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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Dirty Harry (1971) (spoilers) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Dirty Harry (1971) (spoilers)  (Read 1431 times)
akiratubo
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« on: June 25, 2009, 12:34:58 PM »

So, I finally sat down and watched Dirty Harry.  I thought it was good but not as good as its reputation.

I liked how it avoided the pitfalls of many cop movies.  For most of the movie, Harry wasn't really all that far out on the edge.  He was clearly on his way there, but he was still for the most part just a cop.  His superiors didn't hate him or force him to quit the case because he got "too close".  He and his reluctant partner were not antagonistic toward each other.  His partner was a competent and intelligent cop -- and he didn't get killed!  This, despite mentioning that he had a wife and a life outside of being a cop!  Holy crap!  Harry initially caught Scorpio by *gasp choke* doing detective work.  The DA who refused to prosectue Scorpio was portrayed as being just as frustrated about it as Harry, not as some eeeeevil liberal who sympathized more with criminals than victims.

However, in the scene were the DA tells Harry they can't prosecute Scorpio, the movie lost me.  It seemed like Harry was completely unaware of search-and-seizure laws, for one thing.  The scene made him seem simply ignorant of the law, not justly outraged that Scropio knew how to twist it to his own ends.

I was also let down by the "big" climax.  It was standard action movie stuff and felt out of place in what had been a rather intimate, personal, and grim movie.  It's harsh, but Scorpio gunning down the kids on the bus before Harry could stop him would have been a more fitting climax to a movie where no one had been safe up to then.  A running gun battle just didn't cut it.

Overall, though, Dirty Harry is good.  If you grade it on a curve against other "cop on the edge" movies, it may very well be the best ever.  It's certainly better than Bullitt, the Lethal Weapon movies, or Street Kings, just to name a few.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 12:52:13 PM by akiratubo » Logged

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trekgeezer
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 12:57:26 PM »

Movies need to always be taken in the context of when they were made.  Miranda and the search and seizure rules had only been around a few years and they were not popular with the public, which perceived them as protecting the criminal at the expense of the victim.

The movie was very popular when it was released and it was not standard cop movie fare at the time.   Believe me, people applauded when Scorpio bit it.
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 04:04:34 PM »

It's certainly better than Bullitt, the Lethal Weapon movies, or Street Kings, just to name a few.

DIRTY HARRY is a top-notch cop thriller and I watch the DVD at least once or twice a year.  However, I think BULLITT is a better overall movie.  Talk about investigative work!  I've read several articles that talked about how Steve McQueen and Peter Yates insisted on incorporating realistic police procedures into certain parts of the movie.  And I love the big car chase, the hospital scenes, and the airport climax.
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 04:20:53 PM »

Trivia-Scorpio was based loosley on the uncaught real life serial killer Zodiac...who also operated in the SF area,and also threatend to take out a school bus full of kids. He never got around to do it,though.
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 07:16:40 PM »

Movies need to always be taken in the context of when they were made.  Miranda and the search and seizure rules had only been around a few years and they were not popular with the public, which perceived them as protecting the criminal at the expense of the victim.


Absolutely.  It was a populist political statement.
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zombie #1
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 07:56:57 PM »

big fan of this film. love the general cinematography, the opening scene with the broad in the swimming pool (dunno why but i had to say 'broad' there). I recently invested in the 2xDVD edition, there's a good interview with clint and andy robinson aka scorpio who basically explains that was his first acting role ever. can't really find any fault with this film tbh. one of those films where pretty much every scene is good ( in my humble opinion, of course  Thumbup)
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 07:59:49 PM »

Really?  I always saw it as a conservative knee-jerk reaction to the growing acceptance of the "Age of Aquarius" hippie culture that has proved itself to be an insidious back-biting weasel that has become the liberal platform of modern "accept our excesses or we'll have you crucified in the public media" ideals.

Ah, I'm kidding.  I just thought it was cool when he shot folks with a gun that sounded like a friggin' cannon.
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zombie #1
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 08:12:08 PM »

Really?  I always saw it as a conservative knee-jerk reaction to the growing acceptance of the "Age of Aquarius" hippie culture that has proved itself to be an insidious back-biting weasel that has become the liberal platform of modern "accept our excesses or we'll have you crucified in the public media" ideals.

Ah, I'm kidding.  I just thought it was cool when he shot folks with a gun that sounded like a friggin' cannon.
I dunno why but that reply just seems loaded with cynicism, like you're about to shoot down anyone who dares to stand up for this movie. observe, I have 71 karma points, and this film was made in '71. I'm like your man Clint Eastwood up in here and I'm telling you this is a good movie. (if you negative karma me then obviously that argument breaks down somewhat.)

what am I even talking about.
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2009, 09:27:16 PM »

Really?  I always saw it as a conservative knee-jerk reaction to the growing acceptance of the "Age of Aquarius" hippie culture that has proved itself to be an insidious back-biting weasel that has become the liberal platform of modern "accept our excesses or we'll have you crucified in the public media" ideals.

Ah, I'm kidding.  I just thought it was cool when he shot folks with a gun that sounded like a friggin' cannon.
I dunno why but that reply just seems loaded with cynicism, like you're about to shoot down anyone who dares to stand up for this movie. observe, I have 71 karma points, and this film was made in '71. I'm like your man Clint Eastwood up in here and I'm telling you this is a good movie. (if you negative karma me then obviously that argument breaks down somewhat.)

what am I even talking about.

Heck no, I LOVE this movie. Seriously.  My folks took me to see it when I was a young tyke and even though I didn't understand all of it, I knew it was a good thing when Harry made Scorpio's life miserable.  Hell, I even had all of the Dirty Harry novels that were out back in the late 70's. It's a crying shame there is no realistic way to bring this character into modern times.  These days, no matter who he shot, he would be considered racist, sexist, anti-gay/transgendered/bi/straight, down on the poor, hating the rich, a freedom of speech suppressor, anti-liberal, pro-gun/death penalty, right-wing fanatic, among other things.

I freakin' hate political correctness.
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2009, 04:45:03 AM »

Haven't seen this in many years, but I agree with most everyone's assessment that this is one of the best cop movies. There was a certain amount of realism in this film and others made around the same time like Bullit, and the French Connection that is just missing from a lot of todays crime movies.

Andy Robinson did a fine job as the slimey Scorpio, a performance that seems to be overlooked in the annals of film. The scene where he gets the switchblade to the leg always gets me. Even with a ski-mask on his expression is priceless.
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2009, 06:09:06 AM »

andy robinson aka scorpio who basically explains that was his first acting role ever.

I have season 1 of THE ROOKIES television series from the 1970s on DVD.  A few nights ago I watched an episode where Andy Robinson played a psychotic character who reminded me of his character in DIRTY HARRY . . . typecast so young!
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2009, 11:34:05 AM »

It's a crying shame there is no realistic way to bring this character into modern times.  These days, no matter who he shot, he would be considered racist, sexist, anti-gay/transgendered/bi/straight, down on the poor, hating the rich, a freedom of speech suppressor, anti-liberal, pro-gun/death penalty, right-wing fanatic, among other things.

I freakin' hate political correctness.

Eastwood's GRAN TORINO character struck me as a sort of politically-correct Dirty Harry, and it actually worked well, although it was a drama rather than an action film.
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