50/50 Review #2: Dirty Harry.

During the 60/60 List, I discovered that the 1970s was equally my favorite and least favorite decade of film. Strangely, the first movie of the 50/50 has a 70s vibe, while this second is actually from 71. And so far, there's been nothing to make my dislike the 70s this year.

Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is so nicknamed because he's given the 'dirty' jobs that nobody else will (or can) do. So of course he's on the case when a new serial killer called the Scorpio Killer (Andrew Robinson) shows up. He's partnered up with Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni) to find this man and take him down, but it's not as easy as it sounds.

I've been meaning to see this one for a long time, so I'm glad I've finally gotten around to it. What really makes this film is Eastwood. The character of Dirty Harry is great. He's smooth, cool, and badass. The epic scene near the beginning where he foils a bank robbery (leading to the first use of the classic line) is fantastic. It really showcases what kind of person he is. The same goes for a scene where he talks to a guy trying to commit suicide. I enjoyed the fact that we saw other situations he had to deal with besides just the serial killer. It made it feel more realistic.

Unfortunately, I did have a negative. It's only one thing, but I couldn't help but be bothered by it. I know he's supposed to be totally insane, but the bad guy in this film was too much for me. He was way too over-the-top and silly. And there was just something about the way he talked in general that rubbed me the wrong way. So yeah, I really didn't care for the portrayal of the villain in the movie.

But you can tell so much was inspired by this film. I've seen plot lines in TV shows and movies that are taken directly from events that happen in this movie. I'm no expert so I can't say anything about similar films that came out before this one, but as far as I know, this is the earliest I've seen the "run from phone to phone around town with a time limit" bit done.

Anyway, if you haven't seen this yet, I do recommend it for Eastwood and his character alone. The film is really entertaining, and you can tell it has inspired a lot of other things in its genre. The villain might be over-the-top, but it didn't ruin the movie for me or anything. The music, also, is very 70s, so be prepared for that. Otherwise, it's a fun flick, and I recommend it.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

(P.S. Well, that's my first month on this project. I know it was only 2 flicks, and they were my own picks, but it was more transition period than anything. Getting back into the zone! It was an OK month. I wasn't over-the-moon about either movies, but I liked them well enough. Now... on to Travis' Month!)


  1. Jackie Brown and Dirty Harry is a great 1-2 combo to start ANY marathon! Nice selections. I just saw this for the first time a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. I have been meaning to check out some of the sequels, though I hear they aren't as good.

  2. I fuckin' LOVE "Dirty Harry". The sequels are good. Well, some of them anyway...

  3. Dirty Harry isn't the first "renegade cop on the loose" film, but it's probably the most important. If you want a good look at the start of the genre, take a look at Bullitt. Harry Callahan ramped things up from there; he fought against everyone.

    What people tend to forget, though, is that Callahan really wasn't that dirty. He just did things his own way.

    As for the villain...I love the fact that he's over the top. After all, it is just a movie.


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