Author Topic: Dirty Harry Marathon  (Read 13170 times)

Najemikon

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2009, 12:02:28 AM »
I don't think it was an accident that in retrospect, Eastwood made his worst movies between '75 and '90 which is how long that relationship lasted! He was a favourite actor of my mum and dad's, and I'm sure I still have a book somewhere that featured her just as much as him.

I'm not saying we were aware of her being a drag, just that he made films like City Heat with her around. Then he made Unforgiven... :tongue:

I do remember thinking she went a bit bunny boiler...
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 12:04:00 AM by Jon »

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2009, 12:37:55 AM »

The Dead Pool
Fame isn't Detective Harry Callahan's style. He dislikes being grouped with a rock star, a film critic and a TV host, all slain celebrities in a macabre betting pool called 'The Dead Pool'. Another name just got added: his.

My Thoughts:
This one I actually seen before. Though it has been many years. All I remembered about it is that I enjoyed it. Talking to other people about this series... this seems to be the least favorite of the bunch. After watching it today I just don't see it. I thought this one was just as good as the previous couple. But then again... that could have something to do with the movie taking place behind the scenes of a horror movie. And we all know how much I love my horror movies! I got a kick out of seeing Jim Carey in an early role as that weird rocker dude that was recording a music video tie-in for the horror movie. Once again we see that Harry Callahan has absolutely no luck with his partners. They are always either injured or killed.

I have to say... over-all this was a very well done series of movies. It is not often I can give a movie and all 4 sequels the same rating. And I can hear it now that people won't think I should have... especially with The Dead Pool. But what can I say... I enjoyed every one of these movies! And hey... that is all that matters... right?

My Rating:
Pete

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2009, 03:16:55 AM »
I don't think it was an accident that in retrospect, Eastwood made his worst movies between '75 and '90 which is how long that relationship lasted! He was a favourite actor of my mum and dad's, and I'm sure I still have a book somewhere that featured her just as much as him.

I'm not saying we were aware of her being a drag, just that he made films like City Heat with her around. Then he made Unforgiven... :tongue:

I do remember thinking she went a bit bunny boiler...

I seem to remember thinking something about him making a movie without her when Unforgiven came out..before that, all the ones of his I had seen had her in them.  Then I heard about him getting involved with the one actress in the movie for a while and how she had a baby.. I don't think it was too long after making Unforgiven that he got involved with his current wife..I might be wrong on the exact timing though.

Offline Achim

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2009, 09:04:31 AM »
Yes, she directed a film called Ratboy in which she also starred (financed with the help of Clint). Her second film Impulse, a thriller with, I believe (didn't click the link), Theresa Russel, was apparently hailed by Siskel and Ebert! She directed two more films after that but only acted again in two random movies in 1999. IMDb has not heard from here since :shrug:


Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2009, 10:23:47 PM »
Yes, she directed a film called Ratboy in which she also starred (financed with the help of Clint). Her second film Impulse, a thriller with, I believe (didn't click the link), Theresa Russel, was apparently hailed by Siskel and Ebert! She directed two more films after that but only acted again in two random movies in 1999. IMDb has not heard from here since :shrug:



I think I've seen Impulse.  I'll have to go look that up.  If it is the one I'm thinking of, it was pretty good.

Najemikon

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Dirty Harry *****
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2010, 03:03:25 AM »
Dirty Harry
5 out of 5



A rooftop sniper (Andy Robinson) calling himself Scorpio has killed twice and holds the city ransom with the threat of killing again. Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is a tough, streetwise San Francisco cop whom they call Dirty Harry, will nail him one way or the other, no matter what the 'system' prescribes.

A new independent spirit had come into Hollywood in the 60s and in Peter Yate’s Bullitt (1968) starring ice-cool Steve McQueen, you could find a fascinating film built on the tradition of Hollywood thrillers yet mixed with a more European, introspective edge. Still, along with Frank Sinatra in the same years The Detective, little had really changed. Both could have been released in some form 20 years earlier.

Not so in Dirty Harry, one of the biggest milestones in modern action cinema. It seems to me a disillusioned, hurting America produces the best sort of films, or at least willing audiences. Consider the 1966 Miranda case was adding insult to the injury of Vietnam, while a true psychopath had held San Francisco in panic and you can see why Dirty Harry became such an enduring icon. He was exactly what the masses wanted. An angry lawman who just wouldn’t take any more shit and so he was the perfect fantasy figure to guard the country’s morals.

Directed by Don Siegel, it was essentially a Western, but audiences weren’t in the mood for period metaphors; they needed Harry Callaghan on their streets, right at that moment. As Hitchcock did with Vertigo and Yates with Bullitt, Siegel puts San Francisco front and centre. Almost as if Harry is an extension of the city itself (David Fincher’s Zodiac makes a nice reference to the films approach too). Clint Eastwood couldn’t have been any more perfect, considering his Dollars work. Although relatively early, this still endures as one of his best parts. He cuts an imposing figure, delivers classic hard witty dialogue with a trademark growl and a cold stare. It perhaps shows just how good an actor he is, because by all accounts, Clint Eastwood is a gentle, kind hearted man, bordering on shy.

Yet it is a truly violent film. Not so much in the gritty action, though it has its share of uncomfortable moments, but in character, mood and in the irony of making the viewer even more aggrieved as Scorpio gets what amounts to police protection due to crippling policies that defy common sense. Thanks, Miranda! Andy Robinson is terribly convincing as a baby-faced perverse villain with perverse habits (very Joker like) and the film isn’t interested in where he came from or why he does these awful things (he’s possibly just as angry and confused as everyone else). It’s a film about delivering cathartic retribution.

It’s very much a 70s film, with a jazz-y score, and a focus more on passive action and style in long wide shots, rather than a convoluted mystery to solve. Still, it is a strong story, with an intriguing undercurrent of sexual deviancy: very subtle, but consider how the scene when Harry is accused of voyeurism essentially makes voyeurs of the audience, or Scorpio paying for someone to beat him up. It’s another angle on the depraved society breeding violence that Harry will surely go some way to clean up.

There hadn’t been anything like Dirty Harry before and there possibly wouldn’t be again until First Blood (although even that can’t claim such wide appeal). Obviously it inspired the cliché of a maverick cop, delivering street-level punishment with a bullet and without a shred of paperwork; and it can probably be blamed in some part for the style revenge movies follow like Death Wish, which are abhorrent in how they project indignation onto the viewer. Dirty Harry was a film of its time and will always be relevant because of that. It, unlike all the pretenders since, had a reason to exist. Modern equivalents may claim some social relevance, but are generally just too noisy, because the first rule now is to entertain in set-piece led plots. Up until Dirty Harry, it wasn’t quite acceptable to say just how cool you found watching such violence. Now it’s a requirement.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 03:06:08 AM by Jon »

Offline Achim

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2010, 05:52:16 AM »
While it could still be argued, I think it's interesting to note that Dirty Harry's intent (:bag:) was very different to what Death Wish did. While the latter seemed to condone (is that the word I am looking for) vigilantism (is that a word at all) it has been made clear later that that is not what they were trying to do with Dirty Harry. In fact, with Magnum Force they tried to correct that image... (of course, from today's point of view the fact that Magnum Force was penned by John Milius doesn't really help the cause :laugh:)

Najemikon

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2010, 11:40:52 AM »
Absolutely. When they made Dirty Harry, they had something to be angry about, but from then on they realised it was fun to just make audiences angry because it gave an excuse to blow shit up! "You killed ma family, you sunnavabitch..." KA-BOOM!  :whistle: While it's likely most people will have stories about how justice failed them or someone they know, how many can claim to know someone who became a gun wielding vigilante? Yet in all those sort of films you can see Harry Callaghan's shadow.

I just watched Magnum Force the other night actually and realised how hard it works to make the line between vigilantes and Harry very distinct! :laugh:


Offline Jimmy

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2010, 11:47:38 AM »
Absolutely. When they made Dirty Harry, they had something to be angry about, but from then on they realised it was fun to just make audiences angry because it gave an excuse to blow shit up!
Jon you must really watch Vigilante that I reviewed some time ago here (you even comment on it), you will see that not all the vigilante movies are excuse to blow thing up.

Offline Achim

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2010, 11:53:05 AM »
I just watched Magnum Force the other night actually and realised how hard it works to make the line between vigilantes and Harry very distinct! :laugh:
I remember there is one scene where harry actual says it! The other guys tell him that they are following his example and he tells them that they obviously don't understand him at all (or something like that).

Jon you must really watch Vigilante that I reviewed some time ago here (you even comment on it), you will see that not all the vigilante movies are excuse to blow thing up.
..
It's too far down on my wish list, I keep forgetting about it. I just saw the trailer again yesterday, as it's on the Night of the Creeps disc, and got reminded that I should buy it.

Najemikon

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2010, 12:35:16 PM »
Absolutely. When they made Dirty Harry, they had something to be angry about, but from then on they realised it was fun to just make audiences angry because it gave an excuse to blow shit up!
Jon you must really watch Vigilante that I reviewed some time ago here (you even comment on it), you will see that not all the vigilante movies are excuse to blow thing up.

I was being rather facetious, because I love those sort of films any day of the week and a good portion of them are commendable. Well, not so much Death Wish, which is why I used that.

There's something inherently brutal and raw about Dirty Harry. I can't help but think that if they'd tried to make it in 1961, someone would have demanded more plot, more emotion, more something, instead of just fly-by-wire, find the bastard and kick his head in while the audience cheers. Heck, I doubt they even thought of making it back then.

Vigilante is still on my wish-list too, don't worry about that. You remind me though, while I wrote that review, I was trying to think if there was anything Dirty Harry was simply following in exploitation. I think it has a little of that flavour itself, especially the most famous scene, but everything my feeble knowledge of your genre could come up with was after Harry. Could it be Dirty Harry is responsible for that surge in blaxploitation? Both Coffy and Foxy Brown followed it... :hmmmm:

By the way, for anyone who has never seen it (Karsten? :P), here is one of the finest action sequences you could see with possibly the greatest icon of them all. Truth be told, all this waffle just made me want to see it again!  :-[




Offline Antares

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2010, 06:11:41 PM »
There's something inherently brutal and raw about Dirty Harry. I can't help but think that if they'd tried to make it in 1961, someone would have demanded more plot, more emotion, more something, instead of just fly-by-wire, find the bastard and kick his head in while the audience cheers. Heck, I doubt they even thought of making it back then.


I think if it would have been made in 1961, they would have given it a more noirish structure in the screenplay. Harry would be rogue, but with an achilles heel, being some femme fatale that eventually brings about Harry's destruction.


Oh, and though that is one of my favorite scenes in film history, the Hollywood aspect of it has always driven me crazy.

Harry is pointing the Magnum directly at him, the crook can see the cylinder, yet he can't tell that the cylinder is empty? When you look at a loaded revolver head on, you can see the bullet points in the cylinder. I hearken back to the last scene in The River Wild, when Meryl Streep is pointing the 38 at Kevin Bacon and he thinks she's fired all the rounds, but then notices as she's pulling the trigger, that the final bullet is revolving into the firing chamber.

I know, I know, I'm being too technical, but it has always bugged me.

Offline Achim

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2010, 06:15:28 PM »
Loads of sunlight, long barrel. I doubt he could see it.

Najemikon

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Magnum Force ***
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2010, 11:05:07 PM »
Magnum Force
3 out of 5



Underworld figures are being murdered all over San Francisco.  One by one, criminals who have eluded prosecution are getting the justice they deserve, justice you'd think Detective Harry Callahan might approve of with a tight-lipped smile.  But if you think so, you've misjudged Harry - and so have the killers. Written by future directors John Milius and Michael Cimino, this 'Dirty Harry' sequel stars Clint Eastwood in his signature role of Callahan, here facing an unexpected kind of lawbreaker:  one who carries a badge.  Sharp shooting rookie motorcycle policemen have turned vigilante.  Their real enemy is the system.  But the system is what Harry is sworn to protect.  And he does - with 'Magnum Force'.

Magnum Force is an oddity, yet may be as responsible for the modern action movie as much as its illustrious predecessor. For one thing, Harry isn't quite so Dirty in this. The first film would have created some controversy over the blunt tactics of its anti-hero, so the plot of this one sets out to redraw the line between the no nonsense detective on the side of the law and an all out vigilante with no morals. The screenplay is almost at pains to point this out. Eastwood isn't as angry and this is a problem because now he's just doing his job, rather than instilling indignant rage in the viewer. Still his delivery is fantastic and the character at least still has his edge.

This isn't helped by the gang he's out to stop. Although their methods are obviously too brutal, their dispatching of various high-profile criminal figures means we're left wondering just who we should sympathise with. As if trying to account for the shortfall, the sequels action has a sillier edge to it and so it is great fun without asking anything of the audience except to come along for the ride! Dirty Harry still had a whiff of realism, but here we have what would become the staple of Lethal Weapon, etc: car chases, assassination attempts with bombs, police operations staged without a shred of paperwork, daft stunts, especially on bikes in the finale. All of which should cause us to question its logic, yet we don't. We just cheer instead.

Therefore is this the first throwaway action movie, perfect for a Friday night with a pizza? We still have the iconic hero, the brilliant dialogue (when his boss claims he's never drawn his weapon, Harry answers, "well you're a good man, Briggs. A good man knows his limitations." :laugh:), but now without a real reason to exist, so in way of a plot, we get set-pieces.

So thank you, Magnum Force. You live forever in shadow of the far superior Dirty Harry, but maybe you showed the way for Shane Black. We should all be thankful.

venomsinner

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Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2010, 12:18:51 AM »
Magnum Force is my favorite of all the Dirt Harry movies. nice review :thumbup: