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Magnum Force (Widescreen)

Clint Eastwood , Hal Holbrook , Ted Post    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Product Description

When a mysterious wave of killings sweeps the Mafia underworld, it's Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan who answers with Magnum Force. Despite a demotion by Lt. Neil Briggs for his questionable methods, Harry will stop at nothing to find the killers.


This first sequel to Dirty Harry was written by a couple of strong voices, writer-directors Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and John Milius (Farewell to the King). But that doesn't mean the film is particularly good. After Don Siegel's ferociously dark style in the first movie, Ted Post's blocky, television-ish direction in Magnum Force is a huge letdown. The story doesn't win any prizes, either. Eastwood's San Francisco detective Harry Callahan (apparently having retrieved his badge after throwing it away at the end of Dirty Harry) takes on a vigilante squad within the city's police force. David Soul is pretty convincing as the major spokesman for these right-wing avengers. Eastwood, on the other hand, had already turned Callahan from fascinating outsider in Siegel's film to purveyor of tough-guy shtick in this one. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Dirty Harry Sequel May 24 2004
Okay... before I begin, I must tell you I am a bit prejudice. I actually saw a scene from this movie being filmed. I lived in San Francisco and in 1973 was walking up the hill to Lafayette Park as they shot some scenes in a high rise apartment building.
I was fascinated as they shot the scene over and over to get the "tension" just right.
Now it is on DVD 30 years later. It has never looked better. Color corrected true wide screen picture, and a soundtrack that is crystal clear.
2 of the vigilante officers are played to perfection by "pre-Starsky" David Soul and, in his first role, the late Robert Urich. The scene in the darkened garage is still powerful in it's quiet threatening tone. It is SO CLEAR the cops enjoy wearing their elegant uniforms and tall boots, leather creaking and chrome gleaming in the dark... an awesome and memorable moment when those who are sent to protect and defend, go over the edge so confidently, quietly and in their minds, logically. It is still very frightening.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No Limitations Here! Jan. 12 2004
By MR77100
I rarely give 5 stars, but this is one movie that deserves it! MAGNUM FORCE is my favorite Dirty Harry movie, and my favorite Eastwood film overall. After the smashing success of the classic Siegel film in 1971, Eastwood continued with this sequal in 1973, and it does not disappoint. Ted Post, who directed the TV series RAWHIDE where Eastwood started his acting career, takes the director's chair here. While most sequals usually are not as good, I consider MAGNUM FORCE to be the most interesting of the entire Dirty Harry series, and for good reason.
The plot is well-developed with a series of odd murders taking place over San Francisco. The top criminals of the city are the victims, but who are the killers? As Eastwood eventually finds out, the killers are closer to him than he thinks; they carry a badge just like him! Rookie motorcycle cops are relentlessly killing any criminal that escapes the courts. This Evil For Evil tactic is one that Harry would surely side with. Unfortunately he has sworn to protect the system he works for, no matter what. In the first movie, Harry is against the system, and was portrayed as a fascist by the critics. Ted Post did a good job of reversing this with MAGNUM FORCE. Here, Harry is protecting the system from the vigilantes that represent him from the first movie. The result is a startling puzzle that Harry puts together through instinct, determination, and patience.
In true Dirty Harry tradition, he busts a gang of crooks in the beginning, a group of plane hijackers by posing as the pilot.
Hal Holbrook plays Lt. Briggs, the greying boss of Harry who puts him in stakeout to keep him out of trouble. But Harry works his way back over to homicide and is soon on thr trail of the murders.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A man has got to know his limitations Sept. 22 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Are we defined by what we watch or review? Given my politics, putting out my two cents on Magnum Force is like Walter Mondale going to a Republican Party Convention. However, let me state quite clearly that I'm putting this movie in the context of the times it represented, i.e. the perceived sense of the justice system's failure in the 1970's.
Following his acquittal of murdering a labour reformer and his family on a legal technicality, i.e. lack of admissible evidence, labor leader Carmine Ricca and three of his associates are gunned down by a police officer. As the outcome of his trial led to wild mobs downtown, his death leads one man to say, "maybe there's hope for the world yet." Other criminals become victims, including one in a very violent swimming pool massacre. Did anyone notice Suzanne Somers in that scene? Maybe I'll look more carefully next time. Note: Ricca and the murder of the labour reformer has overtones of Tony Boyle and Jock Yablonski, who with his wife and daughter were murdered in 1970 under Boyle's orders.
The frustration police officers felt in the 1970's is felt here. Charlie McCoy, one of Harry's friends, angrily says, "A hood can kill a cop, but a cop kill a hood?" Charlie's gone a bit mental, to the point that he and his wife are separated.
Harry locks horns with the obnoxious and waspish Lieutenant Briggs (Hal Holbrook), a desk jockey-type whose jealousy extends to taking Harry off homicide and putting him on stakeout. Not so much with the captain, who realizes that "someone's trying to put the courts out of business" and puts Harry back on homicide. The crimes have a distinct pattern, no witnesses despite the fact there was an officer right on top of the crime scene.
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4.0 out of 5 stars May the Magnum Force be with you. Aug. 26 2003
By A Customer
Somewhat dated, MAGNUM FORCE is mostly a curiosity of sorts because you have future tv/movie stars (the late)Robert Urich (VEGAS,S.W.A.T), David Soul(STARSKY AND HUTCH), and Tim Matheson (ANIMAL HOUSE, 1941, WEST WING) in the villian roles (actor Kip Niven is the odd man out here who has went on to play mostly character support roles). The four play a quartet of vigilante mototcycle cops taking over when criminals buck the system and can't get convicted. Somehow, one wants to root for these guys, but when Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) refuses to support their cause and even join their crusade, it becomes a whole new ballgame. They begin to kill off members of their own police department who may get in their way and their toughest adversary, Harry Callahan is next on their list. As in the first DIRTY HARRY, the rule that everyone is protected by the law and have the right to exercise their rights as citizens is again explored with a twist. Eastwood again is great as the no nonsense Harry Callahan playing with him cool and tough. Again, as in all the 'Dirty Harry' films there is a classic line to be quoted. In this film, hands down, it's "A man's got to know his limitations!" Great villian role by Hal Holbrook as Lt. Briggs, good support role by unsung character actor Felton Perry (HOOPERMAN, ROBOCOP) as Smith..another one of Harry Callahan's luckless partners (in this reviewer's opinion, the film was a real downer when the character was 'oft' as a result of a letter bomb), and John Mitchum (brother of Robert Mitchum, F-TROOP, DIRTY HARRY, ENFORCER) as DiGorgio.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Vigilante traffic cops who use Magnums to kill

This is the second movie in the "Dirty Harry" series and it does not disappoint.

This time major thugs are being killed and it seems like "somebody is... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stephen Pletko
4.0 out of 5 stars Cops gone bad
One thing you can immediately tell about Dirty Harry Callahan is that he isn't afraid to ignore the rules if lives are on the line -- but he's no dirty cop. Read more
Published 8 months ago by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars Sequel not up to first...more on action
At times a director notes he doesnt have a good script...and leans on action and there's plenty of it here. What do we make of it... Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2012 by Anthony Marinelli
4.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Harry 2
this second film in the Dirty Harry series of films is,in my mind,better than the first one.the story is better.it's a bit more complex. Read more
Published on June 9 2010 by falcon
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the 'Dirty Harry' Sequels
Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" (1971) was a tough act to follow, yet "Magnum Force" (1973) holds up quite well. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by Scott T. Rivers
4.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, baby, yeah!
Yeah, baby, yeah! Clint is the man, and my man was at his best as Dirty Harry Callahan, the San Fran dick (slang for "detective") blasting the bad guys into oblivion! Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2004 by William Fevers III
4.0 out of 5 stars "A man's got to know his limitations."
Who can forget that line from Magnum Force? It has more than one meaning here and definitely sets the theme. Read more
Published on May 24 2003 by B-MAN
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the rest
It takes real guts to try a sequel to a great movie (maybe not, since it is tried so maddeningly often!). Sure is hard to come up with a movie as good as Dirty Harry. Read more
Published on May 4 2003 by Eric V. Moye
5.0 out of 5 stars YOUR THERAPIST WON'T RECOGNIZE YOU . . .
"I know what your thinkin' ..."
MAGNUM FORCE is one of the best ways to begin to access the DIRTY HARRY series. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2003
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