I thought it would be useful to pool the Letterboxd community's extensive film knowledge to create a series of lists…
A man's got to know his limitations.
"Dirty" Harry Callahan is a San Francisco Police Inspector on the trail of a group of rogue cops who have taken justice into their own hands. When shady characters are murdered one after another in grisly fashion, only Dirty Harry can stop them.
It looks as though Harry Callahan is doomed never to be able to finish his junk food.
In Dirty Harry, he only gets one bite of his hot dog before it all goes off at a bank nearby. Aww shit. In Magnum Force he gets a few more bites down of a pretty nice looking burger before he involves himself in trying to prevent the hijacking of a plane, but he still doesn't manage the whole thing. At least these events cut some calories out of his diet.
Magnum Force is a hard film to approach in some ways and I think perhaps even more than Dirty Harry it needs to be rewatched. You can very easily come into Magnum…
I think, considering that Dirty Harry is one of my favourite films of all time, that I should probably take some kind of offence to Magnum Force. It's not even because it's not nearly as good, but more to do with the fact that it takes the character of Harry Callahan to places that I did not want to see him go to in this film's predecessor.
Dirty Harry got Callahan perfect - it's one of the reasons the film is so good. All we see is Callahan the cop. We don't see his home life, we don't know anything about him outside of his profession, and we don't want to know anything about them. So they had a major…
An interesting Dirty Harry film.
Good follow up to the first film. The tone is very similar-score is still great.
The plane sequence is cool.
Eastwood is great again in his role.
Holbrook is a great addition. I like the chemistry between him and Eastwood.
The plot is what makes this film so interesting. Vigilante cops are killing known criminals that have slipped through the justice system for a variety of reasons. Eastwood is brought in to investigate when it's not known whose behind the killings-he pieces things together and when confronted by the killers he says a line that made me rethink what I thought about the character of Dirty Harry in the first film. 'I think you've misjudged…
"A man should know his limitations" - Harry Callahan
And yet there were still three more of these movies to come.
After Dirty Harry I swore off the other 4 films in the franchise but my recent impromptu Eastwood marathon called for more, more, more. Magnum Force lives up to its reputation as being a pretty decent sequel, in many ways it is as good as the original. It's not as dark and brooding but it makes up for it with an interesting case for Callahan to work and a pretty great first act. The major let down for me is the interminable endgame, is there any need for half an hour of chasing and fighting?
I used to prefer this one to DIRTY HARRY, but as interesting as the political back-pedaling is, it's just not quite as exciting or fast paced as the original. Still great, of course. And how exactly is a man supposed to discover his limitations? I feel like this vital piece of information is left out.
Part of Clintfest '13
Dirty Harry returns for this slick but unexceptional sequel, written by John Milius and Michael Cimino, in which Clint's staggeringly trigger-happy cop hunts down a vigilante who's offing drug dealers, mobsters and pimps - much like the idea pitched by Sam Rockwell in Seven Psychopaths.
It's a promising premise, but the potential to explore the morality of Callahan's own commitment to bloody violence is almost completely squandered. It isn't that the script doesn't want to engage with those ideas - that seems to be its raison d'etre - it's more that it doesn't know how, as it tries, and fails, to address the criticism directed at the fascist (though classic) original simply by having Clint murmur…
Una 44 magnum per l'ispettore Callaghan amplifica il discorso morale su violenza e regole. Solido, ma la regia è pigra e lo script scontato.
Although Ted Post does a decent job of emulating the toughness of the original and creates some excellent set pieces, the main problem with Magnum Force is that Eastwood's Harry Callahan appears to have had either a personality transplant or a lobotomy — or both. The whole point of the original Dirty Harry, the thing that made it so great and the reason it still holds up today, is the dubious morality of the central character, the nominal hero. Here's a guy who gets results but who is only too happy to step outside the law to achieve them. At what point if at all, Siegel is asking the audience, does this behaviour become acceptable? By contrast, in Magnum Force,…
Potent visuals give the supermarket shootout its proper ferocity, and the Milius-Cimino screenplay maps its incendiary themes in the marksman competition where Clint shoots a “good guy” police-officer pop-up board. The idea of law is still dubious, but the police force has been vaporized into leather, helmets, sunglasses and fascist impulses. "All our heroes are dead," one brutal young uniformed oppressor tells our hero, who, confronted with a blowup of his own reactionary attitudes, parallels James Stewart challenged by his ambitious young students in Rope.
Decent, action-packed follow-up to Dirty Harry; obviously the originality of it's central character is gone, but there is a more complex villain(s), solid up-&-coming casting, ideal SF location shooting (no pun) again, and another great Schifrin score.
"A man's gotta know his limitations"
A man's GOT to know his limitations. -Harry Callahan
Worthy successor of the original one, with a weaker plot but also with an even more brilliant Clint Eastwood.
Unfortunately the Dirty Harry franchise went downhill after this one and couldn't get up again.
Excellent follow-up to Dirty Harry has a strong cast and an interesting story that measures up thematically to the original. Holbrook is memorable as Harry's bureaucratic and eventual criminal nemesis. Ted Post's direction is pretty solid with good use of the San Fransisco locations. The story by Milius and Cimmino adds some layers to the Harry character that keeps him compelling. Its a shame the next sequel lacks so much of what this one has.
The old man has to deal with hotshots, the chief hates his guts and his partner is some minority who gets wounded/killed. The original cop movie cliche.
The concept for "Magnum Force"- Dirty Harry taking on even dirtier cops- is the perfect idea for a sequel to the original movie. It addresses the accusations of fascism that "Dirty Harry" received in a way that pretty much guarantees at least a good action movie. Add to that the fact that John Milius and Michael Cimono came up with the story, and I was sure that this, the only Dirty Harry movie I hadn't seen, was going to be fantastic.
This is a bad movie. It is. It's bad. It moves at such a leisurely pace, that the main conflict of the movie- the really good idea mentioned at the outset of this writing- doesn't really bear fruit until…
- The Hidden
- Stone Cold
- Samurai Fiction
- Rabid Dogs
- The Big Racket
- The Offence
- Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
- The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
Now I know this might seem like a shameless way to get other people to find loads of 1970s crime…
- To Our Loves
- Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
- The Abominable Dr. Phibes
- Adam's Rib
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
The Devil in Miss Jones (1972)
I Like to Watch…