Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Dirty Harry (1971 movie) » User review

Dirty Harry (1971)

Action & Adventure movie directed by Don Siegel starring Clint Eastwood

< read all 8 reviews

Dirty Harry - Are ya feeling lucky? - quotes in movies W/O

  • Aug 15, 2004
Pros: Clint Eastwood

Cons: full of cons and he's putting them in jail

The Bottom Line: _______________

"I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, did he fire six shots or only five? Well to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: do I feel lucky? Well do ya, punk?"

So began an era of Inspector Dirty Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood as only he could do it. Not a policeman you send to solve a case, one that you send to annihilate a case. One would never assume when Eastwood, the 5th actor approached for this part, accepted the role an almost anti-hero angry cop would evolve and become so memorable.

People had been vaguely aware of Eastwood for some time because of his reign of low budget spaghetti westerns. His steely glare through those squinted eyes, his weathered face, and his ’I don’t give a damn’ attitude made him perfect for the part of Callahan. I can’t imagine Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, John Wayne pulling it off, all were asked or considered for the part. Steve McQueen was also considered, closer but no Eastwood.

In the movie Callahan was after a serial killer. They say the movie was based on the Zodiac Killer, but I don’t think this was ever confirmed. They accept the correlation, of course, because it adds to the suspense and drama of the movie, brings more people into the theaters, sells more videos. They ain’t dumb, ya know.

Callahan is less an ethical but a very determined dog when on your trail. He is tired of the rules and the rule breakers. Tired of arresting a perp one day and finding him back on the street the next day. Tired of the revolving door of the justice system. Frankly I wouldn’t want him after me, but he did a bang up job in this movie.

Playful references were made throughout the movie to other Eastwood vehicles, most prominently “Play Misty For Me” shown on the theater marquee behind Eastwood while the straddled his assailant and spouted his famous and much quoted speech about just how lucky the guy outta feel.

Callahan is a different cop than Gibson's vengeful Mad Maxx or his psycho Lethal Weapon personna. He almost leans toward the Charles Bronson character in his vendetta series, Death Wish. He is a cop with a purpose and that purpose is to rid the streets of unsavory characters, even if he has to break the law to do it.

Certainly not one of the better movies ever made, but one that most people are at least aware of, Dirty Harry lead to several sequels and ingrained Eastwood into movie stardom as almost an icon of macho man in todays world. After such a volatile career with his range of gun-toting roles, it was definitely hard to drop him down into a more sentimental character as in “Bridges of Madison County’ and “Honky Tonk Man”.

As far as I know, the last ‘Dirty Harry’ sequel was “The Dead Pool”, released in 1988. As with most sequels, although this run of movies was decent, nothing carries the impact of the original movie. In fact, Harry is responsible for another great quote "Go ahead, make my day" from the 1983 Sudden Impact film. Facing the character of Inspector Dirty Harry Callahan can only be a jolt once and then you have to ask yourself, Do I feel lucky today? Not if Harry is after you.

Dirty Harry was written by Harry & Rita Fink, directed by Don Siegel. It starred Clint Eastwood as Insp. Callahan, Harry Guardino as Lt. Bressler, Reni Santoni as his partner Insp. Gonzalez, and Andrew Robinson as the serial killer.


This is part of the Famous Quotes in Movies write-off hosted by dbcint See his page for more info.

**** From the movie, not my words.


What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
More Dirty Harry (1971 movie) reviews
review by . December 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Well how do you like that?!  You get the brass ring in your sights, after a long and painful journey and someone hits the reset button on you.  They say those are the rules and they had to do it, MAYBE you can see they're argument but you know you just got screwed badly.  It stings having to do your job ALL OVER AGAIN, but not as much knowing that it's going to do more harm then good.      Dirty Harry is THE cop movie.  No wisecracking buddies or gimmicks, …
review by . April 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****       In many ways, "Dirty Harry" is just like all the other run-of-the-mill revenge flicks out there, although there is, in fact, a slight catch; "Dirty Harry" was pretty original at the time. It's the kind of film that sets the stage for a certain part of a certain genre, preferably here, the action sub-genre known as the "cop film", but this does not mean that we love it. I find it just as hard to love "Dirty Harry" as I do to hate it. There's an …
Quick Tip by . January 03, 2012
A classic of action cinema, Dirty Harry is a must see for those that crave a well done thriller. while the "politics" of the film are still controversial to some to this day, there is no doubt that this film will grip you from beginning to end.
Quick Tip by . December 28, 2010
Tough cop is on the trail of a psychotic sniper and ends up battling not only the sniper but dept policies involving rights and regulations. Prototype maverick cop movie that others still draw inspiration from and launched a new movie series.
review by . October 06, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
This is the first of five "Dirty Harry" films in which Eastwood stars as a San Francisco police detective. By the time the last appeared (The Dead Pool, in 1988), Eastwood had aged and times had changed but Callahan's values and methods remained essentially the same. When initially released, Dirty Harry was immediately controversial as was Death Wish (1974). Audiences tended to be divided between those who were offended by what they considered to be excessive violence and those who (like Harry Callahan …
review by . May 15, 2003
"Well, do ya, punk?"  If you recently watched this film, I'm sure you do. "Dirty Harry" is a legendary action film and a classic Eastwood flick, definitely among his greatest. Eastwood is "Dirty" Harry Callahan, a cop who always gets the job done - anyway it takes. Well-directed with a dynamite script and a funky score; definitely not something you should miss. Now what else was I gonna say...  "Well to tell you the truth I've forgot myself in all this excitement."
review by . January 04, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Action-Packed this movie definitely is. Clint Eastwood delivers his own brand of justice in tracking down a serial killer to plagues the city of San Fransisco. The plot certainly has many exciting twists and turns as the elusive villain (Andy Robinson) is able to dodge a conviction because Eastwood's anger gets the best of him. However, Robinson to hijack a bus full of school children and Dirty Harry spots the opening and tracks his man down. Was it five shots or six, but Mr. Robinson sure was not …
About the reviewer
Susi Dawson ()
Ranked #81
Live your life with the goal to 'pay it forward' and do one good thing for someone else
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie


Whether or not you can sympathize with its fascistic-vigilante approach to law enforcement,Dirty Harry(directed by star Clint Eastwood's longtime friend and directorial mentor, Don Siegel) is one hell of a cop thriller. The movie makes evocative use of its San Francisco locations as cop Harry Callahan (Eastwood) tracks the elusive "Scorpio killer" who has been terrorizing the city by the Bay. As the psychopath's trail grows hotter, Harry becomes increasingly impatient and intolerant of the frustrating obstacles (departmental red tape, individuals' civil rights) that he feels are keeping him from doing his job. A characteristically taut and tense piece of filmmaking from Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers,The Shootist,Escape from Alcatraz), it also remains a fascinating slice of American pop culture. It was a big hit (followed by four sequels) that obviously reflected--or exploited--the almost obsessive or paranoid fears and frustrations many Americans felt about crime in the streets. At a time when "law and order" was a familiar slogan for political candidates, Harry Callahan may have represented neither, but from his point of view his job was simple: stop criminals. To him that end justified any means he deemed necessary.--Jim Emerson
view wiki


Director: Don Siegel
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 1971
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
Runtime: 102 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
First to Review

"Do You Feel Lucky?"
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since