Dirty Harry stars the legendary chair talker Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan, a tough police inspector for the San Francisco Police Department. Callahan has been tasked with finding and bringing down a psychopathic serial killer that goes by the name of Scorpio (played by Andy Robinson). Scorpio has already killed many a time, therefore Harry Callahan must take him down by any means necessary.
Dirty Harry is a well shot and directed drama with a lot of great moments. We are often given grande shots of San Francisco and many other locations they filmed at. The general pacing of Dirty Harry is good and the action sequences are intense and exciting to watch (especially when Eastwood’s spouting off great one liners like “Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”).
By far the most interesting aspect of this film is Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. Dirty Harry is foul mouthed, offensive, racist, and frankly doesn’t give a damn about the law. Yet, I have the utmost respect for the character of Harry Callahan. He’s the antithesis to the law, representing the idea that sometimes you have to bend the rules to do what needs to be done.
Eastwood’s character is definitely enough to turn people off from Dirty Harry, as some of his actions do cause more harm than good. Not to mention his blatant disregard for human rights and the law. While these are all valid points for disliking the film, I do see the appeal for Harry Callahan. He’s a macho crime fighter that does what he feels needs to be done. The way he deals with people is crude and often uncalled for, but we all wish we could talk like him from time to time. His character is very dedicated to doing his job, yet is ultimately flawed, making him more down to Earth and relatable.
Overall I find Dirty Harry to be a quite an entertaining movie. The film is very well shot and executed, but most of the enjoyment I felt watching came from Clint Eastwood’s performance. All the snappy one-liners and witty dialogue make Harry Callahan a very memorable character. Dirty Harry is the perfect film for crime thriller fans, with a protagonist that’s among the best in cinema history.
The Verdict: A