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Author Topic: MAGNUM FORCE: Acting 1: Eastwood's Performance  (Read 2467 times)
Matt
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« on: December 28, 2003, 12:42:19 AM »

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If somebody were to tell me that this were not Eastwood's creation, that it was just a role that was totally composed before he even got in front of the camera and all he did was read his lines, and even if it turned out to be true, I just could never believe it from what's on screen. It just seems to be so much heart and soul and fury. He had a wonderful partnership with Don Siegel but I think that the character and the bitterness and the loner sense of justice had to be his own.
(Film critic Janet Maslin, discussing Eastwood's performance in Dirty Harry in Bruce Ricker's documentary Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows)

In Magnum Force, Eastwood brings back the same Harry Callahan character, but this time the film attempts to show a more human side to Callahan. We see Harry "off the clock" for the first time and we're shown where he lives and some of his neighbors and friends; he even has a romantic interlude. To counteract the misperception some people had that Harry was really a man who "hates everyone," this time Harry's partner is black and he and Harry have a friendly relationship.

How do you feel Eastwood handled the subtle transition of his character from Dirty Harry to Magnum Force? Do you feel these changes compromised his character at all? How do you compare his performance in Magnum Force with his performance in Dirty Harry? Which do you enjoy more? What are your favorite Eastwood scenes in Magnum Force?
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Christopher
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2004, 07:24:38 AM »

I don't believe I've ever compared Eastwood's performances within the Dirty Harry movies. It's interesting though, because with Dirty Harry, you see Harry on the job throughout the whole film. In Magnum Force, you see a little bit of the domestic Harry. A little bit of what he's like when he goes home.

One of my favorite scenes in Magnum Force is a very quiet scene. It's when Harry comes home and sits on his bed and looks at the picture of him and his wife (presumably). It shows a whole different side to the character. A more human side in many ways.
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mgk
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2004, 10:10:12 PM »

Harry WAS different in Magnum Force but it was nice to see the so-called softer side of him.  In my opinion, the plot in Dirty Harry seemed to require that we see Harry at work all of the time.......the pace was much more hectic than the pace in Magnum Force.  In Dirty Harry, we were hoping that Harry could force Scorpio to reveal where he had taken the girl in hopes that she would still be alive.  In Magnum Force, the story could have a slower pace with interludes of Harry's softer side because we didn't have the feeling of panic that someone was needing Harry's help. Harry was needed whenever the vigilante cops decided to kill someone they felt had escaped the purnishment they were due.

I actually enjoyed Dirty Harry more than Magnum Force.  I liked the pace better and liked the story better.  However, after all of the criticism that Dirty Harry received, it is understandable why they tried to revise his character somewhat.

My favorite scenes with Eastwood would have to be (1) when he pretended to be a pilot and (2) when he told Sunny that all she had to do was, "Try knocking on the door"  But, I thought Eastwood was best in the scene where he comes to target practice and finds the four vigilante cops there.  His facial expressions were great.  You could see his mind working trying to figure out just what these sharpshooters were all about.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2004, 10:27:54 PM by mgk » Logged
Matt
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2004, 06:12:37 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 #4 on: July 24, 2011, 09:00:31 PM »

This topic has been temporarily unlocked.  Feel free to post any additional thoughts or discussion here.
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