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Author Topic: Dirty Harry Movies Reviewed  (Read 8438 times)
rr-electricangel
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« on: May 03, 2012, 07:53:33 PM »

I don't know if this topic belongs under one of the other catagories of Dirty Harry fan-based reviews but here are a few other I found on youtube. One is from Siskel & Ebert and the other is from CineFiles. Here is another thread from 9 years ago... http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=1570.0


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBYqWmjawSU
Here is Ebert's review from 1971: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19710101/REVIEWS/101010307


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma4-TM8Lwc4

Here is another recorded for Encore in 2002 (Separated into Parts 1-5)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2PfjkPcnes

Here is a Magnum Force video discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmtOqhrBoQ8

« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 11:50:46 PM by rr-electricangel » Logged

Clint Eastwood's words of wisdom: "Take your profession seriously; don't take yourself seriously. Don't take yourself seriously in the process, because you really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out here."
rr-electricangel
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 11:45:35 PM »

I found this blog which does a review of the original Dirty Harry movie.

Quote from: Mr. Peel's Sardine Liqueur
Monday, January 24, 2011
In All This Excitement



If only I could have seen DIRTY HARRY when it was released in 1971 to fully understand just how the movie played back then but that it’s still thrilling to see now has to say something. As social drama, the film isn’t exactly nuanced which certainly hurts its credibility and the way it takes a real life case that was still ongoing at the time in the exact same city the film is set in to use for popcorn thrills still feels more than a little bit wrong, only adding to the undeniable aura of dark, anamorphic nastiness that permeates every single frame. But in spite of all this I can’t help but continually realize as I watch it how, as an incessantly forceful piece of work, it’s just so damn good, it really is. Don Siegel’s DIRTY HARRY could be considered many things, whether a genuine right-wing tract or just a desperate howl over what was happening to America in general around this time framing old against young, establishment versus radicals who wanted to take things over. Or if you just want to ignore all that and look at it as a straight action movie about a cop who just happens to be more interested in protecting the innocent and punishing the evil than in any ‘rights’ the guilty might have, a true urban western, there’s that too. It also provided the basic template for just about every other cop movie made during the next twenty years and beyond so some of what was groundbreaking at the time may now play as cliché, but so what. What it achieves was proven once again with the showing of an absolutely beautiful print as part of director Edgar Wright’s The Wright Stuff II series at the New Beverly Cinema and the first night I attended. Wright was there on Jan. 18th to introduce the film to the sold out crowd, along with seeing it from the front row, and brought out surprise guest Quentin Tarantino to discuss it with him both before and after the screening. No surprise, Tarantino had a lot to say. And there’s a lot to say about this movie.



It’s hard to imagine that anyone out there doesn’t know the plot of the film but I just went for a walk with someone who hadn’t seen it so they exist. She’s still a nice person, though. Anyway: In San Francisco, a young woman is murdered by a killer who calls himself Scorpio in a letter to the police, in which he demands payment of $100,000 or his killings will continue. SFPD Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), known throughout the department as “Dirty Harry” is assigned to the case, but his captain forces him to take on rookie Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni) as a partner. When an attempt to catch Scorpio (Andrew Robinson) goes wrong, the maniac kidnaps another girl and demands an even greater ransom. Harry is the one assigned to deliver the money but even though Scorpio is captured things don’t quite go as planned and due to legalities the District Attorney is forced to set him free. Harry is enraged by what the system is allowing to happen, but of course Scorpio’s plan doesn’t end there.



What sticks in the brain after seeing DIRTY HARRY is all that grime and sludge that seems to ooze out of the frame, somehow making the gorgeous city of San Francisco not all that attractive a place to be. It’s photographed in anamorphic Panavision, unlike the comparable BULLITT from three years earlier and while that film feels more open-aired in its Bay Area compositions, DIRTY HARRY’s well framed Scope use somehow feels more crammed in, narrower, meaner. Basically the entire film looks to be shot in location with the obvious exception of the bank robbery sequence filmed on the Universal (not Warner) lot and the city somehow feels more horizontal than it does in any other film, odd considering what our normal perception of the place is. The numerous views we see from high above making it seem strangely flat and spread out as if its citizens are all insects in this massive landscape, ready to be mowed down by Scorpio as he lingers on a rooftop waiting to take down as many innocent lambs as possible.

Contrary to what the normal perception of it might be, the film isn’t without its lighter moments and there is humor in the character of Harry Callahan, like his desire to finish that hot dog before the bank alarm goes off and that degree of likeability along with how he takes care of those bank robbers with his .44 Magnum gets us on his side right away even the character’s supposed racism is done with more of a wink than anything (the one friend of his we ever meet is black, of course). We can see glimpses of the more relaxed Callahan who was once married but much of that has been buried by the overwhelming feel of the madness that’s happened to the world, to this San Francisco that’s been overwhelmed by all the hippies who as this film portrays them have gotten progressively skuzzier in the years since the summer of love, as if they’ve managed to wipe away everything that was ever serene and normal in this beautiful city. Seriously, the black & white, Mancini-infused EXPERIMENT IN TERROR was only nine years before this? VERTIGO was only thirteen?



The square white guys Callahan has to deal with in his job like John Vernon “as the Mayor” and John Larch’s police chief (Larch somehow seems like he only belongs in the world of 60s detective shows) are for the most part totally ineffectual at even having an idea of how to deal with the city they’re allegedly in charge of, totally incapable at dealing with the mad killer Scorpio who seems to represent everything anybody who voted for Nixon fears about the younger generation, distorting the peace symbol for his own means. For the most part a straight ahead narrative dealing with Harry’s pursuit of Scorpio, the film focuses on the case at hand than the more relaxed BULLITT does and it makes sense. Harry, working overtime even though he knows he’ll never get paid for it, has nothing else other than this case, no restaurants to go to with friends where a jazz combo is playing, certainly no women in his life (the sequels made him more of a stud, of course) and he can’t even seem to imagine wanting anything else. Even the one person in the film who seems like he might really become his friend sensibly decides he doesn’t want any part of all this. “No reason for it, really,” he says about his wife being killed by a drunk driver and in a world where that happened, where a mad killer is set free, he seems to have come to the absolute realization that there’s no reason for anything so by a certain point there’s no need to listen to those who rank above him that say otherwise.



The plots of each Dirty Harry entry always seem to feel like a number of elements sort of slapped together in the pursuit of a storyline and that’s a little true of the original as well but it easily works the best here with a script (Story by Harry Julian Fink & R.M. Fink, Screenplay but Harry Julian Fink & R.M. Fink and Dean Riesner, with uncredited contributions by none other than Terrence Malick and John Milius, who is the one responsible for the “Do you feel lucky?” speech) that is truly tight, lean and always knows how to push exactly the right buttons—along with one memorable exchange that was specifically parodied years later in THE NAKED GUN, of course. While introducing the movie Tarantino placed it into the context of the political $#!tstorm that resulted at the time, how it appealed directly to the far-right Americans that had voted for Nixon (“the tea baggers of the time” was the phrase he used, I believe) and were absolutely terrified by what to them had happened to the country over the past few years, with the particular city this film was set in seen as ground zero of all that was immoral. Addressing the mindset of the critics back then Tarantino mentioned if you go and read what people like Pauline Kael said about it, “You won’t know what the [email protected]#k they’re talking about,” since now it plays so much as a basic cop-movie plot we’re very used to, albeit an extremely effective one. And, yes, Kael called it a “right-wing fantasy of that police force as a group helplessly emasculated by unrealistic liberals,” and at one point adding that it’s a “stunningly well-made genre piece,” but you can kind of tell she hates it. I’m not sure how seriously I can bring myself to take it as political tract in either a 1971 or a 2011 world (maybe more than DEATH WISH, but I don’t know if that’s saying much), but simply as a cop thriller where its lone hero who everyone can depend on decides to take care of things on his own in the style of a classic western story the thing is goddamn gangbusters.

In his autobiography “A Siegel Film” the director pretty much downplays these elements in a ‘we were just trying to tell a good yarn’ sort of way, saying that he and Eastwood never had any political discussions at all (John Milius is also never mentioned in regards to the rewrites that occurred) but Peter Bogdanovich has written of recalling Siegel saying, “I don’t know WHAT people are going to think of this,” so there can’t be any doubt that he was aware of what he had. In 1972 Siegel told The New York Times, “I'm a liberal. I lean to the left, and I don't make political movies. I was telling the story of a hard-nosed cop and a dangerous killer. What my liberal friends did not grasp was that the cop is just as evil in his way as the sniper,” also adding in how he saw himself as a rebel, “I resent authority.” In some ways I can accept the film as more of a story of one man turning against the system he has attempted to be a part of, feeling he can only adhere to his own rules but more than that I wonder if it’s a statement made by a left-leaning filmmaker (working with others who, Milius included, certainly had different viewpoints) who was basically throwing up his hands, admitting that he didn’t know what to do about things anymore and asking the question of what could really be done. Maybe he simply wasn’t entirely aware of how much power the question he was asking about the world would have at the time.



It’s not a perfect movie...

(go here for more of the review)

http://mrpeelsardineliqueur.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

 

 







« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 11:51:28 PM by rr-electricangel » Logged

Clint Eastwood's words of wisdom: "Take your profession seriously; don't take yourself seriously. Don't take yourself seriously in the process, because you really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out here."
rr-electricangel
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 09:04:09 PM »

Here is an AMC Blog.

Quote from: AMC Blog
http://blogs.amctv.com/movie-blog/2010/09/the-best-dirty-harry-movies.php

Flashback Five - The Best Dirty Harry Movies



Dirty Harry put a bullet in the heart of the flower-power generation. While the sixties were the heyday of free love, the seventies saw an upsurge in violent crime that left audiences hungry for a hero ready to take matters into his own hands. That hero was police inspector Harry Callahan, headquartered (oddly) in the liberal mecca of San Francisco and captured magically by Clint Eastwood. Released in 1971, Dirty Harry has proved hugely influential, with a progeny of lawless lawmen including Sylvester Stallone in Cobra, Steven Seagal in Out for Justice, and Charles Bronson in Death Wish. But few of these upstarts can challenge the original and its four sequels. Which Dirty Harry spectacular hits the bull's-eye?

1. Dirty Harry (1971)
 Apoplectic commanders threatening suspension. Hostages writhing in the grip of insane criminals. Tense standoffs resolved with witty one-liners and blasts from the barrel of a .44 Magnum. The original Dirty Harry set the pattern for scores of copycats, but its gritty atmosphere and airtight pacing make it a classic on its own terms. While Eastwood's facial tics and flawless line delivery are half the film's success, credit also goes to the movie's psychotic hippie villain, Scorpio, played with manic relish by Andrew Robinson. Indeed, no matter what your views on due process, by the movie's end you'll be aching for Harry to ask him one last question: "Do you feel lucky?"

2. The Enforcer (1976)
Dirty Harry is a prototype for machismo, and in the third film he faces his ultimate nightmare: a female partner. Even worse -- to Harry's endless grimacing and gnashing of teeth -- one who was promoted strictly to meet department quotas. And, sure, while Harry's spends some time acting all alpha male, in the end he gets to like Kate Moore (Tyne Daly). Just don't expect any romance: Harry's first love has, is, and will always be shooting scumbags full of holes. And when a lefty group kidnaps the mayor, Harry has plenty of opportunities to teach Moore his views on due process.
 
3. The Dead Pool (1989)
 The fifth -- and so far the last -- Dirty Harry movie makes an uncommonly good showing for a latecomer. The Dead Pool has a more idiosyncratic plot than its companions in the series, revolving around a celebrity hit list that has Harry's name on it, and Eastwood is spot-on in depicting Harry as a cop who's a little older and a bit wiser but not ready for the geriatric ward. Like the later James Bond films, the movie also has fun playing on our expectations -- and sometimes exceeding them. That includes, in one instance, Harry trading his trademark .44 Magnum for a harpoon. (Yes, a harpoon.) And fans of Guns N' Roses will note the brief, blitzed appearances by Slash and Axl. It's no masterpiece of modern film, but The Dead Pool is truly fun.

4. Sudden Impact (1983)
 Dirty Harry's typical police procedural gets crossed with a rape-revenge movie in this delightfully seedy entry. When two sisters are violently raped, leaving one comatose, the surviving sibling decides to take matters into her own hands. The result: more than a few scenes with dudes being shot in the groin. As she hunts down her assailants, Harry -- no stranger to acting judge, jury, and executioner -- is put in the odd position of stopping her. Meanwhile, the opening sequence is perhaps the best set piece in the whole series: a beautiful orchestrated confrontation with armed robbers that concludes with the mother of all catchphrases: "Go ahead -- make my day."

5. Magnum Force (1973)
 The vertiginous hills and wild curves of San Francisco's streets make it a perfect choice for chase scenes. No surprise that the Dirty Harry movies have some great ones. While The Enforcer's rooftop foot chase -- defying San Francisco's geography -- is among the saga's finest moments, another is Magnum Force's car-versus-motorcycle destruction derby that concludes the film. Action aside, the flick's premise is extraordinarily intriguing: Harry going against a gang of rogue cops. But as the title suggests, the crooked cops make one crucial mistake: using standard-issue .357 Magnums. Harry, as you know, uses something a bit bigger.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 09:06:59 PM by rr-electricangel » Logged

Clint Eastwood's words of wisdom: "Take your profession seriously; don't take yourself seriously. Don't take yourself seriously in the process, because you really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out here."
rr-electricangel
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 02:57:50 PM »

Here is the Ace Black Blog Review of all 5 movies.

Quote from: Ace Black Blog
http://www.theaceblackblog.com/2011/01/movie-review-dirty-harry-1971.html

Saturday, 15 January, 2011

Movie Review: Dirty Harry (1971)


You've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya punk?
 
Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) does not much care for due process or legal niceties; he generally just wants to blow the bad guys away with his .44 Magnum gun.  He asks questions only if they survive the shootout and are lying in a puddle of blood. Dirty Harry keeps the Man With No Name in the wild west, in this case San Francisco, but fast forwards to the modern era. Cars replace horses, highrises replace saloons, but the general rules remain generally the same: the difference between the bad guys and the good guys is a matter of perception.
 
The main bad guy here is an unhinged murderer calling himself Scorpio (Andy Robinson), killing innocent victims with a sniper rifle and taunting the Mayor of San Francisco (John Vernon) that the killing will continue unless a ransom is paid. Callahan is assigned to the case, but the politicians and his police superiors do not approve of his straightforward methods, and Callahan grows increasingly frustrated by what he perceived to be the weak-kneed reaction of the Mayor. When Scorpio is finally apprehended, he is let loose because Callahan failed to secure a search warrant. The killings therefore resume, and a disgusted Callahan has to disobey orders to bring the matter to an end.
 
In bringing Eastwood's western movie persona to an urban setting, Dirty Harry re-wrote the rules for police action films. The anti-establishment, unconventional loner cop, frustrated by rules and process and prone to extreme violence, became the new standard for movie cops. Director Don Siegel and Eastwood provide Harry with an overwhelming cool factor. Standing straight and without cover as he trades blasts of gunfire with the bad guys, Harry needs to look down at his leg to realize that he has been hit by a shotgun. His walk, his talk, his hair and his cheap shades create an instant movie hero.
 


Robinson is a genuinely disturbing Scorpio. Although the movie may have benefited from providing a more in-depth back-story for the villain, when Scorpio starts to abuse school kids on the hijacked bus while demanding with increasing agitation that they sing "ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT!", he enters the annals of great screen bad-guys.
 
Dirty Harry spawned four direct sequels and countless imitators.  Its achievements also include creating in Harry Callahan one of the movies' most memorable screen characters; igniting Clint Eastwood's career as a Hollywood superstar; and giving the film world a most memorable line of dialogue, delivered through gritted teeth.




Tuesday, 25 January, 2011

Movie Review: Magnum Force (1973)

Harry Callahan's second outing is the most ambitious of the original trilogy. Two years after Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood reprises the role of the grizzled San Francisco Inspector, and in Magnum Force he comes face to face with a more extreme version of himself: a police death squad cleaning up the streets when the justice system fails.
 


When a mob boss is acquitted on a technicality, a motorcycle cop catches up with the mobster's limousine and kills him and his entire entourage. Callahan wants to investigate the case but is soon butting heads with his superior, Lieutenant Briggs (Hal Holbrook), who is proud never to have used his gun, and who thinks that Harry is a relic.
 
The extra-judicial killings continue: another mobster and all his outdoor pool guests are wiped out by a machine-gun wielding cop; a vicious pimp is pulled over by an officer and gunned down; and another crime boss is eliminated in his penthouse suite. With Briggs and his men floundering, Callahan and his partner (Felton Perry) begin to suspect a tight-knit group of new young police rookies, including Officers Davis (David Soul), Sweet (Tim Matheson), and Grimes (Robert Urich), of running a death squad. Ballistic tests confirm his suspicions, and soon Callahan is faced with the choice of joining the killers or standing in their way -- and becoming one of their victims.
 
Magnum Force combines prolonged scenes of intense action with welcome interludes to humanize Harry. We see him having dinner with the estranged wife of a fellow officer; and he enjoys a tryst with a neighbour from his apartment building. As Harry is portrayed in a more sympathetic light, the film poses the tricky question: is the death squad not an extension of Harry's own preferred methods? Magnum Force tries to make a distinction between Callahan pushing the limits from within the system as being better than the rogue cops operating completely outside the system, but screenwriters John Milius and Michael Cimino do not seem too convinced by their own arguments.
 
Ted Post directs with confident panache, frequently filling the screen with an assortment of roaring oversized American cars that were enjoying their peak in 1973. Eastwood is supported by a worthwhile cast: Holbrook bring some weight to Lieutenant Briggs, while the young cops David Soul (Starsky and Hutch), Robert Urich (Vegas), and Tim Matheson (Animal House) all went on have reasonably prominent careers.
 
The second outing was never going to retain the freshness of the original, so Magnum Force did the next best thing: it added depth to the character, and presented him with a suitable moral dilemma to grapple with and lots of bad guys to blow away with that cannon of a handgun.




Saturday, 29 January, 2011

Movie Review: The Enforcer (1976)

Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is back for the third of his initial three adventures, and now he faces a triple threat: a band of anarchists intent on blowing up San Francisco; smarmy politicians; and creeping gender equity policies that translate into an inexperienced female officer being assigned as his partner.
 


The Enforcer is polished and satisfying, but it is also the most straightforward of the initial Dirty Harry movies, the series settling into a mostly predictable routine. Harry's criminal adversaries in this episode are the least developed and most forgettable: a mishmash of generally faceless youth who get their hands on sophisticated explosives and weaponry and hold the City to ransom. Their leader, an unhinged Vietnam War vet, is hardly given any back-story, and is almost relegated to another generic bad guy who needs to be dispatched. The entire main plot appears contrived to end with a climax, filmed at Alcatraz, that allows Harry to fire an anti-tank LAW rocket, his Magnum handgun no longer considered a sufficiently large gun.
 
Callahan's continuous friction with his superiors is also a regurgitation of the first two movies. The Enforcer adds a minor twist by dropping the Mayor personally into the danger zone, forcing Harry to save a politician that he despises.
 
The introduction of Tyne Daly as Inspector Kate Moore, a smart but green officer foisted upon Callahan, could have been handled with more subtlety, but director James Fargo jackhammers in all the stereotypes, with Moore the subject of utter and open disrespect until she proves herself. Regardless of her abilities, The Enforcer does increase the already remarkably high mortality rate of Callahan's partners: he loses two in this film alone.
 
The film suffers from a lackluster supporting cast, Daly joined by cop movie stalwarts Harry Guardino and Bradford Dillman as they stand anonymously in Eastwood's long shadow.
 
The struggle to keep the character fresh is evidenced by four screenwriters wrestling with a script that rarely rises above the adequate. Dirty Harry was never going to settle for average, and he wisely took a long break after this outing.





Monday, 31 January, 2011

Movie Review: Sudden Impact (1983)

After a seven year hiatus, Inspector Harry Callahan returns, his .44 Magnum handgun blazing, bodies piling up all around him, and an assortment of bad guys realizing that he may be getting older, but he certainly isn't getting any cuddlier.
 
Icy cool blond Jennifer Spencer (Sondra Locke), a respected painter, is on a killing spree. She and her sister were gang raped 10 years prior; her sister was left in a vegetative state. Now Spencer is back to destroy the white trash group that committed the rape, including their unhinged leader Ray Parkins (Audrie J. Neenan) and the group of scum men who hang around her. Spencer's blunt signature in committing her revenge is shooting the rapists once in the groin, and once in the head. Spencer kills her first victim in his car on the beach in San Francisco, before relocating to the nearby town of San Paulo, where the rapists reside.  

Meanwhile, Inspector Harry Callahan is having a busy few days. First he disrupts a restaurant robbery by killing all but one of the heavily armed robbers. Then when another group of gangsters tries to kill him in a drive-by bombing, he lobs back their own Molotov Cocktail and dispatches them into the bay. Finally, Callahan deludes an aging crime boss into having a heart attack, which results in another bunch of goons coming after Callahan with machine guns; he kills them all. To end the mayhem, Callahan is sent by his superiors to San Paulo, presumably to follow-up on the leads of Spencer's first victim, but really to stop the carnage in San Francisco.

What is meant to be quiet time for Harry in San Paulo quickly turns into a serial killer investigation, as Spencer ups the pace and successively eliminates her victims. Callahan is soon on her trail, but he also encounters Parkins and her troop of ugly thugs; worse still, there are connections between Parkins and San Paulo chief of police, so Callahan gets precious little support in stopping the bloodshed. Dirty Harry is finally faced with his greatest dilemma: deciding what exactly is justice, and when are revenge killings justified, if ever.
 
Sudden Impact matches, and in some ways improves upon, the original Dirty Harry (1971). Joseph Stinson's script introduces a range of villains and foes worthy of Callahan's attention, and in Jennifer Spencer, the series gets its most intriguing killer. Both a victim and an assailant, and with Locke perfect in the role, Spencer has the deepest back story of any criminal faced by Harry, and presents him with his most twisted moral quandary. What Spencer is doing is self-defense, but 10 years after the fact. Her victims deserve their fate, but she is delivering frontier justice. Does she deserve Callahan's sympathy or his rage?
 


Sudden Impact bravely takes Callahan out of San Francisco for the second half of the film, the only time in the series that he leaves his home town.  The risk works, and in San Paulo Harry is a big and prominent fish in a small but infected pond, and he perfectly attracts the attention of all criminal classes.
 
Stinson also peppers the script with memorable one-liners and dialogue exchanges, including the "Go ahead, make my day" tag line and the brilliant "dog$#!t" tirade in the courthouse elevator. Meanwhile, Eastwood directs with a panache not seen in any of the other series entries, and his back-lit entry into the climactic scene at the San Paulo boardwalk is an absolute gem.
 


Sudden Impact marks the welcome return of an old friend: he is back to prove that although the battlefields are new, the old methods still work just fine.



Go here for the last review of The Dead Pool...
http://www.theaceblackblog.com/2011/02/movie-review-dead-pool-1988.html

 

 
 
 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 03:07:32 PM by rr-electricangel » Logged

Clint Eastwood's words of wisdom: "Take your profession seriously; don't take yourself seriously. Don't take yourself seriously in the process, because you really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out here."
rr-electricangel
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 09:53:57 PM »

The Movie Scene reviews 4 out of 5 movies...

Quote from: The Movie Scene
http://www.themoviescene.co.uk/reviews/dirty-harry/dirty-harry.html

Dirty Harry (1971)

"Now you know why they call me Dirty Harry: every dirty job that comes along" - Harry Callahan



Can you imagine Frank Sinatra or Marlon Brandon saying "Do you feel lucky punk", how about Steve Mc Queen or Paul Newman as they were all considered for the roll of Harry Callahan in "Dirty Harry". The role ended up going to Clint Eastwood on a recommendation from Paul Newman and thanks to that we got one of cinema's most iconic cops, the no messing, anti authority Dirty Harry Callahan. Ironically if you take away the element of Eastwood creating one dirty cop the actual storyline isn't that amazing. It's influenced by the true story of the Zodiac killer and basically follows the formula of a cop doing what ever it takes to get his man even if it means bending the rules and making it personal. But it works thanks partly to Clint Eastwood who is magnificent as Harry Callahan and partly because director Don Siegel makes it entertaining with a mixture of violent action and the cat and mouse games of the killer toying with the cops.



The second half of "Dirty Harry" focuses more on the cat and mouse games between Harry and the serial killer known as Scorpio. Now it has to be said that this side has a familiarity about it as it becomes personal between Scorpio and Harry in what is basically a game of cat and mouse. But it is entertaining because of the way Harry is, he isn't afraid to hurt Scorpio and break the rules to get him, even if that comes to torturing him. And because it goes back and fourth with Harry getting Scorpio and then him being released on a technicality makes it all the more interesting as the personal vendetta side of things gets cranked up.

A huge reason why "Dirty Harry" is so good comes down to director Don Siegel who makes the most of every single scene be it a big action scene or something which has a touch of humour and sarcasm. That opening scene as we watch Scorpio claim his victim, shooting her with a sniper's rifle is just magnificent. But then so are the close calls as Harry gets close to tracking him down and the violence which goes on between them feels raw and hard hitting. Yet it is also the inconsequential which makes "Dirty Harry" so memorable, watching Harry standing on a bridge waiting for Scorpio to drive under is so amazing, speaking volumes about how relentless Harry is that the image stays with you long after the movie has finished.

Of course Don Siegel is just part of the reason why "Dirty Harry" is memorable and the other half is that it is Clint Eastwood playing Harry Callahan. Other than a couple of dalliances with other genres Eastwood was best known for his westerns prior to "Dirty Harry" but he comes across so at home playing this mean cop, creating a character which is both likeable and dangerous. Maybe there are some familiarities between Harry and the various cowboys which Eastwood played but there is also something different about him and the fact that Eastwood makes him relentless makes him also quite terrifying as you never know how far he will go to get his man.

Clint Eastwood is not the only actor who makes "Dirty Harry" work and Andrew Robinson as Scorpio also play a big part. It is sort of ironic when you discover that Robinson is a pacifist with a dislike of guns and so seems so wrong for the part of a killer. But the nervousness he has during the gun scenes works in his favour because it make Scorpio both a very edgy character but also one who feels like an every day guy who has cracked for whatever reason. It's the same in the other violent scenes which don't feature weapons and that nervousness again makes Scorpio feel like a human being rather than some ultra cool and fake hitman.

What this all boils down to is that "Dirty Harry" is a very good movie, one which does have a very familiar serial killer - cop storyline but makes it work. And a big reason why it works is that Clint Eastwood delivers the aspect of a dirty cop who will do whatever it takes to get his man whilst Don Siegel delivers one great scene after another which stays with you long after the movie has finished.

As a serial killer known as Scorpio (Andrew Robinson - Cobra) tries to hold San Francisco to ransom, Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood - The Beguiled) is put on the case thanks to his no messing, relentless attitude. But his methods of getting his man doesn't make him popular with all of those in authority especially as he's known as 'Dirty' Harry for a reason. But his attempts to track down Scorpio become a game of cat and mouse as the killer toys with him, pushing Callahan to the limits.

"Dirty Harry" is very much a movie of two halves with the first half dedicated to establishing the character of the no messing Harry Callahan. We still get the element of the serial killer holding San Francisco to ransom with a magnificent opening scene which sees him killing an innocent swimmer from distance across the San Francisco roof tops but almost every other scene establishes how mean and nasty Harry is. We soon discover that he has little time or respect for those in power as he is a smart arse to the Mayor and we also witness his shoot first ask question later tactics as he single handedly stops a bank robbery in a scene which magnificently mixes humour with action as Harry calms walks out into the middle of the street and starts blasting away at the bank robbers in their getaway car. There is a lot more and his unique way of dealing with a suicide jumper is just as amusing as is his feelings towards anyone who has to partner him. But it works because despite being a cop who obviously bends the rules we warm to him because that is just the way he is, a no messing cop who does his job in his own way.


http://www.themoviescene.co.uk/reviews/magnum-force/magnum-force.html

Magnum Force (1973)

"This is a 44. Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and it could blow your head clean off. Do you feel lucky?" - Harry Callahan

"Dirty Harry" was a great movie; it gave us the iconic character of 'Dirty' Harry Callahan and a pretty decent storyline about a serial killer. Now in a way it would have been right to stop there, one really good movie and move on but as is too often the case "Dirty Harry" spawned a series of sequels and sadly none of them matched up to the power, the action and the intrigue which the first movie delivered so perfectly. The first of these sequels was "Magnum Force" which is a game of two halves, on one side you have Clint Eastwood delivering another bravo performance as 'Dirty' Harry Callahan but then on the other you have a slightly disappointing storyline. And the storyline is disappointing because 90% of it is actually quite obvious with basically one solitary twist ending up catching you by surprise. If it had managed to keep you guessing more than it did then maybe "Magnum Force" would have been on par with "Dirty Harry" but sadly it ends up as being slightly inferior.

Having been reassigned to stakeout duty with a new partner 'Dirty' Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood - High Plains Drifter) is less than impressed and can't stop himself from sticking his nose into and investigation despite the reprimands of his superior officer, Lieutenant Briggs (Hal Holbrook - Wall Street). But when it becomes clear that there is someone going around killing the top San Francisco criminals Callahan finds himself on the case and what he discovers is closer to home that he could ever have imagined.

One of the things which made "Dirty Harry" so good was that it took an almost regular crime storyline and spiced it up with the violence which Callahan dished out to get his man. And to be honest "Magnum Force" is similar as we have the storyline of high profile criminals getting bumped off and Callahan bending the rules as he investigates. But there is something missing and it's sort of the personal aspect as it only ever feels like Callahan is doing his job this time around rather than having a personal vendetta against those he suspects of the murders.

But that is not the only problem and the major one is that despite trying to build a layer of intrigue as there are various people who could be the murderers it doesn't take a genius who is behind the killings. Oh there is one twist which catches you by surprise and switches things around a bit but other than that solitary twist you sort of end up watching knowing who Harry will end up facing when the big action climax comes.

Now when it comes to that action, well it is as violent as "Dirty Harry" and probably has more action without ruining the balance with the storyline. But because it never feels personal there is an edge to the violence and action which is missing, you don't feel like Harry is hurting those he is after out of revenge and it ends up making it a little ordinary. It is still spectacular with some memorable action scenes many of which are followed by a clever more dramatic scene such as the shooting competition scene or the letter box bomb scene. But there aren't those iconic moments which stay with you, like in "Dirty Harry" with Callahan standing on the bridge.



Despite these niggles with the action and story one thing is for certain and Clint Eastwood once more delivers a brilliant performance as 'Dirty' Harry Callahan. All the smart ass attitude is amusing and the ultra cool way he deals with a crime he stumbles on is still basically cool, although the actual crime, a plane hijacking, is a bit ridiculous. Even though the vendetta side of thing seems to be toned down he still has this power about him that you don't want to mess with him. Basically Eastwood is the best thing about "Magnum Force" and even the sexing up of Callahan as a bit of a babe magnet kind of works.

Actually the acting all round is actually good in "Magnum Force" with Hal Holbrook maybe playing the almost cliche Lt. Neil Briggs who dislikes Callahan but he makes him more because there is a sense of intrigue about him as to why he dislikes Callahan so much. And the rest of the cast which includes David Soul, Tim Matheson, Robert Urich and Kip Niven as hot shot rookies are just as impressive, creating that same sense of mystery and intrigue.



What this all boils down to is that "Magnum Force" whilst being a good movie is not up to the standard of "Dirty Harry". Unsurprisingly Clint Eastwood is the best thing about this first sequel as he slides back into character with ease and the rest of the cast are just as good especially Hal Holbrook and David Soul. But sadly they are let down by a storyline which other than one twist is very obvious.

For more reviews of the other 2 movies go here...

http://www.themoviescene.co.uk/reviews/the-enforcer/the-enforcer.html

http://www.themoviescene.co.uk/reviews/sudden-impact/sudden-impact.html







« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 12:46:23 AM by rr-electricangel » Logged

Clint Eastwood's words of wisdom: "Take your profession seriously; don't take yourself seriously. Don't take yourself seriously in the process, because you really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out here."
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 02:49:08 AM »

Themoviescene evidently doesn't allow direct linking of its images. Instead of scenes from the movies, we're getting a graphic with the text "This site has unwittingly linked to an image hosted on my website. If you want to see the image then please visit www.themoviescene.co.uk."
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 03:48:21 AM »

Hmmmmm... Sometimes they're gone...then they are there.  :D
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 06:38:57 AM »

If the images are in your browser's cache (because you've seen them on the site), you can see them here, but otherwise you can't.
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 12:47:09 AM »

I changed them out with new ones. I'll see how long these photo links last.  O0

Here is a good review of Magnum Force.

Quote
REVIEW: Magnum Force



Magnum Force
Director: Ted Post
Year 1973

Magnum Force is the superb follow up to the 1971 hit film Dirty Harry. The story continues with a new baffling case that legendary Harry Callahan has to crack before the end credits roll, but before cracking the case, he has to crack a few skulls. Just like in the first film, Harry takes his hardcore policing to the streets of San Francisco and leaves no thug unscathed. Clint Eastwood reprises the role of Harry Callahan, the same role that made him a pop culture icon and led to a countless number of copy cat films since. This time, director Don Siegel hands over the reigns to a new director, Ted Post, who doesn't necessarily have the impeccable skills and visual flare that Siegel brought to the table, but he still manages to make a more then worthy addition to the Dirty Harry series.

Harry's problems start out when a slew of unsolved crimes begin to crop up in the city. All of the victims are the lowest of the low, like a mob boss who has just manipulated the justice system having been acquitted of all charges and the pimp who loves to smack his hoes up and steal all of their money. These two fine upstanding $#!t stains are just the tip of the iceberg, as many more criminals begin to be bumped off one by one. The premise of having a vigilante running around the city taking out crooks is a rather genius concept to throw into the world of Dirty Harry. It's a nice touch to see Harry kind of shrug off the idea of criminals being killed by saying, "Couldn't of happened to a nicer bunch of guys." He agrees with the demise of these despicable men, yet he still knows he has to do his duty and capture the perpetrator who is committing these seemingly random murders.  

It's also an intriguing concept, because Harry is often thought of as the main suspect. Who else but Harry would be riding around town dealing out his own special brand of justice? To make matters worse, the audience is shown in the very beginning of the film, that the unnamed killer is in fact dressed up in a patrolmen's uniform while riding a police motorcycle. The stakes seem raised against Harry in that he will come out of this one clean, but sure as $#!t, we know he will find a way.

We are also introduced to a new brand of policeman in the form of the four new recruits, who happen to be a crack shot with a gun. These young police officers are fresh out of the academy and represent the coming of a new age at the precinct. Tim Matheson plays Officer Phil Sweet, Robert Urich plays Officer Mike Grimes, David Soul plays Officer John Davis, and Kip Niven plays Officer Red Astrachan, rounding out the imposing group of elite cops that share a unique kinship to Harry Callahan's work on the streets. As the film progresses, we find that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but not the sorts that Harry approves of. The idea of bringing this group of opposing rookies into the story is a genius one that sets a fire to a rather intense story of paranoia and mistrust among the police force.

The way the mysterious killer takes out his target is reminiscent of James Cameron's Terminator, as he coldly and collectively terminates anyone who is a collective target. The man draped in police gear, cooly walks up to his intended prey and fills them full of lead. It's creepy in that nonchalant manner, where a person can just extinguish a life and not bat an eye. The numerous scenes that display the killer at work are astonishingly effect in there representation of a man without a conscious or soul. The addition of making the killer fit in more with the horror archetype of a slasher killer is a great twist on the crime genre and one that gives this story a little bit of an edge over typical cat and mouse games.

Another great addition to the cast is Hal Holbrook as the @#!holeish boss from hell, Lt. Neil Briggs. As soon as the film starts, he has it out for Harry and he never lets up throughout the entire runtime of the film. Hal does a spectacular job, as he usually does, in making us believe he has a chip on his shoulder courtesy of Dirty Harry. Holbrook has been in so many classic films that it's hard to list them all, but my favorites have to be John Carpenter's atmospheric 1980 masterpiece The Fog, the ever entertaining 1982  horror anthology Creepshow, and one of my personal favorite roles, his turn at Hamilton Johnson in Chevy Chase's excellent comedy sequel Fletch Lives. He's a stupendous actor and one that nails his part in Magnum Force with an expertly crass delivery for his crotchety Lt. Briggs role.

The action set pieces are up to par on what we now expect from a Dirty Harry film and their delightful in their diversity and unabashed mayhem inducing qualities. There's a sequence where Harry and the rest of the police force are raiding a mob boss' hangout, only to have the bad guys be tipped off by an unknown source. The baddies lay in wait and then finally take it to the cops, firing with all they have. At the end of the sequence, the main boss tries to escape in his car only to have Harry jump onto his hood and cling on for dear life. The stunt work is phenomenal and Harry's character gets whipped around like a ragdoll as he holds on amid the chaos. Finally he is flung from the car to land in a heap of boxes in a lavish and drama filled spectacle. Needless to say the action is full force and comes on strong.

There's also a large dose of drama set in this narrative. Harry is up against more then just an unnamed killer who likes to dress up as a policeman as he maims the cities undesirable residents. He's also contending with the suspisions of others, as he most fits the bill as the one making all of the killings. The killer even likes to use the same model gun that Harry is so fond of, the .357 Magnum. It seems that someone is pointing all of the fingers at Harry and through the use of these plot devices, the director is able to create a very real sense of paranoia and frenzied mistrust. It's a great way to continue Harry's storyline, by creating a sequel that really ups the anti in throwing something original and rather deep at our main character.

The choice of the visuals for Magnum Force are quite different from what we were presented with in Dirty Harry. In this film, we are given a brighter color palate that is mostly set during the day, making even more disturbing that all of these violent acts are occurring in broad daylight. Was San Francisco really this dangerous during this time period? Who cares, it's a Dirty Harry film and I'm glad that they upped the stakes and went a different route with the action taking place during a cloudless sunshine filled day. It's a great contrast to Dirty Harry's darkened San Francisco underbelly that so prevalently is displayed during those dark covered nights.

There's also an entertaining change in Harry's personal life. He actually has women throwing themselves at him in this flick. I'm not being a smart ass here, they are actually throwing themselves at him. Harry runs into an old police buddy of his and finds that he isn't doing so well, so he decides to visit the man's wife and children to see what the story is. He finds out that his relationship is strained and that he has fallen into a depression, but instead of the wife being all distraught over this situation, she finds it the perfect opportunity to proposition old Harry for a roll in the hay. It's pretty funny to see the hardened cop that is Harry, have to sort of fend off the advances of a housewife, but the end result seems to fit to Harry's character as he gently finds a way out of it. There's even a neighbor of Harry's that asks right out, "What does a girl have to do to go to bed with you?" This simple line just proves the point that Harry is indeed the MAN.

Just like in the first film, there is a slew of comedic scenes that intertwine themselves within the action set pieces. Harry's expert and sarcastically driven wit is on hand and in true form. These witty remarks work wonders as Harry battles words with Hal Holbrook's Lt. Briggs. There's some classic lines that the two characters come up with and the conflicts between the two really add to the rivalry that they share. Another great moment comes when Harry finds a bomb in his mailbox. One of his neighbors annoyingly asks what he is doing and threatens to call the police on Harry for destroying a mailbox, as Harry desperately tries to dismantle the box. Harry turns and shows the bomb to the man saying, "If you'd bothered me any more, we'd all be stuck to the ceiling now. Here.... would you like to hold it?" The neighbor runs up the stairs saying that he doesn't want to be involved. The comedic timing of this scene is just spot on and I caught myself laughing out loud at this whole scene. Pure genius and pure Dirty Harry.

The comedy is spot on for a Dirty Harry film, and the same can be said for the satisfying ending of Magnum Force. All of the Dirty Harry films seem to be able to wrap everything up and serve the audience with a satisfying demise to the films central bad guy, giving him his just desserts and leaving Harry as the undisputed bad ass of film. Magnum Force is no exception and there's enough twists and turns in the old formula to really churn out something special in this effort. I won't give it away, but it's quite explosive. Yeah that was cheesy, but it felt so right.

Magnum Force is an amazingly cohesive effort that delivers a worthy sequel that has all the things that we have come to love in the original Dirty Harry film, yet manages to expand on the ever violent universe that director Don Siegel set up. The addition of adding a killer that mimics Harry's style of policing with the combination of a moral decision that Harry is presented with in the near closing segments of the film, really add to the already stellar qualities that make Harry such an intriguing character and explosive icon of action cinema. Magnum Force is highly recommended to anyone who loved Dirty Harry and want to see him kick more ass and take more names.



http://thelucidnightmare.blogspot.com/2010/07/review-magnum-force.html
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 04:57:51 AM by rr-electricangel » Logged

Clint Eastwood's words of wisdom: "Take your profession seriously; don't take yourself seriously. Don't take yourself seriously in the process, because you really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out here."
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