he's being set up for bait?

Harry
Quote
Yeah, he wanted to.
We told him we had a volunteer
willing to take his place.

Quote
Who?

Harry
Quote
Never guess.

Chico laughs and says

Quote
Yeah, I know.
Welcome to Homicide.

He got what Harry meant and I don't.
Who was the volunteer? :(

Again in The Enforcer, at Mustapha's office, as Harry leaves Mustapha says:

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Callahan, you go out and put your ass on the line for a bunch of dudes who'd no sooner let you in the front door than they would me.

Harry
Quote
I'm not doin' it for them.

Mustapha
Quote
Who then?

Harry
Quote
You wouldn't believe me if I told you

Mustapha laughs and again he got what Harry implied and I don't.

Please, what did Harry mean in those scenes?? Who he was referring to??
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AKA23
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 04:56:10 PM »

Aline, let me see if I can help you out here. For the first quote, based on the context, I think Harry is referring to himself. Cops often go undercover as civillians to catch criminals to avoid putting regular people in harms way. Remember when Harry pretended to be a pilot in “Magnum Force?” It would be a similar type of thing here.

The second quotation requires more interpretation because its not possible to know definitively. I think Harry does what he does for the victims who would otherwise go unnoticed. Those who are on the margins of society or who the masses may not value. Harry serves as the protector of ordinary San Franciscans who would otherwise have no one to fight for them.

Do you remember when The Man with No Name helped out a woman in trouble who he did not otherwise know? When he was asked why, he said he was helping her because he knew someone like her once and there was nowhere there to help? I think Harry has a similar motivation. He does what he does to ensure that doesnt happen on his watch.  He is always there to help because everybody counts and all innocents deserve protection from lawless criminals who seek to do them harm.

What do you think, Aline? It is great to see you still thinking deeply about Eastwood’s work after so many years as a fan.
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KC
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2018, 10:27:42 PM »

I think, in both cases, the answer is "Me."

In the first case, as AKA says, Harry would have been the volunteer.

In the second case, ultimately, it is Harry's own sense of honor and self-worth that keeps him "going out and putting his ass on the line," day in and day out. He wants to be able to look himself in the mirror each morning, knowing he has done all he possibly could to fulfill his duty, and that is to protect everyone, especially, of course, the marginalized and neglected, but also the "bunch of dudes" who wouldn't let him in the front door. Even them.

But that's just my take. AKA's answer to the second question is very good and very plausible, also. As he says, "It's not possible to know definitively."
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Gant
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2018, 10:59:49 PM »

Great answers.... Nice scenes that give Harry a little more  depth...
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2018, 11:20:32 PM »

I always assumed it was Chico who was the volunteer if the priest didn't want to be "the bait". Obviously, Chico had no idea he was the volunteer but when he says, "Yeah I know, Welcome to homicide". It seemed to me, "the bait" would be the rookie.
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KC
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2018, 06:53:41 AM »

I always assumed it was Chico who was the volunteer if the priest didn't want to be "the bait". Obviously, Chico had no idea he was the volunteer but when he says, "Yeah I know, Welcome to homicide". It seemed to me, "the bait" would be the rookie.
That was my first thought as well. But when I think about it, I don't think Harry (or his superiors) would have picked the inexperienced Chico for such a potentially lethal job,  at least not without discussing it with him first.
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Aline
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2018, 09:23:33 AM »

Thank you so much! Great points everyone, you guys are amazing.  I feel a little bit dumb right now because I never thought he was referring to himself, but in the first situation it makes sense. When he says "Never guess" Chico must have remembered what Harry said after rescuing the suicide guy:
Quote
Now you know why I'm called Dirty Harry.I get every dirty job that comes along.


The second quotation requires more interpretation because its not possible to know definitively. I think Harry does what he does for the victims who would otherwise go unnoticed. Those who are on the margins of society or who the masses may not value. Harry serves as the protector of ordinary San Franciscans who would otherwise have no one to fight for them.


Great point Aka but...this isn't obvious? It isn't what a cop must to do, protect people? :( We know there aren't many cops like Harry but Mustapha laughs like he suggested something absurd! But as you said we can't affirm definitively... it's a really vague response and I am still intrigued by his answer. Why he didn't answer the same way he did to Chico's girlfriend when she asked why does he stay in police? He said
Quote
I don't know, I really don't.
So we assume, now things are clearer for him, right? ???


Do you remember when The Man with No Name helped out a woman in trouble who he did not otherwise know? When he was asked why, he said he was helping her because he knew someone like her once and there was nowhere there to help? I think Harry has a similar motivation. He does what he does to ensure that doesnt happen on his watch.  He is always there to help because everybody counts and all innocents deserve protection from lawless criminals who seek to do them harm.

That's was nice that you mentioned this. It sounded to me the man with no name was talking about his mother, right? Since first time he saw that kid we saw kindness in his eyes. He saw himself in the Marisol's kid. We can assume his mother left and wasn't able to raise him. So he wanted to help everyone in this situation to prevent them to go through what he did. It's a kind of... therapy. A way to heal his wounds. The same way Harry does.

 Harry lost his wife in a tragic way. Honestly some of you can figure Harry in a marriage because I don't. He had some affairs in the following movies but neither of them really serious or convincing. I wonder if is this fact what made him so... focused in give his lifetime to protect others? It's like Harry doesn't see any meaning in his life since he lost her and then decided to dive in a dangerous job because eve if he dies he will know it was for good causes. He kind of see the drunk killer of his wife in every "punk" that shows up.

 A long time ago I started a thread called "Harry needs therapy". Everybody disagreed and today, I don't think he does because his therapy is his job but I keep saying, by his answers, Harry has always sounded confused to me, a very vulnerable man but that's what makes him so fascinating.
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Perry
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2018, 01:07:01 PM »



 I always thought it was Sondra Locke since she stuck around for a few more movies unfortunately ...
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AKA23
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2018, 07:08:34 PM »

Thank you so much! Great points everyone, you guys are amazing.  I feel a little bit dumb right now because I never thought he was referring to himself, but in the first situation it makes sense. When he says "Never guess" Chico must have remembered what Harry said after rescuing the suicide guy:


Great point Aka but...this isn't obvious? It isn't what a cop must to do, protect people? :( We know there aren't many cops like Harry but Mustapha laughs like he suggested something absurd! But as you said we can't affirm definitively... it's a really vague response and I am still intrigued by his answer. Why he didn't answer the same way he did to Chico's girlfriend when she asked why does he stay in police? He said  So we assume, now things are clearer for him, right? ???

I think to us as fans, the fact that Harry does what he does for the victims may be obvious, because the "Dirty Harry" series frequently gives us a window into his point of view, but I question whether this is obvious to his superiors and the critics of the film series. I think they'd say that he does what he does because he is arrogant and because he has no respect for authority. Because he doesn't respect the chain of command and is frequently on a power trip, and that he does what he does for those reasons.

While it is true that he does all of these things at times, what I think his superiors and his critics miss is that his motivation for doing so is because he doesn't believe, and his experience has proven to him, that policies, procedure, bureaucratic red tape and the chain of command often fail to do what he believes is most important, protect victims and safeguard society. I actually don't think that essential motivation to what Harry does is as obvious as it might first appear.

I also think that what you say about Harry feeling regret for being unable to protect those close to him in the past, such as his wife and various partners, like Kate, may be part of his motivation to act in the ways in which he does.
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Aline
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2018, 12:16:28 PM »

Yes, Aka, I must agree with you.

I always thought it was Sondra Locke since she stuck around for a few more movies unfortunately ...

 :laugh:
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Christopher
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2018, 02:11:49 PM »

I always assumed it was Chico who was the volunteer if the priest didn't want to be "the bait". Obviously, Chico had no idea he was the volunteer but when he says, "Yeah I know, Welcome to homicide". It seemed to me, "the bait" would be the rookie.
I always took it for implying Chico would have been the "volunteer" as well. I think the way Harry looks at Chico implies that too.
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KC
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2018, 03:41:32 PM »

^ In favor of that interpretation: If Harry is the bait, who is going to be the sharpshooter to take aim at Scorpio?

I'm now leaning toward the Chico theory.
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Aline
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2018, 01:12:34 PM »

It's was Chico, he himself repeated "Welcome to Homicide" same line Harry said to him after he saw the dead boy's body.
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KC
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2018, 03:25:18 PM »

This is interesting. I had actually always more or less assumed it was Chico until I read AKA's answer ...

Aline, let me see if I can help you out here. For the first quote, based on the context, I think Harry is referring to himself. Cops often go undercover as civillians to catch criminals to avoid putting regular people in harms way. Remember when Harry pretended to be a pilot in “Magnum Force?” It would be a similar type of thing here.

Well, that seemed to make sense to me at first, but now that I think about it: If Harry were "the bait" in this scenario, how could he catch Scorpio? Presumably he wouldn't even be in a position to see Scorpio before Scorpio fired, or Harry's fellow cops had prevented him from firing. And Harry wouldn't trust anyone the force but himself to be capable of doing that.

No, the only thing that makes sense is that the "bait" would have been an inexperienced cop who wouldn't be of much use in the planned scenario, except to hold the light.
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