Coogan's Bluff (1968) Poster

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"Guess you didn't hear the lady....did you boy?"
Nic_hse16 July 2004
Coogan's Bluff ranks as one of my favorite Eastwood films. Partly because of the time period & location which the story takes place. It's an excellent period piece. Late 1960's New York city in all it's Glory. I live in NYC and it's was nice to see the Pan Am Building in the backdrop. It's now the Met Life building. The Pan Am building was also the location of the final scene where the helicopter takes off.

The other reason I like this movie is that Eastwood is essentially playing Dirty Harry before Dirty Harry. Coogan is just like Harry Calahan without the 44. magnum. The story is solid but it's the locales and the situations that Coogan finds himself in that sell the movie. Who cares of it's dated? Of course it's dated but that's part of the experience. Actually most movies made more than 20 years ago (or less) are dated. If you look at it in the context of the time it was made then you'll enjoy it. Ignore the negative reviews and check it out.
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A smart career move for Clint
jimu6321 August 2002
Clint Eastwood has always been one of the most career-savvy superstars of all time. Looking over his filmography, since his career breakthrough it is obvious he has never done a film strictly for the money and has solid reasons behind every film he has made. Even his worst films have a purpose: "The Rookie," for instance, which most people would agree is a career low, was obviously made to satisfy the brass at Warner Bros. by delivering a modern-day Dirty Harry clone so he would be left alone to work on his Academy Award-winning classic "Unforgiven," which came out two years later. So it is with "Coogan's Bluff," which most viewers would probably dismiss as second-rate Eastwood, but in reality served as a savvy bridge from Westerns (the type of genre he was primarily known for at the time) into more modern day roles.

As directed by his mentor Don Siegel, "Coogan's Bluff" actually opens in the Arizona desert, which strongly resembles the background of his spaghetti westerns. Indeed, the first character we see is a loincloth-attired man, who appears to be Indian, so the audience is tricked into thinking they're watching a western. Then, we see a jeep driving down a dirt road, with a stetson-wearing Clint at the wheel. He is Dept. Sheriff Coogan, and there we see our first view of Clint as a modern lawman. It isn't long before he's in New York City, chasing down an escaped extradited criminal (Don Stroud), romancing a beautiful parole officer (Susan Clark) and butting heads with a strong-willed police captain (Lee J.Cobb, a terrific, yet sadly forgotten character actor of the day). Therefore, in a matter of fifteen minutes, Siegel cleverly introduces Eastwood as a contemporary figure, a transition that will be complete when he returns to modern times three years later in his most famous role, "Dirty Harry" Callahan.

But "Coogan's Bluff" is an enjoyable film on its own terms. Eastwood at times is very funny here--his retort to an unethical cab driver is priceless--and the film moves along at a brisk pace. Just don't expect action galore or a high body count. Clint doesn't kill anybody here; there's no broad conspiracy or mystery to solve; his job is simply to find the prisoner and take him home. In fact, the film is at its best when its dealing with Coogan as a fish-out-of-water, dealing with various New York thieves, crooks, drug dealers, hippies, and the aforementioned cab driver. There is, however, a well-choreographed fight scene in a bar and an exciting motorcycle chase for a climax, but that's as much action as there is. It's also pretty short for an Eastwood film: where most of his films run over two hours, this one clocks in at a brisk 94 minutes, next to "Joe Kidd" and "The Dead Pool," one of his shortest adventures.

So there you have it, a "minor" effort that served a "major" purpose in what has become an important Hollywood career. *** (out of *****)
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"Nobody Calls Me Mister With My Boots Off"
bkoganbing24 July 2009
Coogan's Bluff marked the first of six films that Clint Eastwood was to do with director Don Siegel, the most famous of them being of course Dirty Harry. The film will also contain no shots of the former location of the legendary Polo Grounds which were at that spot on Manhattan island.

Clint Eastwood's charisma is what carries this film through because he's playing one of the most dislikeable characters he ever essayed on the right side of the law. He's a deputy sheriff from Piute County, Arizona who has his own way of doing things. When we first meet him instead of following sheriff Tom Tully's orders and staying at a roadblock, Eastwood follows a hunch and captures fugitive Indian Rudy Diaz in the inimitable Clint fashion.

That he got the man doesn't cut it with Tully. He sends Clint on assignment to New York to extradite Don Stroud wanted in Arizona. When he gets to New York, Stroud is in Bellevue Psych Ward. There are procedures to get him out says Police Lieutenant Lee J. Cobb, but Clint cuts through them and while Stroud's in custody, he effects an escape.

Seduce them for clues is Eastwood's investigative technique as he works on parole officer Susan Clark and Stroud's girlfriend Tisha Sterling. Tisha proves to be a formidable adversary and bed partner, yes she's both. Tisha's pretty unforgettable as the amoral hippie chick from the era.

Also unforgettable is Betty Field in what proved to be her final big screen role as Stroud's tramp of a mother. Clint doesn't quite have to get down and dirty with her, but I think he would have been up to it if needed.

A lot of attitudes that were later exhibited in Dirty Harry are in Coogan's Bluff. Walt Coogan has the same attitude towards criminals and the rules that prevent him from dealing with them as he'd like.

Some nice location shots of New York, including an unforgettable chase scene through Fort Tryon Park in the upper reaches of Manhattan. Not as good as some of Clint Eastwood's other films, still Coogan's Bluff is a must for his fans.
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The Arizonan in Manhattan
jotix10028 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As the story begins, Coogan, an Arizona policeman, goes after a murderer that is wanted. The man is found on top of a rocky hill trying to shoot the cop that has come for him. Coogan, a no-nonsense laconic man, out smarts the bandit and goes back with the fugitive, but before that he makes a stop to visit a woman whose man is away from home. That sets the tone for the story, Coogan is one of those men that are secure in themselves with no attitude to speak of.

The police chief in charge of Coogan, meanwhile, wants to send him on a mission to New York. He must pick up an escaped man now living in the Big Apple. Coogan, who is still sporting his western attire, sticks out like a sore thumb among the crowds of Manhattan. One thing for sure, he takes no bull crap from anyone, including the taxi driver that thinks he is so smart by going around in circles thinking his out of town passenger will not notice the way he is jacking up the price for the ride.

What Coogan finds is a hostile police environment. Little does he know that to do things in New York, he must rethink what he is accustomed to do in Arizona. His meeting with Chief McElroy doesn't go too well. For starters, the man he has come to get, Ringerman, has been sent to Bellevue for observation. There he finds his man in the company of a girlfriend, Linny Raven, who will prove to be more dangerous than Coogan bargained for. He also finds a kindred soul in Julie, a woman who works with tough cases within the police department. Coogan's stay in New York will be marked by violence, but he is smart enough to deal with the situation and get what he came for.

Don Siegel, a director who worked extensively in B pictures, is in charge of this production. Mr. Siegel, was an astute artist who always delivered, as he does with this 1968 film. He captures the essence of that generation like no one. Mr. Siegel was a master in these types of movies, as he clearly shows here.

Clint Eastwood shows the making of the persona that he will later transfer to most of his work that followed. His Coogan was a man of a few words who believed in getting a job done, as quickly, and as neatly, as possible. His take on this character is what he did best. Lee J. Cobb, one of the great actors of stage, and screen, is at hand to portray Lt. McElroy, a man who knows how things worked in his territory. Also in minor roles, Susan Clark, the great Betty Field who appears as Ringerman's mother in one of the best sequences of the film. Tisha Sterling, Don Stroud and a young Seymour Cassel have some interesting moments.

Lalo Schiffrin jazzy musical score worked well with the film as did the fine cinematography of Bud Thackery that photographed the Manhattan of those years with excellent flair. Don Siegel did a good job with his direction and made a film that is fun and packs some action as well.
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Perfect Action Movie
Scooter01232 January 2005
From the opening scenes to the end it's never boring, and often hilarious. Lee J. Cobb turns in a wonderfully wry performance, the young Susan Clark is hot as Julie the probation officer, and Tom Tully is perfect as the tough, no-nonsense Sheriff McCrea. Add to that the sights and sounds of the city in the late 1960's and the feel for the atmosphere of the times, and it's a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. I define the quality of a movie by how it makes me feel. And this one always makes me feel good. Watching Eastwood work as Deputy Sheriff Walt Coogan, with that cool Eastwood demeanor makes you realize just how hokey Dennis Weaver played the McCloud character in the TV series - while 'Coogan' inspired the series, the series certainly didn't outshine it. This one is a fun romp, and like all in the genre, not to be taken too seriously. Highly recommended.
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Before "Dirty Harry"...
bwaynef18 April 1999
With less violence and the addition of a comical bent, "Coogan's Bluff" became the inspiration for the long running TV series "McCloud" starring Dennis Weaver. For director Don Siegal, it was, like the same year's "Madigan," another early examination of the maverick police officer that would reach its zenith with 1971's "Dirty Harry." For Eastwood, it's an interesting blend of the genre for which he was best known at the time--the western--and of the urban crime thrillers with which he would achieve superstardom. This one isn't as exciting as "Dirty Harry," and the fish out of water theme (ala "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town") helps to excuse some of the more unpleasant aspects of the character's law and order at any cost mentality, but "Coogan's Bluff" has an abundance of smart-a** humor to make it memorable. Eastwood is very effectively cast, and it is to his credit that he was willing to play such an unlikable and offensive SOB at this relatively early stage of his big-screen career. (Can you imagine Gregory Peck in this role?)
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It took me by surprise!
lost-in-limbo30 July 2005
Walt Coogan (Clint Eastwood) an Arizona deputy sheriff is sent to New York to collect a prisoner (Don Stroud). After learning that it might take a while before he can get his prisoner he decides to take it in own hands to bring him back, but while doing so he is jumped at the airport and the prisoner escapes. So now it's personal and he uses his western methods to recapture his man, but the city cops don't share his ways.

Before they teamed up for the classic cop film "Dirty Harry" (1971) - Don Siegel directed Clint Eastwood in an earlier and under-appreciated cop drama "Coogen's Bluff". I came across this film only knowing that it starred Eastwood and that's about it. But to my surprise it had more to it than Eastwood's strong persona, but it was engaging and clever entertainment by director Don Siegel. What it generates is a violent and hard-hitting police story that has superb attention to detail and is particularly well crafted. There's so many things going for it that you may or may not notice all the small hints that the film possesses on the clash of two different cultures (city vs. western) and the protagonist being dragged into the wicked and dirty side of the hippie drug circuit. This is when he learns that he is out of his league and that he has to adapt to this city way off life to get his man, sometimes with dire consequences because he grows slowly attached to it. Add in some psychedelic overtones and a spaced out feel to evoke the carefree era. The whole setup is naturally staged and doesn't feel forced. Siegel seems to have a knack of creating a gritty mood, but also capturing the life of the unique surroundings, from the Arizona deserts (excellent opening sequence) to the harsh city life. This was helped by fluid camera-work with its high shots and smooth pans that are well staged. The location photography and dashing settings are two of the strong points of this production. Another is the rousing score that mixes some western tang into the equation. Throw in edgy and sharp dialogue, with also scathing humour and an abundance of Texas gags against our protagonist. Siegel's paces the film perfectly and generates tension in some well-designed action scenes, one being the bike chase scene through the park. Though, this film isn't overtly filled with just action and violence. It's an amusing watch with a set-up that has more to it! Eastwood gives an iconic cool-as-ice performance as the Texas, ah I mean Arizona deputy sheriff who adapts his hunting techniques for the big city and who's quick with a sharp reply. Lee J. Cobb is good as the arrogant Det. Lt. McElroy, NYPD who has no time for Coogan or his antics. Susan Clark plays Julie Roth a probation officer and possibly Coogan's love interest. A superb Don Stroud weaselly plays James Ringerman the criminal who Coogan's after and Tisha Sterling plays Ringerman's hippie girlfriend. There's also a small role by a feisty Betty Field as Mrs. Ellen Ringerman.

Actually, it's hard to find one thing that I didn't actually like about the film. Highly recommended!
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Great Fun! and a whole lot more.
muswellmovies8 July 2010
It would be easy to dismiss this movie as lightweight entertainment however this is a much more interesting film if for no other reason than it is the first pairing of Siegel and Eastwood one of the most interesting partnerships in cinema that between 1968 and 1971 produced four good movies and at least one classic, "Dirty Harry". In this film Clint forged a bridge between his cowboy persona and the contemporary characters that he went on to play. While it was released to theatres the frame compositions look better in 4;3 TV ratio suggesting that like another Siegel film, "The Killers" this was produced with TV in mind and released to cinemas when the quality of the piece became apparent. I think this might explain why it has taken so long for a 1.85 transfer to be released and why the quality of the DVD is so poor, full frame prints look fine. Also the use of what looks like pre-standing sets gives it a low budget TV feel. With "Play Misty for me" Clint became a director and Siegel appeared as an actor thus the partnership was ended, the pupil became the master. Clints style as a director owes much to Siegel and he still has the economy which was a hallmark of Siegels work. Another partnership that began in this film was with actor Albert Popwell who went on to appear with Clint in the first four Dirty Harry movies,portraying a different role in each film. So as an Eastwood or a Siegel fan this is a must see pivotal movie and contains much of their trade mark craft even on a low budget. Don Stroud is as ever a bonus as is Susan Clark.
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A good, exciting action picture that mixes the western and the city crime drama.
Tgrain27 September 2000
The film borrows from the older city crime dramas adding a new twist, Eastwood's character, a police lieutenant from Arizona who will use any means to apprehend his prey. This film, shot on a relativley tight budget in New York City, captures the dark side of New York City in the late 60's, amidst the "free love" atmosphere. Particularly notable are the sharp fight sequences, the amazing sequence at the "Pidgeon Toed Orange Peel" dance club, and the chase sequence at the Cloisters. This film inspired the "Dirty Harry" series, and also paved the way for cowboy in the big city flicks such as "Midnight Cowboy" (and there are a few interesting resemblances). An overall exciting picture that should keep your interest.
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Thrilling and nice action fare with Eastwood as an Arizona deputy travels to New York to escort an escaped convict
ma-cortes25 February 2017
Exciting Don Siegel cop thriller plenty of thrills, action , fights and emotion . Brave , tough cop , Clint Eastwood , goes to N.Y in order to transport a killer fugitive , Don Stroud , but the murderer escapes. Then , the killer on the loose through the N.Y.City streets . The deputy sets out in pursuit and to track him down by suffering a dangerous , risked pursuit.

First Siegel-Eastwood teaming and subsequently following : ¨Two mules for Sister Sara¨, ¨The beguiled¨ , ¨Dirty Harry¨ in which Clint also played a cop , and ¨Escape from Alcatraz¨. This one results to be a tense actioner containing some extremely thrilling chase sequences at its final , while Eastwood and Stroud riding motorcycles . The famous and successful TV series MacCloud with Dennis Weaver was based on this movie ; in fact , Herman Miller had written the story for Coogan's Bluff and then later changed a few details to create McCloud . Support cast is frankly well. Don Stroud shines as a violent murderous . Lee J Cobb as chief inspector gives an strong and outstanding performance, as usual . And enjoyable and attractive Susan Clark as a lovely parole officer who falls in love for him . Furthermore , brief but agreeable acting from Tisha Sterling , last film role for veteran Betty Field , James Edwards , Seymour Cassel and David Doyle , previous to Charlie's Angels .

It features a moving and adequate musical score by Lalo Schifrin in his ordinary style of the seventies . It packs an evocative and atmospheric cinematography by Bud Thackery and uncredited Robert Surtees . This tumble and rough motion picture was professionally directed by Donald Siegel (Telephon , The shooter , The Black Windmill , Madigan , The Killers) though has a few gaps and flaws . However , original filmmaker was Alex Segal , who withdrew shortly before production began . Rating : acceptable and passable . The yarn will appeal to Clint fans . Well worth seeing.
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'McCloud' With Some Sleaze
ccthemovieman-110 May 2006
In this breakout year when films could dump most of their restrictions, this inspiration for the hit television series McCloud, dumped a couple and went the low road on a few things.

The language still was pretty tame but it had a big-time sleazy atmosphere with a bunch of unlikeable characters. Susan Clark played a lot of these kind of roles in the late '60s to about 1980. Clint Eastwood and Don Stroud are the male leads and Eastwood fits the mold as a tough Arizona lawman going to New York City to bring back an escaped convict. This kind of set of the stage, I think, for his Dirty Harry series which began a couple of years after this.

The story moves well and has some good action scenes, but, man, you can tell it is the late '60s and no longer the "classic era" in Hollywood with the nudity and no one with any moral standards.
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Good start to a celebrated collaboration
BJJManchester1 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
COOGAN'S BLUFF was the first major US film to star Clint Eastwood after his famous trio of Spaghetti westerns with Sergio Leone.Here Eastwood began another productive actor/director partnership with Don Siegel,one of Hollywood's best action directors.The film is predictably at it's strongest when it concentrates on that said action rather than dialogue or plot,which both seem undernourished and slightly mundane.Eastwood's acting style at this stage of his career was often described by some critics as wooden;an unfair description as his portrayal here (and in other vehicles around this period) of a taciturn,monosyllabic tough guy had considerable style and believability,and was usually nothing less than convincing.The best performance though comes from the splendid Lee J.Cobb as a wry,world weary New York Police Lieutentant reluctantly obeying the rules in contrast to the rebellious,no-nonsense style of the Arizona-based Coogan (Eastwood),who wants to return to the open plains without delay with a fugitive prisoner (Don Stroud).This is basically the main crux of the plot,a rather routine and over-familiar story which is not helped by a romantic sub-plot involving probation officer Susan Clark which lacks credibility.Her changes of mood with Coogan are far too sudden (hating him one moment,then virtually adoring him the next) to be plausible,and our belief is further strained in having the cuddly David Doyle (Bosley in CHARLIE'S ANGELS) miscast as a vicious gangster. But Siegel's location and studio work in New York is well observed,all seedy-looking offices and apartments,a contrast to the desert vistas of the opening scenes.There is a dated but edifying look at hippie culture which began to take over the world at this time,with a gloriously kitsch sequence in an outrageously named nightspot (The Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel) with a rather catchy song being played with the same moniker;a stetson-topped Clint walks his way through the revellers decidedly unimpressed!

The film's highlights are two very well-staged action sequences; one a ferocious brawl in the most run-down of pool rooms,and a motorcycle chase through a Park where Eastwood eventually captures Stroud.There is a spectacular final shot of a helicopter taking off from the PANAM building,with Miss Clark again rather curiously bidding a loving farewell to Eastwood,now firmly in control of his desired prey Stroud.COOGAN'S BLUFF somewhat lacks in the depth of later Siegel-Eastwood collaborations,particularly DIRTY HARRY.It later inspired the TV series MCCLOUD,starring Dennis Weaver,though the reworking was only superficial as Weaver's character was rather more affable and mature than Eastwood's depiction here;in this sense,COOGAN'S BLUFF does not suffer in comparison and works as a very watchable and well made action drama.

RATING:6 and a half out of 10.
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"You better drop that blade, or you won't believe what happens next, even while it's happening."
emperor_bender24 August 2009
While Dirty Harry watches over the streets of San Francisco, Coogan watches over Texas...I mean Arizona.

Clint Eastwood plays Coogan, a man who is sent to New York to bring back prisoner James Ringerman (Don Stroud) to Arizona, his jurisdiction (although many assume at first he is from Texas due to the fact he nearly dresses like a cowboy). However, after confronting Lt. McElroy, Coogan finds out that he can't just take Ringerman as is, that he must go through a long process. Coogan, being a no-nonsense cop with his own rules, decides to make his own way to get Ringerman. Along the way he must get through Linny (James' girl; played by Susan Clark), Julie (Linny's probation officer; played by Tisha Sterling), Pushie (Ringerman's buddy; played by David Doyle), McElroy, and even Ringerman's mom (played by Betty Field).

There were numerous chase/fight/confrontation scenes, however even with all that and Clint Eastwood and the expert directing of Don Siegel, the movie still falls slightly short. That doesn't mean it isn't entertaining however.

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Cobbler24 April 2001
I had high hopes for this flick, seeing how Don Siegel directed three of my all-time faves (...Body Snatchers, Charley Varrick, and Dirty Harry.) Coogan's Bluff turned out to be a real disapointment, with a mediocre, lazy script (the "fish out of water" jokes grew lame very quickly), a washed-out, ugly look, and a really unconvincing romance (Clint mixes it up with "Webster" mom Susan Clark.) The awesome motorcycle chase at the end of the flick around the Cloisters did little to redeem the film. 4/10. (P.S. I'm not a big fan of hippies, either.)
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Dedication beyond belief
NickD3915 October 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Caught this movie on cable the other night, was a bit tired, but let's see if I got this right. James Ringerman committed some kind of crime in Arizona where Coogan (Clint Eastwood) was a deputy sheriff, James gets caught in New York City and Coogan's boss after a good chewing out sends Coogan to bring him back. Well Coogan fouls things up and looses James. Coogan gets a telegram from his boss back in Arizona taking him off the case and a hardened cop, a Detective Lieutenant McElroy played by Lee J. Cobb swears if Coogan even attempts to go after James he will toss Coogan in jail.

Coogan is suppose to be on a flight back to Arizona, but has met Julie Roth (Susan Clark), a probation officer that added great beauty to this film, and has a love interest. Julie is making spaghetti for supper that will give them three hours to do whatever while the sauce simmers.

Coogan instead stands her up to go after James after getting some information from her filing cabinets, such dedication, and how can anyone leave Susan Clark? Incredible?

Things I learned from this movie are Fort Tyron's Park is a very beautiful place to visit and not a soul in sight, Arizonians, not just Texans wear cowboy hats, if you ever escort a prisoner, offer him a cigarette, and if you stand Susan Clark up, she will still come to the top of the PanAM building and wave goodbye. Things I wondered about are is it okay of an out of jurisdiction cop to steal a motorcycle, is it okay to rod a bike in the park, how did McElroy know where to find Coogan and at the exact correct instant, and is it considered normal therapy to touch Susan Clark's breast if you are a parolee? Maybe I should catch this film again to see exactly what James did, an unpaid parking ticket?
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Groovy baby!
MartynGryphon25 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Coogans Bluff, though widely forgotten when compared to the 'dollars' trilogy or the Dirty Harry movies, is one of Clint Eastwoods best projects and boasts what I feel is his best on-screen performance.

Arizona Deputy Sheriff Coogan is dispatched to New York to extradite a New York Junkie to face trial for his Crimes in the West. As soon as he touches down atop of the Pan-Am building, he realises the alien environment he finds himself in and in stark contrast to the bleak and desolate Arizona desert in which we first meet him. Coogan on the other hand is just as alien to the native New Yorkers he encounters. He arrives at the district Police Station to pick up his fugitive and take him home, but His task is not as cut and dried as he had hoped when he meets bad tempered but good natured veteran Cop McElroy (Lee J Cobb) who tells Coogan that his prisoner James Ringerman (played menacingly by Don Stroud), has already taken a 'trip' of a different nature and is in the Prison Ward at Belview Hospital.

Coogan's set back means that he has to stay in New York longer than he had planned (or hoped). but compensation takes the form of parole officer Julie Roth (Susan Clark). After Wining & Dining her, goes back to her place. His intended night of passion never gets off the ground as she is interrupted by a business call.

After his first night in New York, Coogan is determined that it is to be his last and 'Bluffs' his way in to the Prison Ward at Belview in the hopes of engineering Ringerman's release into his custody. he not only encounters Ringerman but also his spaced out girlfriend Linny Raven. His impulsive ruse pays off, and he and his prisoner head off to the Pan-Am building and their awaiting Arizona bound flight. However, Raven has arranged a welcoming party for Coogan and after the 'oldest trick in the book' type of ambush, Coogan is lying unconscious on the airport floor, and Ringerman is once again at large.

Ringerman now has the upper hand, knowing that Coogan's desert tracking skills are useless in the Concrete Jungle of 1968 New York but undeterred, Coogan sets about making his enquiries despite a stern warning not to interfere by McElroy. He is arrested for impersonating a police officer and McElroy takes the liberty of arranging Coogan's prompt and immediate return to Arizona. Coogan's plans remain unchanged and he will not leave New York alone. He resumes his relationship with Roth, and while she's out of the room takes a snoop at her parole files and finds the parole record of Raven. His nosiness reaps rewards, and his leg-work takes him to the physcodelic Pigeon Toed Orange Peel Club, where he once again encounters Raven. He ruthlessly seduces her in the hopes that his lovemaking will make her betray Ringermans whereabouts, but Raven is as manipulative as she is beautiful and she leads Coogan to a pool hall and yet another ambush. This time Coogan gives his attackers as good as he gets, yet still manages to get the ass whippin' of a lifetime. He escapes the pool hall just in time before McElroy and his squad break down the door. Coogan returns to Raven's Apartment only this time he persuades her by using 'less romantic' methods.

Fearing for her life, she finally leads Coogan straight to Ringerman and the final confrontation.

Eastwood's performance as the fish out of water cop is magnificent and is a great bridge between Clint the cowboy and Clint the modern day action hero as it is essentially an amalgamation of the two. The script calls for Clint to be ruthless, violent and menacing as all his previous roles had, but this movie showed a different side to Eastwood, hitherto unseen since his rise to stardom half a decade before. Coogans Bluff required Eastwood to be Romantic, and charming and witty, in fact the character of Coogan is blessed with a wry almost dead-pan dark sense of humour displayed in some of his classic one liners.

Taxi Driver: that'll be $2.95 including the luggage. Coogan: Here's 3 dollars including the tip.

or reprising this encounter with a hotel owner.

Hotel Owner: That'll be £7 Coogan: The sign says 5 Hotel Owner: 7 without luggage (Coogan shows his briefcase) That ain't luggage. Coogan: There's a cab drive in this town that'll give you an argument.

Siegel's Direction is as always impeccable and the fight at Pushy's Pool Hall, is one of the best choreographed action sequences ever put to film.

Eastwood is also seen performing (some) of his own stunts as is evident during the motorcycle chase when you see his face in close-up. Lalo Schifrin, (a very busy man in 1968), gives us one of his best scores and his 'pidgeon toed orange peel' song epitomised the period perfectly.

This film also gives us a good look at New York and to use a Clint Cliché, shows us the good, the bad and the darn right ugly of what the Big Apple has (or in many cases did) have to offer. and shows us New York when it was an evolving city, when the 50's and Early 60's style of Car design, clothing fashions and moral attitudes were slowly being replaced by their more basic and simple counterparts of the 70's.

10 out of 10 if not for Clint's witty dialogue alone
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Coogan's Bluff: Surprisingly Effective and Entertaining
imagiking22 January 2011
Widely seen as the foundation for the titular character of the Dirty Harry series created three years later by star Eastwood and director Siegel, Coogan's Bluff is the first collaboration between the pair.

Arizona deputy sheriff Coogan is well used to hunting down criminals and bringing them to justice, his wild west style of law enforcement reinforced by his cowboy hat and boots. When he is told, upon arriving in New York to extradite a fleeing murderer, that he must wait whilst the bureaucratic elements are sorted through, he decides to take matters into his own hands.

Prior to Coogan's Bluff, I had never encountered Eastwood pre-1992's Unforgiven. My familiarity with, and affection for, Clint's modern directorial work combined with the release of a 35 film box set to inspire me to investigate the entirety of his legendary career. That being my original motivation, I found something far more interesting in this film. Having recently explored the history and evolution of the western genre in Hollywood cinema, Coogan's Bluff provided an interesting bridge in the aforementioned history. Eastwood's Coogan is the classic westerner, the archetypal frontier hero: his stiff opposition to established authority; his overtly western appearance; the regular reference to him by all else as "cowboy". The film takes this character and dumps him in the urban landscape of New York city, the massive contrast between the barren desert of the opening shots and the steel and glass of the city not the only obvious difference between the locations. Coogan's inability to subscribe to the systematic law enforcement of the city is the catalyst to the film's action, and one which poses the questions the film attempts to answer. His brand of law, proved in westerns of the past to succeed where conventional East American law has failed, is on trial here, explored and analysed by Siegel. The contrast between Coogan and Lee J. Cobb's McElroy, the by-the-book New York police lieutenant, is crucial to this analysis. Fortunately both actors are perfect in their roles, Clint's charm, charisma, and willingness to employ both seduction and force as necessary alluding to the darker side of his character. After ninety minutes of a perfectly entertaining film, the ending perfectly sums up what the film is all about. Well constructed, articulated, and delivered, surprisingly entertaining and effective, and an interesting insight into the jump from the western to the urban cop thriller to the action films of the 80s. Worth a very brief mention is the scene in the delightfully named The Pigeon Toed Orange Peel nightclub, in which Siegel employs Eisensteinian intellectual montage to present—or maybe this is just me—a homophobic agenda, along with an overall condemnation of hippie culture (spectacularly executed by a series of high/low angle shots of the already tall Clint standing some steps above a woman). The apparent homophobia is just bizarre, and leaves you wondering where it's come from.

The missing link between the classic western and the Dirty Harry style of urban cop drama, Coogan's Bluff gives an interesting glimpse into the evolution of genre. An entertaining plot throughout, the film gives us a memorable character, as well as many classic hilarious lines ("Nobody calls me mister with my boots off").
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Arizona Lawman In The Big Bad Apple Early Eastwood Crime Thriller
ShootingShark12 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Coogan is a country sheriff from Arizona sent to New York City to escort a bail-jumper back home. The suspect escapes however, and Coogan is forced to track him down in wildly unfamiliar territory, with the local cops breathing down his neck ...

The first of Eastwood and Siegel's five films together (if you don't count Play Misty For Me) is a solid thriller, with an interesting fish-out-of-water premise, good characterisation and flashy action scenes. It's also the only film I can think of in quintessential California Man Eastwood's large filmography which takes place in New York, and the locations are all interesting, notably Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan for the memorable chase finale on Triumph motorbikes. The cast are all good; Eastwood looks perfectly out of place as a modern cowboy with old-fashioned sensibilities in a hip'n'trendy urban jungle and isn't afraid to shock us, as in the scene where he beats up Sterling (who is two feet smaller than him, not to mention a girl). Clark - who's not that well known but was in a whole bunch of interesting seventies flicks - is the refreshingly normal centre of the film, and looks amazing with her dark brown hair and bright green eyes. And Cobb steals the show as the world-weary Lieutenant McElroy, somehow loud and prickly but also subtle and amusing at the same time. Like their subsequent masterpiece, Dirty Harry, this movie is also an engaging time-capsule of pothead days, particularly in the Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel nightclub happening sequence, which is aided by Lalo Schifrin's terrific jazzy score, his first of eight for Eastwood. This is perhaps a minor picture in Clint's excellent back catalogue, but it's well-made throughout and solid entertainment.
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not without significance
christopher-underwood10 September 2017
Likable, if less known than some of Eastwood's films, it is not without significance. This movie neatly segues from the Leone westerns to Dirty Harry. Indeed this is where Eastwood and Siegel first pair up and the seeds of the subsequent violent thrillers are clearly visible. It is also significant in that being a 1968 film we get a depiction of sexual politics that still resonates today. There is an early scene where Tisha Sterling is talking to her 'client' or probationer played by Don Stroud and the slimy kid touches, strokes and finally takes a hold of one of her breasts. Eastwood's 'country boy' from Arizona, looking more like a cowboy than a cop takes exception and knocks Stroud away. Tisha's character, who seemed to accept the sexual attention, is upset that her 'client' is now upset. Even more odd, as we now look back, Eastwood then picks up his case, takes her by the arm and announces he's taking her to lunch, and more as it subsequently turns out. Within the storyline of a film of this period it doesn't seem all that strange, no more it was, but looked at now from the era of a new morality, quite astonishing. The story moves well, Siegel has an eye for composition and can choreograph a bar room fight or a chase as good as anyone. The final motorbike chase is set on the slopes of an autumnal Fort Tryon Park and looks very good. Also good looking and very well shot is a hippy gig with back projections, coloured lights, near naked boys and girls and painted faces. Well worth a watch.
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Cool it cowboy there's plenty here for both of us
sol-kay29 May 2010
***SPOILERS*** After running down escaped from the reservation, for murdering his wife, convict Running Bear, Rudy Diaz, and then having a romp in the bathtub with his girlfriend the buxom Millie, Melodie Johnson, Shefiff's Detuty Coogen, Clint Eastwood, gets the bad news from his boss Sheriff McCrea, Tom Tully, that he's to travel to the Big Apple-New York City-to pick up and bring back to Arizona fugitive drug dealer Jim "Jimbo" Ringerman, Don Stroud,to stand trial in Phoenix for jumping bail and dealing drugs. And that all happens before the real action in the movie starts!

When Coogen arrives in NYC to pick up and expiated Ringerman back to Arizona he's told by the two three, or 23rd, police precincts though talking Let McElroy, Lee J. Cobb, that "Jimbo" is unavailable and in Beleuve Hospital suffering from withdrawals from a bad LSD trip. Having to wait for Ringerman to be realest into his custody Coogen soon gets to know pretty police psychiatrist Julie, Susan Clark, who's just crazy about his straight forward attitude, in telling it like it is, as well as Coogen's cowboy boots and hat. It's when Coogen got a bit restless in waiting for Jimbo Ringerman to be released from Beleuve that he made a very serious mistake. Coogen tried to illegally check Ringerman out, on a bluff attempt, without proper papers. That lead Coogen to get clobbered and his gun taken away from him by Ringermen's New York fiends lead by the pot smoking hippie Linny Raven, Tislda Sterling.

Now in trouble from all sides from his boss Sheriff McCrea back in Arizona and the NYPD in New York City Coogen is determined to track down, cowboy style, and bring to justice Ringerman even if he has to tear down the entire city of New York to do it! Checking out Ringerman's old stomping grounds in the East Village Coogen finds Raven who instead of leading him to her boyfriend, and drug supplier, Jimbo Ringerman lead him straight into an ambush at a pool-hall where Jimbo's friends are waiting for him and ready to use Coogen's head as batting practice for their cue sticks. Realizing that he's been set up by Raven Coogen, after dispatching Ringermen's hoods, takes off for her in the village and persuades Raven, by threatening to punch her pretty face in, to lead him to her boyfriend Jimbo who's hiding out somewhere in upper Manhattan.

***SPOILERS*** It's when Ringerman sees that the jig is up and he's about to be arrested by a hot and angry Coogen is when the long awaited action starts in the movie: A series of exciting chase scenes, on foot and on motorcycles, Ringerman getting caught and punched out by Coogen and finally, in him having no authority as a law enforcer in NYC, Coogen performing his civic duty by turning over to the NYPD a battered and barley conscious Ringerman via a citizens arrest! In the end Coogen not only got to get his man, Jimbo Ringerman, but also see the breathtaking sights of the Big Apple as well which included fresh faced blue eyed and sexy police psychiatrist Julie, no last name given in the film credits, who just couldn't let go of the big guy no matter how shabbily he, by checking out of her apartment after she slaved for over three hours cooking him her famous spaghetti dinner, treated her!
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Eastwood's transition
This is a good example of a transition film. Clint Eastwood, known primarily for westerns at this point in his career took a step towards one of his most recognizable characters: Inspector "Dirty" Harry Calahan. "Coogan's Bluff" starts with a wide shot of a desert in the American Southwest. Dust is being kicked up as the protagonist rides... in a jeep! He has a holstered rifle, classic western hat and boots, and lights a cigarette all in the first scene. At thus point the terrain could have been from the 1860s, but then were are shown a modern home and cars and then finally the vast urban expanse of New York City as a helicopter lands on a huge skyscraper. This opening sequence is really nothing more within the film itself, but taken from an outside perspective, it's actually a landmark in Clint Eastwood's career; it foreshadows "Dirty" Harry and signals a waning of the western genre. 1968 was also the year Steve McQueen made the classic "Bullitt," which takes place in San Francisco, which also makes it another prelude to Dirty Harry and the archetype of the tough city cop.

"Coogan's Bluff" is potentially more enjoyable for some in that Walt Coogan is much less violent. Dirty Harry is a very cool character, but the end of even the second movie, he was just good escapism. Walt Coogan is actually convincing as a real character and his trek through New York is comparable, once again, to "Bullitt." The film is more about the driving force of the character to get to the bottom of the problem, which here involves tracking down a criminal who escaped Coogan's custody. Out of his jurisdiction and much to annoyance of a New York inspector Coogan starts to conduct the search by himself. He's a stranger in a strange land, so to speak.

The film may be a bit slow by today's action standards, but this is more of an "investigation cop movie" more akin to a Sherlock Holmes story: mystery throughout and a climatic set piece at the end; here in the form of a terrific motorcycle chase. "Coogan's Bluff" came out in 1968 and was overshadowed by "Bullitt" with it's spectacular chase scene and Clint Eastwood's much bigger action hit of that year, "Where Eagles Dare," but this film is essential for Clint fans if they haven't seen it. --- 8/10

BsCDb Classification: PG --- violence
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Utterly boring and shockingly liked...the hardest review I've ever written
Robert_duder4 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I've said it before and I'll say it again...I adore Clint Eastwood. I am more than a fan of all his work, I idolize the man. This love came late in my life when I stumbled on The Good, The Bad and The Ugly so I am just now watching all of his classic and not so classic films. As much as I love him there is no doubt he has had downs with his ups. I've also disagreed with fellow reviewers before...I thought the so called 'classic' Where Eagles Dare was one of the most boring films I ever sat through. Some of the things said about Coogan's Bluff literally blew my mind. Any comparison to Dirty Harry is just about obscure as they come. This film doesn't even touch Dirty Harry. Eastwood's Coogan is nothing short of a near 'wussy' compared to Harry. Calling this a 'solid action thriller' is the most ludicrous three words I can think of for a film that I very nearly turned off, let alone stayed awake through. Action in tiny implements finally breaks out in the last half hour but even that isn't interesting enough because you've become so bored by the story and characters. Some reviewers did say the 'fish out of water' jokes get old quick but I didn't even see enough of that. The concept of the typical cowboy coming to big city is completely lost on this story.

Clint Eastwood has had one of the most diverse and remarkable careers in Hollywood. His screen presence is legendary and his westerns are without a doubt the finest pieces of genre ever made. His character 'Coogan' is determined and full of spunk, there is no doubt about that. But the womanizing is ridiculous and done in such a campy and silly way. When he finally gets down to truly catching his bad guy he already seems so soft and the last thing in the universe Eastwood should ever be is soft. Coogan is probably his worst character ever created. Susan Clark gives one of the more redeemable performances as tough on the outside cop Julie and the main object of Eastwood's desire. She is a strong female character until Coogan opens up the sexual can of worms and then she swoons like a 12 year old at a Justin Beiber concert. Tisha Sterling plays another Coogan conquest only this time he seduces her to find his man. Sterling is good in her role however I think she really pushes the envelope of over acting. The one big comparison I can make from Coogan's Bluff to Dirty Harry is that Coogan's criminal played by Don Stroud reminds me in many ways of Dirty Harry's Scorpio (played later by Andrew Robinson.) Only Stroud's criminal is not nearly as maniacal or interesting and has zero chemistry between him and Eastwood.

I don't watch a ton of pre-80's films so maybe expectations are far lower for older films. I mean one reviewer called this "A good, exciting action picture" and my jaw literally hit the floor. I was so near bored during this picture it blows my mind. Yes there is one well done motorcycle chase scene and it did nothing to raise the merit of this film. I have to say now and probably again before this review is over how shocked I was by how boring this film truly was. I'm not someone who needs constant action by any means but the characters were so poorly done and the story was so thin that it could have been over in fifteen minutes and there lies the problem. There is so much silly filler in this film when there is just no reason for it. Legendary director and Clint Eastwood's mentor Don Siegel helms the film and I'm just amazed at how little he does with the plot. And considering you've got a Cowboy deputy coming to the most famous big city in the world (New York) there is little to no using the backdrop of New York like he did with San Francisco in Dirty Harry. I have to shun Coogan's Bluff from my Eastwood collection and go watch some true Eastwood classics to get my love for him back because this one simply bored me to death. I encourage every one of you reading this to go watch it right now...and try and tell me what a rip roaring action thriller this is. Sorry Mr. Eastwood...I love you deeply but Coogan's Bluff stinks. 3/10
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Great early Eastwood!
jhjenntex27 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
POSSIBLE SPOILERS! While this is a period piece, that is one thing that makes it GREAT! It saves the 1968 New York hip scene on film!

Great supporting cast, Lee; J. Cobb, Don Stroud, and Susan Clark is HAWT! Tisha Sterling, the hippie chick, is PERFECT! While this movie inspired the Dennis Weaver as "McCloud" on TV, I wonder if this movie inspired "Crocodile Dundee" as well?

Great poolroom fight! And how do you like that crazy song in the dance club, "Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel"?

At July, 2006, this is only rated 6.5 I think that some of the lower ratings may be due to the fact that it may offend some feminist sensibilities. And it is not particularly politically correct to chain an American Indian to a post while you go inside enjoy a lady.

Hard to believe that this film is almost forty years old!
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Forgettable Eastwood
Though I give this film a '5', take Clint out of the lead role and this it drops to a turkey with a rating of '3' (if I'm feeling charitable that day).

What's going on here? Deputy Coogan leaves Arizona for New York to bring home a wanted felon. He pisses off the local police while getting involved in a few conflicts highlighted by really crappy fight sequences. He meets a laughably clueless woman whose part was clearly written by someone who saw June Cleaver as dangerously progressive. Naive caricatures of the Sixties Drug Culture abound. Coogan eventually gets his man, the locals forgive Coogan his meddling, the airhead sees Coogan off despite the way he cruelly used her, and Coogan happily shares a smoke with the perp who tried to kill him. You'll strain yourself looking for the plot herein.

Ugh ... this is a waste of celluloid. Why on Earth this is available on DVD in the U.S., but neither Reds nor A Fistful Of Dynamite are, boggles the mind.

On the other hand, it's Clint, and he does redeem it to an extent. And it's not as bad as Bronco Billy or Space Cowboys.

Viewers familiar with Dirty Harry will note the familiar action-sequence and sky-view fadaway techniques of director Don Seigel.
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