Bill of Rights vs exorbitantly increase of crime rates. If we take these aside: 'Dirty Harry' stands for a lonely man, suffering from his wife's death, withdrawn & bitter and actually married with his job. And he is caught in the dilemma: how to catch the criminals without violating civil rights. Clint Eastwood is on his climax, Dirty Harry is cult & it doesn't matter how often, it will always make your day. 3,5.
A more interesting film than the seemingly single-minded surface would indicate with some degree of edgy discourse between inert bureaucracy and a kind of just amorality. Eastwood's totemic gum-chewing slab of granite cuts the right jib, but it's a tartly visceral experience: high on circumstantial atmosphere but lowered by some Bondian throwaway cynicism. Schifrin's fused score however is a standalone treat.
Not a huge fan of this one, which too often feels like a collection of set-pieces than a coherent whole; however, the final act surely ranks as one of the most powerful in 70s cinema. The school bus hijacking is a master-class of acting & direction, while the final showdown has Eastwood transformed into an almost supernatural enforcer; less a character in the conventional sense than an embodiment of social injustice.
Harry Callaghan is a disturbing character, a glorified happy-trigger cop with utter contempt for the rule of law and a not-so-subtle championing of the use of torture to fight crime. His iconic persona perhaps reflects on the political climate of the era, the America of Nixon, Charles Manson, violent coups South the border, American interventionism and tensions with the Soviet Union. Hardly a hero in my eyes.
Siegel's functional, unfussy directorial style - in which prolonged action set-pieces are not chopped up to split seconds and the often music-less soundtrack doesn't pummel one's ears - feels like a cleansing experience if compared to today's histrionics of the cop thriller sub-genre. Bruce Surtees' nocturnal cinematography deepens the ever-present sense of urban danger and grit.
After making westerns as for the beginning of his acting career, Clint takes justice on the streets of San Francisco as a cop for whom we all call him Dirty Harry. Working with Siegel again, the film features a great action/mystery storyline to keep you pinned alongside unforgettable performances by Clint & Robinson and a tense but groovy score by Schifrin. Make sure it's his day when you're in City by the Bay.