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Author Topic: MAGNUM FORCE: The Story 2: Charlie McCoy  (Read 7449 times)
Matt
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« on: December 28, 2003, 12:35:53 AM »

Charlie McCoy vehemently expresses his disgust with the system and the way the law protects criminals in this scene:

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McCOY: Ah, we should have put our twenty in the Marines. These days, a cop kills a hoodlum on the street, he might as well just dump the body someplace, because those snot-nosed young bastards down at the DA's office will crucify them one way or another. A hood can kill a cop, but let a cop kill a hood?! Am I right?!"

CALLAHAN: You've put in plenty of time. Why don't you....why don't you go for retirement. Hell, you don't need this.

McCOY: I know you ten years. I'm going to tell you something between you and me... I'll never retire! Never! I'm going out fighting. That's the only way to go. Am I right?

Do you think that McCoy was part of the vigilante gang of cops or at least aware of their activities, or do you think he was an honest cop who was just venting his frustrations with the system? What do you think the purposes of the McCoy character are in the film?
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Brendan
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2003, 08:27:47 PM »

Well I figured he was there to try and divert your attention from the Cop Gang. Why else would he just go off on Harry?

If he was part of the group then why did Davis (I believe) kill him? If he was part of the group then Davis would have just said, "hey man let's get out of here."

I don't think and never thought McCoy was part of the group.  Briggs knew he was close to Harry, so why take the chance of Harry finding out earlier then he did?
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Agent
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2004, 09:56:32 AM »

I've always felt the same way - that McCoy was never part of the group...but I'm not so sure now. I finally had some time to watch parts of it the other night, and something that has always caught my attention is whenever they show a closeup shot of the killer cops. One scene in particular is when one of them pulls over the pimp:




Now to me that face doesn't even remotely resemble any of the 4 young vigilantes (not to mention the voice). Also appears to be quite a bit older than any of them. I then thought of comparing it with a shot of Charlie McCoy himself and seeing if there was any possibility that it could be one and the same. Below is a shot of McCoy where he bumps into Callahan near the beginning of the movie and starts ranting off:




This is the same shot, but slightly rotated, cropped and then blown up to get a better comparison with the first pic above:




I then superimposed the shades from the pimp scene and placed them over McCoy's face as best as possible. To me the crooked nose is almost a perfect match, and they both show signs of grey on the sides:



Compare it with...




...I don't know about you, but I think that this might just be the real McCoy. 8)

But this raises more questions than answers. If McCoy was in fact part of Brigg's killers, why did Davis knock him off? Was he too much of a risk? Too close to Callahan? Was he scoring more kills than the other four put together? Perhaps he was another "sacrifice" (as Sweet was), for the 'cause?' I don't know. Another possibility is that the filmmakers used Mitch Ryan (McCoy) or someone else in the closeup shots as a diversion so the cop wouldn't be recognized by the audience. Who knows, maye it was Buddy Van Horn or even director Ted Post making a cameo.  ;D  In any case, I think if any of the 4 others (Soul, Matheson, Urich, Niven) were used, they could have been easily picked out right off the bat, even if part of the face was shown.

Another notch against McCoy is the scene near the start of the movie where we see him gearinp up to go on duty after watching the mob boss being acquitted on TV, with a framed portait of himself sitting next to the set. The normal assumption is that this scene was used to throw us off and was not connected in any way with the limousine massacre a few minutes later. Or was it?

I just think there are too many questions concerning the McCoy character, but personally I'm much more open to him now being one of the killers - whether he worked in tandem with the four or not.  
« Last Edit: January 08, 2004, 11:47:15 AM by Agent » Logged

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Brendan
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2004, 10:48:24 AM »

The nose looks the same. But like you said, the director could have used Mitch Ryan, maybe becuase the other guys weren't avaiblabe for that day of shooting?  ???

That's where it gets confusing.
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mgk
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2004, 04:13:51 PM »

Excellent graphics, Agent!!! :D

Another notch against McCoy is the scene near the start of the movie where we see him gearinp up to go on duty after watching the mob boss being acquitted on TV, with a framed portait of himself sitting next to the set. The normal assumption is that this scene was used to throw us off and was not connected in any way with the limousine massacre a few minutes later. Or was it?

I just think there are too many questions concerning the McCoy character, but personally I'm much more open to him now being one of the killers - whether he worked in tandem with the four or not.  


When we were preparing the questions for this particular film, we were asking ourselves and each other all of these same questions.  Then, we even talked about it later among the three of us without completely solving the mystery.  So, glad you brought all of this up.

The thing about the cop putting his gear on at the beginning of the movie, with a picture of McCoy right there in front of him, is that we kept wondering whether McCoy would actually have a picture of himself in his own apartment?  If he were still with Carol, I could understand a picture being around.  But, when you think about it, how many men living alone would actually have a picture of themselves prominently displayed in their own apartment?  That part just doesn't make sense to me.

As for McCoy possibly being a member of the vigilante group, I can't help but wonder why Briggs and that group would want to include him.  He's very unstable and actually near a complete breakdown and I don't think they would risk having a "partner in crime" who was that unpredictable.  And, as Agent said, why would Davis kill him in that parking garage?  If McCoy was part of their group, wouldn't he have known about the killing that Davis just carried out?  If so, why kill McCoy?  Or, did these vigilantes only know about the particular criminal they were to kill or did all of them know each assignment?

The screen capture of the vigilante who kills the pimp certainly has a striking resemblance to McCoy.

I agree with you, Agent, when you say that the film makers tried to throw us off so we wouldn't figure out what was going on so early in the film.  So, we have to ask ourselves:  Did the film makers just do a really poor job or have we just not figured out what McCoy's role is in this film?
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Christopher
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2004, 04:42:43 PM »

These are great questions that are being brought up. During all the times I've viewed Magnum Force, I never once thought that McCoy may have been involved with the killers in some way. It would make sense if he was involved, and maybe taken out of the way because he was a little unbalanced. The right situation came up to get McCoy out of the way.

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Quote from MGK: But, when you think about it, how many men living alone would actually have a picture of themselves prominently displayed in their own apartment?
Now myself, I actually have my own Christopher hall-way devoted to pictures of just me!!! :D ;D
(Not Really!)
That's a good point. But why would one of the cops have a picture of McCoy in their apartments? Unless they really are queer (Oh my, I don't know if I want to go there ;)).
« Last Edit: January 08, 2004, 04:43:31 PM by Christopher » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2004, 07:01:48 AM »

Thanks mgk, yes I've wondered if one reason why there are so many unanswered questions in this film is possibly due to cut-out scenes. I know there's been discussion on that here in the past, but I wonder if they (Malpaso and/or WB) weren't too concerned about things that leave the public guessing. Sloppy editing perhaps?

Oh, and Christopher, I saw that Michael Cimino (Thunderbolt & Lightfoot) was involved with the screenplay, so you may be right on target.... ;D

I've wondered about that too myself. Why would one of the others have McCoy's picture in their home, unless he was a "hero" to them. That would give a new twist to Astrachan's claim, "All our heroes are dead," after McCoy was killed. After all, I don't think it was beyond them to kill or sacrifice one of their 'own' if necessary.

I do believe that was McCoy's apartment, and since he was separated from his wife & family, perhaps he thought he just had himself in this world.....? Again, too many questions unanswered.  
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Brendan
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2004, 10:51:15 AM »

Unless it was like Rocky IV when Rocky had the photo of Drago on the mirror as a means of training harder so he could beat his opponent.  :-\ So maybe Davis (or another guy) had it, and it meant, "this is my next victum."

It could go also go with the hero thing, but then why would he kill his hero?
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Agent
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2004, 11:00:02 AM »

So he could say, "All our heroes are dead."  ;D

Seriously, ya got me. Again, I'm wondering if there were possibly cut scenes that may have explained more the role of McCoy. I just don't have any other explanation for a film that leaves so many questions in its path. I doubt if that was the intention of the writers, unless the mindset and events in the early 70s were so in tune with what was going on that the audience had no problem in comprehending all this. But I seriously doubt that either....I may start referring to this movie as Magnum Farce unless some of these holes are filled.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2004, 11:05:05 AM by Agent » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2004, 09:16:48 AM »

Well after reviewing the pimp scene, looks like that probably isn't McCoy after all - after he walks away from the car to his bike. I know this sounds like another tangent, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was Van Horn, being they used him in short acting scenes besides just for stunts. The cop's voice reminds me of the suicide jumper in Dirty Harry, and the face (from farther away) actually could be him. But this is all just speculation.

But Briggs did say there are "many more like them," or something to that effect, confirming the fact that the 4 renegades were definitely not the only ones "cleaning house."
« Last Edit: January 13, 2004, 09:17:21 AM by Agent » Logged

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Matt
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2004, 06:09:01 AM »

Thanks to everyone for participating in this discussion. This topic is now closed, please post any additional thoughts in the Dirty Harry forum.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 08:58:01 PM »

This topic has been temporarily unlocked.  Feel free to post any additional thoughts or discussion here.
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2011, 11:07:45 PM »

It's funny but I've always assumed that it was Charlie McCoy at the beginning of the film getting dressed after seeing the mob bosses on TV being acquitted. I always assumed also that he was part of the vigilante squad but watching the film today I've changed my mind and he wasn't part of the squad at all.

I think this shot of seeing McCoy putting his gear on was to throw the viewer into thinking he was involved. The voice of the traffic cop who kills the mob guys definitely is not Charlie McCoy.

The thing about the cop putting his gear on at the beginning of the movie, with a picture of McCoy right there in front of him, is that we kept wondering whether McCoy would actually have a picture of himself in his own apartment?  If he were still with Carol, I could understand a picture being around.  But, when you think about it, how many men living alone would actually have a picture of themselves prominently displayed in their own apartment?  That part just doesn't make sense to me.
   

If you listen to Carol McCoy talking to Harry later in the film and she says that Charlie was living with a nude dancer out at North Beach. Maybe the apartment was hers or the photo was.
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2011, 01:57:55 PM »

It's definitely him getting dressed (it says so in the script), but I don't really understand the picture. It's not the kind of thing a nude dancer would have around the house, either.

And I think the whole Charlie McCoy subplot is a "red herring" ... we're supposed to think he's part of the vigilante squad, or even the only one killing off the thugs ... as Harry does. But he isn't.
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Christopher
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2011, 02:41:45 PM »

 
If you listen to Carol McCoy talking to Harry later in the film and she says that Charlie was living with a nude dancer out at North Beach. Maybe the apartment was hers or the photo was.

It's definitely him getting dressed (it says so in the script), but I don't really understand the picture. It's not the kind of thing a nude dancer would have around the house, either.

And I think the whole Charlie McCoy subplot is a "red herring" ... we're supposed to think he's part of the vigilante squad, or even the only one killing off the thugs ... as Harry does. But he isn't.
I'm no expert on what nude dancers have on their shelves, :D but that sounds reasonable!
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