Dirty Harry (1971)


Dirty Harry is a 1971 American crime film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco Police Department Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan. Dirty Harry was a critical and commercial success and set the style for a whole genre of police films. The film was followed by four sequels: Magnum Force in 1973, The Enforcer in 1976, Sudden Impact in 1983 (directed by Eastwood himself), and The Dead Pool in 1988. In 2008, Dirty Harry was selected by Empire magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.


A sadistic serial killer who calls himself "Scorpio" (Andy Robinson) murders a young woman in a San Francisco rooftop swimming pool, using a high-powered .30-06 hunting rifle from the top of 555 California Street. SFPD Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) finds a ransom message promising his next victims will be "a Catholic priest or a nigger" if the city does not pay $100,000. The chief of police and the Mayor (John Vernon) assign the inspector to the case. Callahan notices a bank robbery in progress. After a violent shoot-out between himself and the robbers the inspector—alone with his .44 Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver—challenges one of the robbers, who lies wounded on the ground near a loaded 12 gauge Winchester Model 1912 shotgun: I know what you're thinking: "Did he fire six shots, or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well do ya, punk? Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) The robber surrenders; Callahan's gun was, in fact, empty. Callahan is assigned a rookie partner, Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni). The veteran officer notes that his partners always get injured or worse so he needs someone experienced, but has no choice. A police helicopter foils Scorpio while he is targeting a black man in a park, but the killer escapes and later kills a young black boy from another rooftop. The police believes the killer will next pursue a Catholic priest. They set up teams on rooftops throughout the city but leave the North Beach rooftop Scorpio used in his disrupted murder attempt clear, and provide as volunteer target a priest at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Callahan and Gonzalez wait for Scorpio on an adjacent rooftop. When Scorpio appears a shootout ensues but he escapes, killing an officer. Scorpio kidnaps, rapes, and buries alive a teenage girl Ann Marie Deacon (Debralee Scott), then contacts the city and demands twice his previous ransom before the girl's air runs out. The mayor decides to pay, and tells Callahan to deliver the money with no tricks. Without permission, the inspector wears a wire and tapes a knife alongside his shin. Scorpio sends Callahan to various payphones throughout the city to separate the inspector from any backup, but his partner follows him. The chase ends at the enormous cross at Mount Davidson. Scorpio instructs Callahan to drop his gun and the money, brutally beats Callahan, and plans to both let the girl die and kill Callahan. Gonzalez arrives and saves his partner by firing at Scorpio, but is shot and wounded by Scorpio in the shootout; while Scorpio's back is turned Callahan stabs Scorpio in the leg with his knife, but the killer escapes without the money, limping away. Gonzalez survives his wound, but later tells Callahan he will resign from the force. Scorpio being tortured by Callahan on the field of Kezar Stadium The doctor who treated Scorpio tells Callahan and his new partner, Frank DiGiorgio, that he has seen Scorpio in nearby Kezar Stadium. Running out of time, the officers search the killer's room without a warrant. Callahan hears Scorpio fleeing and chases him, shooting the killer in his previously stabbed leg. When Scorpio refuses to reveal the location of the girl and instead asks for a lawyer, Callahan tortures the killer by standing on the leg. The police exhume the dead girl from a hill overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Because Callahan broke into his home illegally and tortured him to obtain a confession, Scorpio is released without charge. As Scorpio's rifle was seized improperly, it cannot be used as evidence and the District Attorney decides that he cannot be charged with any of the other murders. An outraged Callahan follows Scorpio on his own time. Scorpio pays a thug to give him a severe, but controlled beating, then claims that the inspector is responsible. The police chief orders Callahan to stop following Scorpio, despite his protest that he did not beat the killer. Scorpio (Andrew Robinson) holds a boy hostage before being shot by Callahan in the arm. Scorpio assaults a liquor store owner, takes the store owner's Walther P-38 pistol, and kidnaps a school bus load of children. He demands another ransom and a jet to take him out of the country. The mayor again insists on paying but Callahan refuses to deliver the money this time, instead pursuing Scorpio without authorization. The inspector jumps onto the top of the bus from a railroad trestle. The killer stops the bus and runs into a nearby rock quarry, where he has a gun battle with Callahan. Scorpio retreats until he takes a young boy as a hostage. The inspector pretends to be willing to surrender then shoots the killer in the shoulder. The boy runs away and Callahan stands over Scorpio, gun drawn and aiming it straight at him. The inspector reprises his "Do you feel lucky, punk?" speech. Unlike the bank robber, Scorpio tries his luck and, laughing maniacally, reaches for his gun. The inspector shoots him in the chest, propelling Scorpio into the water. As Callahan watches the dead body float on the surface, he takes out his inspector's badge, angrily hurls it into the water, and walks away.