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10.24.2017
Dirty Harry (1971)
Movie Review by The Mortician
09.12.15

Dirty Harry (1971) Classic prototype movie that ushered in today's action cop film standards with a blueprint that is still used today. Clint Eastwood plays Dirty Harry, a renegade cop that shoots first (while chewing on a hot dog) and asks questions later. Eastwood was kind of moving his Westerns into the modern, concrete jungle of America. He's a San Francisco homicide detective that always gets his perp- any way possible. In this movie, Harry is pitted against the Scorpio Killer (loosely based on the Zodiac murders); a psychopath played so well by actor Andrew Robinson that it nearly derailed his acting career! Robinson is so genuinely despicable as the merciless red ski-masked maniac that you can't imagine him being a normal human being in real life, much like David A. Hess as Krug in LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. Scorpio is holding the city hostage, demanding they pay him money or he'll continue to kill whoever he pleases. He offs teen girls, children, minorities, women, you name it---he's the definitive vicious psychopath. Harry plays cat and mouse with Scorpio unless catching up with him and torturing him at an empty football stadium past the midnight hour (in an awesome scene directed by Don Siegel that must be seen to be believed---splendid use of aerial photography here). Director Siegel also shoots DIRTY HARRY like a documentary, setting the police procedural tone for the future from COPS to THE BAD LIEUTENANT. The Scorpio gets off on a technicality (Harry didn't have a search warrant, tortured the confession from the suspect, and violated the perp's rights ---crap that is amazingly still hotbutton issues in headlines today) and Harry stalks the puke on his own. Zodiac then hires a dude to beat the shit out of him and blames Harry, to which he responds to his superiors, Anyone can tell I didn't do that. He looks too damn good! Oh man, the classic character and one-liners merge to create one of the most iconic cops ever to hit celluloid! By the end of the movie, when Harry is off the case and the Scorpio kidnaps a bus full of children with full intent of killing them, you can't wait for Harry to put a bullet through this maniac's head and he does so in grandiose style with the now immortal Do you feel lucky, punk? dialogue. DIRTY HARRY. A timeless classic that begs to be seen and studied for its greatness all around!

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