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Dirty Harry

Clint Eastwood , Andrew Robinson , Don Siegel    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Product Description


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. The digital video disc preserves the film's anamorphic widescreen format. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 'GOD'S LONELY MAN." June 13 2004
John Milius is the greatest screenwriter you never heard of, not to mention a terrific director. He describes the "Dirty Harry" Callahan character as "God's lonely man." Milius is that rarest of rarities, a Hollywood conservative. He herein wrote a film for the Republican Clint Eastwood that spoke to the hopes and fears of an America yearning for justice, law'n'order in a world dominated by overarching liberalism in the 1960s and '70s.
Picture America at that time: Vietnam, the streets and campuses exploding in riot, and a new social ethos that was willing to blame a racist white establishment for the crimes of this nation's increasing population of criminals.
In the 1960s, the Supreme Court became activist to the hilt. The most obvious of these cases was the famous Miranda ruling from Arizona, in which a criminal was allowed to go free because he had not understood his rights, not understanding the English language spoken by the arresting officer. His subsequent confessions were thrown out. The Court spoke of the "forbiddeen fruit" of evidence gathered by overzealous officers who "failed" to inform criminals that they were being searched just before they discovered their weapons, their drugs, their evidence. A police officer who found evidence of crimes was unable to make the case unless he had probable cause ahead of time to find the evidence.
In "Dirty Harry", a character (Andy Robinson) based on the never-caught Zodiak killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area at that time, goes on a murder rampage. Eastwood catches him at Kezar Stadoium. A little girl is lying in a hole some place. She has a limited amount of air left. Eastwood knows the guy did it. We know it. God knows it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Classics of the Genre May 24 2004
This movie hits home on every level. I liked its "live" action style... especially in the scene where Harry "talks" a suicide victim to the ground... the camera hovering over his shoulder. I lived in San Francisco in the 70s and in every way, the streets looked just as they did in this film. The action in the windows of the car match the actual places he visits, and so forth.
I wanted to mention the awesome performance of Andy Robinson as "Scorpio" the serial killer.... which was NOT far-fetched as some reviewers here have said, but was actually based on an actual San Francisco serial killer called "Zodiac" who was never caught. The plot and the action never stop in this high action powerhouse of a film.
This DVD is also BEAUTIFULLY presented in crystal clear anamorphic widescreen and superb sound. A credit to the company who released it. I also want to mention that this is the UNCUT version and NOT the version seen on commercial TV. The extras are also terrific, especially a short documentary by the late Robert Urich who had a part in the second Dirty Harry film "Magnum Force".
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5.0 out of 5 stars I always thought that Harry Callahan... Dec 19 2003
By philrob
... was only 'Dirty' for lawyers and people in (so-called) Justice Administration/business who would be the only loosers if they were some like him, using a new Miranda verse: You don't respect anybody rights, so you don't have any other right than to be put away now. Instead, you get law-enforcement busy with getting more money from the tax-payers (with fines for jay-walking or not using your safety-belt in your car), so they can afford the cost of useless trials, followed by expensive welfare for the custody of those who spend their lives taking lifes and/or property from the same tax-payers. Just compare the cost of one bullet versus the cost of gas/electricity chambers (yet, executions are much cheaper than 20 years in jail).
Maybe more people should remember that the Polikally-Korrekt generating crap like Miranda's is the same PK presiding the McCarthy's courts, the Hays' code for movies, or, a bit more remote in History: the 'saint' Inquisition; but, at least, the Inquisition was not as perverted as the P.K., since they didn't require cops risking to be killed while enforcing the rights of the perpetrators.
Long life to Harry Callahan (Cleaners should not be called 'Dirty'). The whole serie (5 movies including this one) is only showing an honest cop doing his best to do his job in the most efficient way, since he even rids community from the risk of recidivism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Urban Cleanser Oct. 6 2003
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 and Paul Kersey) had lost confidence in society's willingness and/or ability to respond effectively to violent crime. After seeing each of the two films for the first time, I vividly recall joining those around me in the theatre as they rose and cheered...and continue to applaud for several minutes. I asked myself, "What's going on here? What's this all about?"
At least in the larger U.S. cities 30 years ago, residents had become totally fed up with traditional law enforcement initiatives. It was no longer safe to walk the streets at night. Even more dangerous to do so in public parks. Homes were robbed while people worked during the day. Many of the same homes were robbed again later after insurance coverage replaced the articles previously stolen. Racial animosities, drug abuse, and a widespread contempt for institutional authority all contributed to such problems.
Under Don Siegel's crisp direction, Eastwood and his associates in the cast bring R.M. Fink's screenplay to life (and yes, to death) as they focus on what is obviously an irreconcilable conflict between Callahan and his superiors who include the mayor of San Francisco. Callahan's motto seems to be "Whatever it takes." In some situations, it may take his 44 Magnum, "the most powerful handgun in the world.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you know why they call Inspector Harry Callahan "Dirty Harry?"...

"To the city of San Francisco: I will enjoy killing one person every day until you pay me 100,000 dollars. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stephen Pletko
5.0 out of 5 stars Do ya, punk?
"Dirty" Harry Callahan is one of those iconic characters that stands apart from the crowd. Who hasn't heard someone say, "You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I... Read more
Published 5 months ago by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars the psychology of victimology...and the vigilante
Clint Eastwood has an interesting filmography and throughout his long career has remained on top of his game. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2012 by Anthony Marinelli
3.0 out of 5 stars the one that started it all
while i did like this first film in the Dirty Harry series for the most part,there were a few things about it that didn't work for me. Read more
Published on June 9 2010 by falcon
This movie is about conservatives and how they must battle against the oppressive forces of communism. Read more
Published on June 15 2004 by Steve Thulen
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST ACTION MOVIE OF ALL TIME!
Published on May 26 2004 by MICHAEL TAYLOR
2.0 out of 5 stars Agit-prop fascist garbage.
Last night (3/24/04), while editing a novella I'm polishing, I watched "Dirty Harry" on The History Channel. THC (hmmm... Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by William Sommerwerck
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Cop Drama Ever Made
Without "Dirty Harry", there wouldn't no "Die Hard", there wouldn't no "Lethal Weapon", and there probably wouldn't have been a "Naked Gun",... Read more
Published on April 8 2004 by anthony nasti
5.0 out of 5 stars Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?
My mother said I could only watch the "cleaned up" version on TV when this movie came out as it was too violent back in the 70's. Read more
Published on April 4 2004 by smoothjazzandmore
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Best Cop Action flick -period!
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry is the quintessential man's man and tough cop. He defines the archtype. Read more
Published on March 14 2004
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