Dirty Harry is the name of a series of films and novels starring fictional San Francisco Police Department Homicide Division Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan, portrayed by Clint Eastwood. Eastwood's character also helped popularize the .44 Magnum, as Harry Callahan is famously shown wielding his Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver. The film series spanned 17 years.
- 1 Dirty Harry films
- 2 Dirty Harry inspired films
- 3 Dirty Harry DVDs and Blu-ray
- 4 Dirty Harry video games
- 5 Dirty Harry novel series
- 6 See also
Dirty Harry films[edit | edit source]
Dirty Harry (1971)[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Dirty Harry
Dirty Harry (1971), directed by Don Siegel. In this film Harry tracks serial killer Scorpio. Eastwood's iconic portrayal of the blunt-speaking, unorthodox detective set the style for a number of his subsequent roles, and the box-office success of the film led to the production of four equally successful sequels. The "alienated cop" motif was one subsequently imitated by a number of other films. This film features Eastwood intoning, "You've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" (The line is often misquoted as "Do you feel lucky, punk?")
This movie became iconic, mirrored by other movies, especially the rest of the Dirty Harry films, because it was a portrayal of social protests, pointing out that it was easier for the justice system to protect potential suspects ahead of enforcing the rights of victims while ignoring citizens who were in danger or who had been murdered. It was the sixth-highest grossing film of 1971 after Fiddler on the Roof, Billy Jack, The French Connection, Summer of '42, and Diamonds Are Forever.
Magnum Force (1973)[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Magnum Force
Magnum Force (1973), directed by Ted Post. The main theme of this film is vigilante justice, and the plot revolves around a group of renegade traffic cops who are executing criminals who have avoided conviction in court. Despite Harry's penchant for strong-arm methods, he does not tolerate coldblooded murder of the accused and resolves to stop the killers. In this film Harry's catch-phrase is "A man's got to know his limitations."
The Enforcer (1976)[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Enforcer (1976 film)
The Enforcer (1976), directed by James Fargo. In this film, Harry is teamed up with an inexperienced female partner Kate Moore (Tyne Daly), and takes on a terrorist ring calling themselves The People's Revolutionary Strike Force. The film contains feminist themes and is generally considered more "politically correct" than its predecessorTemplate:Citation needed. Harry opposes introducing inexperienced inspectors to the dangers of police work, whether male or female, and sees the homicide department as too dangerous for his new partner, who worked until recently in Records. He has nothing against female police officers; he simply feels that Moore is too green. However, "by the book" Inspector Moore, though starting out overenthusiastic, proves herself valuable, and matures quickly, earning Harry's respect in the process.
Sudden Impact (1983)[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Sudden Impact
Sudden Impact (1983), directed by Clint Eastwood. The film's plot revolves around an aging, but still bitter "Dirty" Harry Callahan being sent to a small town to follow up a lead in a murder case, which leads him directly to a rape victim who is out to avenge herself and her catatonic sister by killing the people who sexually assaulted them. It is best known for the phrase "Go ahead, make my day," which is often incorrectly attributed to the first film.
The Dead Pool (1988)[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Dead Pool
The Dead Pool (1988), directed by Buddy Van Horn. In the final film of the series, Harry finds out about a game called Dead Pool, in which people bet on which celebrity will die next. Eventually, someone tries to rig the game by killing certain celebrities. The film was not a commercial success, and it remains the final entry in the series due to Eastwood's refusal to reprise the character, feeling his age would make Harry a parody.
Dirty Harry inspired films[edit | edit source]
Frank Miller's Sin City: That Yellow Bastard[edit | edit source]
Frank Miller, creator of the Sin City graphic novels, revealed in an interview that he created the Sin City story That Yellow Bastard out of his dislike of The Dead Pool. Miller said: "When I went to see the last Dirty Harry movie, The Dead Pool, I was disgusted. I went out and said, this is not a Dirty Harry movie, this is nothing, this is a pale sequel." and I also said, "that's not the last Dirty Harry story, I will show you the last Dirty Harry story."
Bruce Willis played Hartigan, the Dirty Harry of the story, when That Yellow Bastard was included in the film version of Sin City released in 2005. Another character in That Yellow Bastard is Nancy, who had no surname in the four previous comic books, but in That Yellow Bastard she is given the surname Callahan. Hartigan's character is more of a pastiche or caricature with Miller's own elements of characterization and development.
The Protector[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Protector (1985 film)
This 1985 film featuring Jackie Chan, was Chan's second American movie. It is similar to the Dirty Harry series and the director, James Glickenhaus had tried to make Chan's character as similar to Dirty Harry as possible. It ended up being a commercial failure, and Chan largely regretted ever making this film.
The Rookie[edit | edit source]
- Main article: The Rookie (1990 film)
The film, also directed by Eastwood, stars Clint Eastwood as Nick Pulovski, an aging, tough cop who partners with a younger cop, played by Charlie Sheen. Reviewers noted the similarities between Eastwood's characters Callahan and Pulovski.
Dirty Harry DVDs and Blu-ray[edit | edit source]
Warner Home Video owns rights to the Dirty Harry series. The five films have been remastered for DVD three times — in 1998, 2001 and 2008. They have been packaged in several DVD box sets. The Dirty Harry films made their high-definition debuts with the 2008 Blu-ray discs. Warner's marketing plan calls for only the "Dirty Harry" film to be available as a separate Blu-ray, requiring fans who want the other four movies in high definition to buy the $130 box set.
Dirty Harry video games[edit | edit source]
The War Against Drugs (1990)[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Dirty Harry: The War Against Drugs
The War Against Drugs (1990), a video game based on Dirty Harry film series. Although it is non-canon to the Dirty Harry film series and novels, it incorporates several references to the film series.
Dirty Harry novel series[edit | edit source]
In the early 1980s, writer Dane Hartman wrote a total of twelve novels that further the adventures of Dirty Harry. Although they are not officially canon, it's speculated that the novels fill in the seven-year gap in time between The Enforcer to Sudden Impact. In the novels, Dirty Harry is portrayed more as an epic hero than he was in the films, although he remains somewhat of the self-centered person he was in the movies.
Duel for Cannons[edit | edit source]
"Dirty Harry" Callahan blasts his way from the mean streets of San Francisco to the blazing byways of San Antonio. His target — a crime boss who's got the whole town, including the cops, under his thumb. Harry's all alone now, with nothing but a .44 Magnum and a bagful of dirty tricks between him and instant death! (Published September 1981)
Death on the Docks[edit | edit source]
There are some guys in this world even dirtier than Harry Callahan — like union czar Matt Braxton, the biggest deal on the docks. He's corrupt enough to be cozy with the Mob, rich enough to afford friends in the highest places, and ruthless enough to kill anything that stands in his way. Dirty Harry's standing there all right, and he doesn't intend to give an inch. (Published September 1982)
The Long Death[edit | edit source]
Someone is grabbing young women from the bars, campuses, and streets of San Francisco and doing unspeakable things to their minds and bodies. Someone is setting up cops against black nationalists in a violent inter-city war, playing both sides for bloody fools. Someone is looking for deadly trouble when a gorgeous policewoman baits "Dirty Harry" Callahan into a showdown that can only be settled with bare fists and Magnum lead! (Published December 1981)
The Mexico Kill[edit | edit source]
Not even losing his badge can keep "Dirty Harry" Callahan away from Magnum-powered action. Now Harry's working for a millionaire, and battling dope-running sea pirates from San Francisco to Mexico's heroin-packed shores. Behind the scenes and the big guns is his old enemy Father Nick. An underworld kingpin and ex-con, Nick can't let the past die, and Harry won't let the mobsters live! (Published March 1982)
Family Skeletons[edit | edit source]
"Dirty Harry" Callahan stalks a mass murderer through Boston's infamous underworld where crooked cops are usually looking the other way. Once it was the Boston Strangler, now the killer has a knife and is carving up college girls. Dirty Harry will slice through the slime to find him. (Published April 1982)
City of Blood[edit | edit source]
Winos brutally slain on San Francisco's skid row. Beautiful young women butchered in the act of sex by a perverted killer. The acts of two men, or one? Not even Dirty Harry knows. But he's going to find out, if he has to break every law to do it. From `Frisco's sexual underground to the boardrooms in the city's sky, Harry plunges into a blood-streaked manhunt that will leave only one survivor. (Published April 1982)
Massacre at Russian River[edit | edit source]
A lot of grass — the illegal kind — grows in the hills of Northern California. Where there's marijuana, there's money. Where there's money, there's murder. And where there's murder, there's Dirty Harry. In a wilderness where even the local cops are criminal, Harry must live, and kill, by a law higher than the law of the land — his own. (Published July 1982)
Hatchet Men[edit | edit source]
From the hills of San Francisco to the towers of Chicago, a savage struggle for power rages between the Japanese and Chinese mobsters, expert killers with hand, sword, or gun. Then they kidnap Harry Callahan's beautiful, part-time lover. Enter the dragon, Dirty Harry, Magnum blazing! (Published August 1982)
The Killing Connection[edit | edit source]
Anything goes in San Francisco, but now it's gone too far! Somebody is carving up beautiful lesbians — and that somebody has the right friends. Only Harry can stop the slaughter, but now both the gays and the cops stand in his way. Will he have time? The answer is at the end of a barrel — a .44 Magnum barrel! (Published October 1982)
Blood of Strangers[edit | edit source]
Terrorists! Airports and public places are their stage. Civilians are their targets. The spread of chaos is their game. Now Dirty Harry wants to play — for keeps. On battlefields from Frisco to Beirut to El Salvador, in the company of a beautiful television newswoman, he leaves a trail of hot blood and bullets as he searches beyond the Libyan connection for the source of this savagery. Dirty Harry, breaking every law to get the criminals, making his law to fit the crime. (Published December 1982)
Death in the Air[edit | edit source]
The Magnum-powered action doesn't stop for Dirty Harry, not even on Christmas Eve. Now Harry's after a killer who celebrates the holiday season by shoving women beneath the wheels of speeding subway trains. But when he unmasks the killer as a hit-man for a renegade government scientist, Harry himself is marked for death. With the most powerful handgun ever made in his hands, Harry must blow that scientist to kingdom come or never live to see the New Year himself. (Published February 1983)
The Dealer of Death[edit | edit source]
That's what the papers are calling Dirty Harry. Someone who's no friend of Harry has stolen his prize Magnum revolver and is blasting some of his worst enemies out of this world. Harry wants to get his name clean, his gun back, and put an end to the "dead man" who's playing Harry's hand in a game of life and death. (Published April 1983)
This would be the last Dirty Harry novel, as no further novels were made after Sudden Impact opened in theaters eight months later.
See also[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]