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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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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

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Magnum Force

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Vigilante traffic cops who use Magnums to kill April 19 2014
By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER

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 trying to put the courts out of business." It's up to Harry to solve the mystery of who is responsible.

I found that this movie was more action-orientated and did not have the emotional impact of the first movie ("Dirty Harry," 1971).

The acting is terrific. Clint Eastwood gives his usual excellent performance as Harry Callahan (even though Harry is not as gritty as he was in the first movie). However, Hal Holbrook gives an equally good performance as his boss, Lieutenant Briggs.

This movie also features early appearances by David Soul ("Starsky and Hutch") Robert Urich ("S.W.A.T.," "Vegas," "Spencer for Hire") and Tim Matheson ("Animal House"). Also, look for Suzanne Sommers ("Three's Company") in a bit part.

There is also social commentary blended into the action of this movie.

The background music is good but not as good as in the first film.

This is also the longest movie in the series.

Finally, the DVD (part of the Clint Eastwood Collection, released in 2001) has six extras.

In conclusion, this is a decent sequel in the "Dirty Harry" series! And don't forget: "A man's got to know his limitations."

(1973; 2 hr; wide screen; 36 scenes; rated 'R')

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

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4.0 out of 5 stars Cops gone bad Feb. 23 2014
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.

And "Magnum Force" plants everybody's anti-hero cop squarely between two forces -- the broken system, and a secret cabal of dirty cops taking justice into their own hands. This movie is much more "Hollywoodish" than the first one, but it also tackles some difficult ethical issues along the way. And as usual, Clint Eastwood is friggin' awesome.

As the movie opens, a mobster is acquitted on a technicality, even though everyone knows he's guilty. On his way home, an SFPD traffic officer stops him -- and then kills everyone in his car. Callahan (Eastwood) can't really do anything about this, because he's been loaned out to stakeouts because he's just so darn reckless. But more and more criminals keep turning up dead, so they put "Dirty" Harry back on homicide.

Unfortunately, Harry has deduced that a cop is responsible for the killings, and that someone is taking the law into their own hands -- which is a problem area, since he himself hates "the system" and its flaws. But the truth is much worse: a secret vigilante squad has formed within the SFPD, and if you're not with them, you're against them. Callahan is their next target.

One of the most likable qualities about Dirty Harry is that he's a maverick who values justice above the strict letter of law. So it's intriguing to see him go up against extremists who are taking the law into their own hands -- he's dancing between "the system" that he hates, and the self-determined "justice" that he also hates. No easy answers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sequel not up to first...more on action Aug. 13 2012
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...the best crime dramas and some ideas went through my head as i saw this...i recall those great crime writers of the past in film martin rackin and dashell hammett...rackin worked for many years in the 50's with alan ladd...a colossal mistake at WB..and a loss of esteem at the studio he was not the right actor for their stuff..and the great writer hammett noted he wasnt tough without a gun...which is where menace and intimidation actually are and the gun is actually a prop...much of Rackin's good scripts never were realized at Jaguar due to bad casting and warners during the 50's entered a fallow period in crime dramas...i recall the film bladerunner with harrison ford and the police in that novel has affinity with this film...whatever you think of such views?I say all this since clint often has no gun but he snarls and is tough and intimidating...where the other actors show their guns...he's a throwback to the old warner actors who could also dominate scenes in this way. However the writing lets him down...the idea is not bad...we have a begginning with organized crime...and some police who try to tak the law into their own hands...and become judges on wheels...and crooked cops and clint manages to due away with the corruption in the city...once on his way to city hall...the first dirty harry had much less action but was a more riveting film and suspenseful...there's not much suspense...it's more an interesting film in showing a future
as nightmare scenario...much like today...and clint seems bemused by it all...and much in warner's tradition on his own to tame the city...many people see the western hero transformed in the city...alone and in solitude..
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Most recent customer reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Dirty Harry Sequel
Okay... before I begin, I must tell you I am a bit prejudice. I actually saw a scene from this movie being filmed. Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by classicmoviefan
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. 17 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
5.0 out of 5 stars No Limitations Here!
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by MR77100
5.0 out of 5 stars A man has got to know his limitations
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. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2003 by Daniel J. Hamlow
4.0 out of 5 stars May the Magnum Force be with you.
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. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2003
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 25 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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