A brutal, uncompromising San Francisco police inspector
hunts down a serial killer who's terrorizing the city.
Dirty Harry (1971)
Directed by Don Siegel
Written by Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink, Dean Riesner
Starring Clint Eastwood, Reni Santoni, Harry Guardino,
Andrew Robinson, John Vernon, John Larch, John Mitchum
"Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" With this epic quote, Inspector Harry Callahan became a pop culture icon. Clint Eastwood has portrayed Harry in five films in his career, but none of them ever quite reached the same cult status as the first film, except for maybe Sudden "Go ahead, make my day" Impact. This film also capitalized on the Zodiac killings, which were happening in San Francisco around the time of the film's release. The villain in this is a crazed psycho calling himself Scorpio, so not exactly subtle. But nothing about Dirty Harry is subtle, and that's why we love it.
Meet Harry Callahan. He's a ballbuster, a brute, a tough-as-nails, borderline vigilante with a badge. He's hard on crime because someone has to be. Clint Eastwood is the only man who could've played Harry correctly. He needs to be an unlikable, trigger-happy bastard with a heart. Pitting him against the Scorpio (Robinson) is a great way to get the audience on his side, as Scorpio is a terrible monster from start to finish, and it feels good to see Harry take him down.
Dirty Harry is a pure early 70's pulp action thriller. It doesn't compromise, it shows bloody action and full nudity. It's a film that helped usher in the New Hollywood era for action movies, and further established Clint Eastwood as a major power player in the next wave of Hollywood stars. And today, it's still as badass as it ever was.