Review: ‘Dirty Harry’

You could drive a truck through the plotholes in Directorty Harry, which wouldn't be so serious were the film not a specious, phony glorification of police and criminal brutality [from a story by Harry Julian Fink and R.M. Fink]. Clint Eastwood, in the title role, is a superhero whose antics become almost satire. Strip away the philosophical garbage and all that's left is a well-made but shallow running-and-jumping meller. Don Siegel produces handsomely and directs routinely.

You could drive a truck through the plotholes in Directorty Harry, which wouldn’t be so serious were the film not a specious, phony glorification of police and criminal brutality [from a story by Harry Julian Fink and R.M. Fink]. Clint Eastwood, in the title role, is a superhero whose antics become almost satire. Strip away the philosophical garbage and all that’s left is a well-made but shallow running-and-jumping meller. Don Siegel produces handsomely and directs routinely.

Andy Robinson plays a mad sniper who attempts to hold up San Francisco for money to stop his random carnage. Mayor John Vernon is willing, police chief John Larch goes along, police lieutenant Harry Guardino unctuously follows the prevailing wind, and the work falls to supercop Eastwood.

Eastwood is dedicated – to his own violence. Perhaps his anger at Robinson is more at the delay in capturing him; after all, between bites on a hot dog, Eastwood foils a bank heist at midday, talks down a suicide jumper, and otherwise expedites assorted ‘dirty work’. The character nearly drools, but Eastwood is far too inert for this bit of business.

There are several chase sequences – before the sadist-with-badge dispatches the sadist-without-badge. Thereupon, Eastwood flings his badge to the wind and walks away. At least Frisco is safe from his protection (but think of the rest of us).

Dirty Harry

Production

Malpaso/Warner. Director Don Siegel; Producer Don Siegel; Screenplay Harry Julian Fink, R.M. Fink, Dean Riesner, [John Milius]; Camera Bruce Surtees; Editor Carl Pingitore; Music Lalo Schifrin; Art Director Dale Hennesy

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1971. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Clint Eastwood Harry Guardino Reni Santoni John Vernon John Larch Andy Robinson
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  1. doc says:

    You could drive a truck through the plotholes in Directorty Look at yourself, and your illiterate language. Variety should shelve this hopelessly idiotic, airheaded review. Pronto.

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