Wednesday, May 27, 2015

536. Dirty Harry

Dirty Harry
Directed by Don Siegel

I would have never thought of comparing the movie Shaft and Dirty Harry but reviewing them back to back makes me realize that they are actually quite similar.  So why do I hate Shaft and like this movie?  God, I hope the answer isn't "because I'm white."  Thankfully, I don't think that's the case.

A psychotic serial killer named Scorpio demands $100,000 from the police department and promises to kill somebody every day until his ransom paid.  He then proceeds to keep his word with great gusto.  It seems like the only one who can stop him is the equally insane police detective, "Dirty" Harry Callahan.

Parts of this film are extremely disturbing; I would classify this more under horror than action.  I do think the movie takes itself a bit too seriously at times, though I would have to reveal a spoiler to explain why, so I will refrain.

Harry Callahan is a major dick, but we are still end up rooting for him, since he is the lesser of two evils.  And isn't that what justice is all about?

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Andrew Robinson created his own back story for his character, which involved his character fighting in Vietnam and seeing all sorts of tragedies.  Well, it was the seventies, so you have to plug Vietnam in there somewhere.

Loosely based on the Zodiac killer.

"Dirty Harry" is apparently a slang term for a photographer.


  1. A review I total agree with..
    I have exactly the same liberal angst about find this an agreeable to watch film.. despite the probably highly dodgy underlying message that rogue cops should be allowed to gun down anyone who looks a bit iffy.
    One review I saw .. hey, maybe it's the one in the book posed the question is this a Fascist film, or a film about a Fascist cop?
    The scary thing is .. I don't know. There is no doubt we are very cleverly manipulated to be rooting for Harry.. all his opponants are either politicaly motivated idiots or utter scum bags .. and even someone like me wants him to succeed.
    I've seen some of the follow up films, and even they are 'not bad'.
    You know me and my opinion on action films.. I enter biased against them and wince at every squeeling tyre and (also) roll my eyes at every macho snappy smartarse one liner and groan at every exploding car... But I'm afraid this is another of those that, when on TV, i won't start to watch.. but when I accidently find it, I will findmyself sticking with it 'just to the bit where he...'
    Sort of depressing eh? Just how little it takes for both you and I to revert to what we don't want to be.. you and a Candy Floss Doris day ovie, me to a Dirty Harry fim. Oh dear...

    1. A fascist film? That's such an interesting idea. I can't believe you watched the sequels!