Dirty Harry ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

50 years hasn’t aged this rugged thriller too much. It starts off with a terrific lure, then does coast a little bit before the heat really gets turned up, but Eastwood’s stolid slow burn is a great match for the character and the film’s sensibilities. Impossible to imagine Frank Sinatra who was Warner’s 1st choice giving this film the kick that would have turned it into the franchise it became. Andy Robinson is almost too good as the sadistic psycho goon, but it’s immensely satisfying to see him play Russian roulette - and lose. Siegel makes good, plausible unostentatious use of San Francisco locations, ably shot (at night and in the bright Northern California sun) by Bruce Surtees. And surprise! Motifs in Lalo Schifrin’s score turn up (to even better use) in Jerry Goldsmith’s score for CHINATOWN 3 years later. Elements of the film resonate as strongly today as they did 49 years ago. A great watch.