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Dirty Harry (1971)

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When a madman calling himself "the Scorpio Killer" (Andrew Robinson) menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.

Director:

Don Siegel

Writers:

Harry Julian Fink (screenplay), Rita M. Fink (screenplay) (as R.M. Fink) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
1,745 ( 155)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Harry
Harry Guardino ... Bressler
Reni Santoni ... Chico
John Vernon ... The Mayor
Andrew Robinson ... Killer (as Andy Robinson)
John Larch ... Chief
John Mitchum ... De Giorgio
Mae Mercer Mae Mercer ... Mrs. Russell
Lyn Edgington Lyn Edgington ... Norma
Ruth Kobart ... Bus Driver
Woodrow Parfrey ... Mr. Jaffe
Josef Sommer ... Rothko
William Paterson William Paterson ... Bannerman
James Nolan ... Liquor Proprietor
Maurice Argent Maurice Argent ... Sid Kleinman (as Maurice S. Argent)
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Storyline

In 1971, San Francisco faces the terror of a maniac known as the "Scorpio Killer" (Andrew Robinson), who snipes at innocent victims and demands ransom through notes left at the scene of the crime. Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is assigned to the case along with his newest partner Inspector Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni) to track down Scorpio and stop him. Using humiliation and cat-and-mouse type of games against Callahan, Scorpio is put to the test with the cop with a dirty attitude. Written by commanderblue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dirty Harry and the homicidal maniac. Harry's the one with the badge. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Right See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$35,976,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,976,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Malpaso Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first time Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) says to a partner "Welcome to homicide" after Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni) sees the dead boy killed by the Scorpio Killer. The only other Dirty Harry movie he uttered the phrase was in The Enforcer (1976), after Inspector Kate Moore (Tyne Daly) runs out on the gas company guard's autopsy. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Harry is waiting for the school bus to drive under the bridge, you see Harry crouch as the bus approaches, as if to jump on the roof. In the next shot, you can see Harry in the reflection of the bus windscreen, actually standing upright. See more »

Quotes

The Killer: [Scorpio has jacked and the unaware kids are singing with him] Row, row, row your boat/gently down the stream/merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...
Bus Kid: Where are we going?
The Killer: What? What did you say?
Bus Kid: Where are we going?
The Killer: We're going to the ice-cream factory and see how ice-cream's made. Now anybody who doesn't wanna go can get off right here.
Bus Kid: I wanna go home to my mommy.
The Killer: [slaps the kid] Stupid kid! Come on sing everyone! Sing or I'll go home and kill all your mommies, sing, sing!
The Killer: [...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, the word "Dirty" in the title is in brown as opposed to the rest of the credits' yellow. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 5.1 remix on all DVD and Blu-ray releases replace a number of the original gun sound effects along with other sound effects that differ from the original mono version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Castle: Heroes and Villains (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
(uncredited)
Written by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of "The" films of the 1970s
27 April 2005 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

Don Siegel's "Dirty Harry" was arguably the start of the serial killer/cop genre inherent in so many mainstream American movies released today. Setting the stage for countless rip-offs and sequels, "Dirty Harry" was one of the true first of its kind--not only in regards to its genre influence but also in terms of its content. (Full frontal nudity, heavy vigilante-style violence and strong language.) It is, in fact, one of the quintessential 1970s films--capturing the very essence of the typical gritty '70s film style we're all familiar with. If "Midnight Cowboy" began the trend, "Dirty Harry" extends it.

Clint Eastwood delivers one of his finest performances as the titular "Dirty" Harry Callahan. He's got just the right amount of cocky cynacism and inset sense of self-justice and importance to make the character realistic and likable, despite his flaws.

The plot almost seems routine now, but back in '71 it was controversial stuff: Harry is a tough cop trying to track down a mad serial killer in San Francisco, who is murdering victims in an effort to receive ransom money. When he kidnaps a young girl, Harry makes it his mission to disobey direct orders and take on the killer by himself.

It's easy to point at this now and say, "I've seen this already." In many cases film classics can only be graded well for nostalgic purposes, because their imitators have improved upon the original material.

Not here. The original really does still remain (one of) the best.

Siegel would later follow up "Dirty Harry" with another examination of criminals and cops, and would also team up again with Clint Eastwood. This is probably his best film, which is saying a lot. Its reputation precedes it, but in this case, the strength of the film itself really is deserving of its popularity. The final speech is awesome stuff.


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