Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dirty Harry (1971)

Dirty Harry Movie #1

Synopsis: Trigger-happy lunatic terrorizes San Francisco...oh yeah, there’s a serial killer out there, too.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Harry Callahan is a tough, streetwise San Francisco cop whom they call Dirty Harry. In this classic film, you’ll see why.”

What Did I Learn?: When a movie character announces he has a degree in sociology, you can be pretty sure he’s going to receive a rude awakening about the “real world”.

Really?: 1) Wow...Harry recovers from that savage beating rather quickly! 2) Ok, I can understand how the evidence against Scorpio could be thrown out because Harry didn’t have a search warrant, but couldn’t the cops charge him with assaulting a police officer (when Harry delivers the ransom cash) and attempted murder when Scorpio shoots at Chico?

Rating: Dirty Harry might be a bit dated, but it’s an otherwise enjoyable, action-packed morality play about the US justice system in the early 1970s. Eastwood is cool under pressure, while Andrew Robinson (better known as Garak on Deep Space Nine) delivers a magnificent performance as the ultra-creepy Scorpio. Dirty Harry is fairly right-wing in its take on liberal judges and the need to put the rights of victims ahead of the rights of criminals; heck, at one point, Harry even tortures an injured Scorpio, and it’s tough to condemn his actions, considering it might be the only means of finding a 14-year old girl who’s about to suffocate. Whether you agree with the tough-on-crime/law-and-order approach or not, Dirty Harry is worth watching at least once. 8.5/10 stars.

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