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5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST DIRTY HARRY IN THE SERIES!
After the disappointing Enforcer from 1977, Sudden Impact is without doubt the best episode in the five Dirty Harry films - excellent storyline, well played soundtrack, well-used locations and of course a strong cast. The climax of the film is truly well staged and blends the taut, seriousness of the film throughout. The story of a rape victim seeking revenge on those...
Published on Jan. 7 2002 by Baris Agun

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3.0 out of 5 stars Harry's worst adventure.
After Harry lands on a mafia hit list he is sent to the small town of San Paulo (actually Santa Cruz, CA) to investigate the background of a murder victim. What Harry uncovers is a serial killer settling a score.
Clint Eastwood doesn't like repeating himself, so it is no big surprise that the Dirty Harry movie he directed resembles the others in the series very...
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by Chadwick H. Saxelid


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3.0 out of 5 stars Harry's worst adventure., Feb. 16 2004
By 
Chadwick H. Saxelid "Bookworm" (Concord, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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After Harry lands on a mafia hit list he is sent to the small town of San Paulo (actually Santa Cruz, CA) to investigate the background of a murder victim. What Harry uncovers is a serial killer settling a score.
Clint Eastwood doesn't like repeating himself, so it is no big surprise that the Dirty Harry movie he directed resembles the others in the series very little. It is largely set outside of San Francisco and his character has little to do with the actual plot for the first forty or so minutes. The action is nicely handled, but the story's pace is turgid - thanks in large part to Joseph Stinson's sloppy and underdeveloped screenplay. When Eastwood revealed that Sudden Impact was turned into a Dirty Harry movie late in the rewrite game, I was not surprised. The tape holding his character into the story in first few reels is quite evident. Harry fans will want to have this in their collection, but I just don't think it is as fun or exicting as the other movies in the long running series.
Trivia - Bradford Dillman makes his second Dirty Harry appearance in Sudden Impact. This time out his character is named Captain Briggs, although he played Captain McKay in the 1976 entry The Enforcer. Briggs was actually the name of the vigilante team leader in the 1973 sequel Magnum Force. Whether this is a knowing wink to that thriller or just sloppy continuity, I am not sure. But I'm edging towards sloppy continuity myself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Plot is What Makes It Different, July 10 2003
There is only one Dirty Harry movie for me, and that is the first one, the Don Siegel's version. The mixture of the first Dirty Harry is just too well (the charismatic Harry Callahan, the dangerous Scorpio, intense relationship between Scorpio and Callahan), that the other four only practically try to borrow Harry Callahan "tough-attitude" in a different background. I'm not saying this to say that the other sequels are bad, is just that i've seen those sequels more as a 'separate, different action' movie from the original Dirty Harry. Because i'm not expecting another Dirty Harry movie, but just merely a good action movie, then i'm not dissapointed nor feel betrayed when watching Sudden Impact. It has just the right thing that make this movie as a 'better movie' if compared to the previous Enforcer or Magnum Force...a good story, something that is rarely found in the present day action movie.
It told a story of a woman who avenge her sister by killing her sister's rapers...and here's where Harry Callahan steps in, not as Harry Callahan that we know in the good old 'Dirty Harry', but as a detective who have to face his inner morale question on the right of that woman to avenge her sister, and his obligation to arrest a murderer.
So to all of you who really want to see Dirty Harry, well go directly to the real thing..the first Dirty Harry. To all of you who want to see more action...well you have to see Magnum Force or The Enforcer....but for those who wish to see an action movie with a touch of good story, well here it is. Of course the action is there...and its a good one too (particularly the finalle shoot out in fun park near the beach)..there is also some mob issue that Callahan wanted to nailto add up more possibility for action sequence....and you can still have some good one liner's from Eastwood such as 'Go ahead make my day'..but all of those were not as 'heavy' as its two predecessor. But then again, the action and the story is balanced prety well, thus makes Sudden Impact is very enjoyable. Eastwood directing is moderate but sufficient...i'm in the opinion that this movie is far much better then Eastwood recent work, 'Blood Work'.
Recomended for those of you who like action movie with a better plot and deeper character, unrecomended for those of you who wish a 'total shoot out' .
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing sequel, but watchable for one big reason, June 9 2003
By 
Tom Benton (North Springfield, VT USA) - See all my reviews
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I recently watched DIRTY HARRY and it's a masterpiece. After having seen a list of all of the other Dirty Harry flicks I decided to go with what's probably the most famous sequel, SUDDEN IMPACT.
"Nice job, meathead."
SUDDEN IMPACT is a disappointing sequel to Don Siegel's legendary film. It puts "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Eastwood) chasing after a female rape victim whom he just happens to fall in love with while, at the same time, bumping into her continuosly and never guessing she's the woman who has been murdering the people who raped her.
This film is a disgrace to the original classic. It changes Callahan's image of a justice-bringing tough guy (and hero) to a lazy, cranky old man who runs with his dog (who then urinates everywhere it goes). It's really pretty bad - even Lalo Schifrin's usually great score is forgettable. Could have been better - much better.
Unless you're a real Eastwood fan, you won't really care for SUDDEN IMPACT, which is foolish but watchable for one big reason:
To hear Eastwood say the legendary line, "Make my day."
OVERALL: *** (3) out of ***** (5) [Almost Above Average)
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3.0 out of 5 stars What penalty does a rapist deserve ?, Oct. 27 2002
Actual rating : 3.5 stars .
Background .
--------------
From the beginning of the Dirty Harry series it was clear that Harry Callahan is a different kind of a cop . He is known for his unorthodox methods in pursuing justice , and is the role model of a cop that is interested in making the villains pay by all means necessary . Naturally , these facts have made him notorious and a very controversial character in and out of the silver screen .
Harry Callahan represents the dissatisfaction of the common people from the law enforcements' limitations . This figure became so popular from day one owning to its ability to do or express what the crowds would have wanted to do on their own but could not and should not do : Give all the bad guys exactly what they deserve , regardless of due process , lawful rights , the proof burden and the red tape .
Eastwood as Harry has always managed to step between the lines and has been on the verge of really breaking the law many times mainly due to frequently dealing with criminals the law can't catch or touch . The harsh relation of Harry to legal responsibilities such as 'telling the rights' to the suspect or pronouncing 'drop your weapon!' before shooting the desperado embodies the bitterness of many from the legal restrictions and limitations mentioned above .

The plot .
---------
The movie starts with the usual Callahan stunts that come to remind the viewers who he is and what he stands for . Then the story develops into an investigation of a series of murders that Harry conducts pretty much on his own . Throughout the movie the resentment from his actions of every superior officer is emphasized to the absurd and the tendency of people to die around him is virtually comical . These recurring motives are the bases of the theatrical Harry series and are expected and even welcomed .
...
Significance .
--------------
In a much stronger manner , at least in my money , compared to its predecessors , the movie takes matters I pointed out before further and regards even the suitability and rightness of legal punishment for rape : The writers of the script imply that no punishment but death is what rapists deserve .
The strongest scene in the movie confronts one of the rapists with the victim that has come to get even . In a desperate attempt , while facing his doom , the rapist begs for his life and tries to convince the .../executioner that he does not deserve to die for his crime . Moreover , he says that he had been young , drunk and hadn't known what he was doing . At this point you stop to think real hard : What punishment does a crime like this call for ? To find out about the answer of the film you will have watch it .
This issue was then , as it is today , of grave implications to our society . With constant rise in the rate of rape cases and in the brutality and viciousness in which they are executed , the thoughts about this subject seem to favor much more serious punishments as means of revenge and intimidation than the ones the legal system carries out . This question is extremely controversial and divisive as is the question of the death penalty . I don't know the answers myself . All I know is that to rape a woman is like to murder her soul - and that it is unforgiven .
Final note .
-----------
This is a violent and dark film with an extra value to it . The producers should be commended for being brave enough to deal with this extremely hard and conflict-ridden subject . You will have to see it for yourself realize what final conclusion and moral they suggest .
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Hot Shot Cop", Aug. 27 2002
By 
Jerry Fry (Freeman, MO USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sudden Impact (VHS Tape)
Seven years after "The Enforcer", Harry is still trying to "run these hoods out of San Francisco". He just happens to be around while a couple of felonies are being committed-- "I just came back to complain about the service". Sure enough, a bunch of criminals wind up dead. After throwing a Molotov cocktail from his car through the windshield of the punk's car who he couldn't bust because he didn't follow proper procedure, he's shipped off to the coast town of San Paulo. Incidentally, the punks end up in San Francisco Bay. And Harry winds up in San Paulo. A bunch of small time hoods are being shot execution style and Harry is sent to investigate. The police chief (Pat Hingle) wants Harry to keep his nose out of it and Harry wants to find out why. Albert Popwell, who has played a bank robber, pimp and "black militant" in previous shows, is in this one too. In Sudden Impact he's a cop and Harry's friend. Paul Drake, one of the most despicable bad guys you'll ever see in a movie is the last guy to get. Hingle has him in jail but he gets bailed out and shows up at Hingle's residence with his two cohorts from their "bereaved" sisters fish place. You could compare the Dirty Harry shows to James Bond movies---you know how they're going to turn out but you want to see it happen anyway.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Eastwood in Top Form, July 6 2002
The vigilante has long held a fascination for audiences, inasmuch as it evokes a sense of swift, sure justice; good triumphs over evil and the bad guy gets his deserts. It is, in fact, one of the things that has made the character of Dirty Harry Callahan (as played by Clint Eastwood) so popular. He carries a badge and works within the law, but at heart, Harry is a vigilante, meting out justice "his" way, which often puts him in conflict with his own superiors, as well as the criminals he's pursuing. But it's what draws the audience; anyone who's ever been bogged down in bureaucratic nonsense of one kind or another, delights in seeing someone cut through the red tape and get on with it-- even if it's only on the screen. And that satisfaction derived from seeing justice done-- and quickly-- is one of the elements that makes "Sudden Impact," directed by and starring Eastwood, so successful. In this one, the fourth of the series, while working a homicide, Harry encounters a bona fide vigilante at work-- an individual whose brand of justice parallels his own, with one exception: Whoever it is, he's definitely not carrying a badge.
In his own inimitable way, Inspector Callahan has once again ended up on the bad side of the department and is ordered to take some vacation time. So he does; as only "Dirty Harry" can. In a small town north of San Francisco, Harry finds himself smack dab in the middle of a homicide case, which he quickly links to a recent murder in San Francisco because of the unique M.O. employed by the perpetrator. Unaccountably, Harry encounters resistance from the local Police Chief, Jannings (Pat Hingle), who advises him to take his big city tactics and methods elsewhere. Not one to be deterred, however, Harry continues his investigation, which ultimately involves a beautiful and talented young artist, Jennifer Spencer (Sondra Locke). Gradually, Harry discovers a link between the victims; the burning question, though, is where does Jennifer Spencer fit into the picture?
Eastwood is in top form here, both in front of and behind the camera, and it is arguably the second best of the five-film series, right behind the original "Dirty Harry." It had been seven years since the last "Harry" offering ("The Enforcer," 1976), but Eastwood steps right back into the character with facility and renewed vigor. And this one definitely benefits from having him in the director's chair, as he is able to recapture the essence of, not only his own character, but that "spirit" that made these films so successful, and he does it by knowing the territory and establishing a continuity that all but erases that seven year gap between #s 3 and 4. As with all the films he directs, Eastwood sets a deliberate pace that works perfectly for this material and creates just enough tension to keep it interesting and involving from beginning to end.
The screenplay, by Joseph Stinson, is well written and formulated to that distinctive "Dirty Harry" style; the dialogue is snappy and the story itself (conceived by Charles B. Pierce and Earl E. Smith) is the most engaging since the original "Dirty Harry," as it successfully endeavors to play upon the very personal aspects of the drama, rather than entirely upon the action. The characters are well drawn and convincing, and, of course, this is the film that gave us one of Harry's best catch-phrases: "Go, ahead-- make my day..."
As Harry, Clint Eastwood perfectly embodies all of the elements that make this character so popular: He lives by a personal moral code, a true individual made of the kind of stuff we envision as that of the pioneers who settled this country and made America what it is today. Harry personifies that sense of freedom and justice we all strive for and hold so dear, possibly more so today than ever before. No matter who we are or where we come from, there's undeniably a part of us that wants to be Harry, or at least have him around. "Dirty Harry" is an icon of the cinema, and it's impossible to envision anyone but Eastwood portraying him; for better or worse, Eastwood "is" Dirty Harry, without question, just as Sean Connery is James Bond and Basil Rathbone, Sherlock Holmes.
Sondra Locke is entirely effective here in the role of Jennifer Spencer, a young woman wronged and out for vengeance, or as she sees it, "justice." She manages to bring a hard-edged determination laced with vulnerability to her character, with a convincing, introspective approach that is far beyond what is typical of the "action" genre. Even amid the violence, Locke keeps her focus on Jennifer and the traumatic events that have brought her to this stage of her life. Her portrayal makes a perfect complement to Eastwood's Harry, and becomes, in philosophy and deed, something of his counterpart.
In supporting roles, two performances stand out: Paul Drake, as Mick, creates the best "psycho" since Andy Robinson's dynamic portrayal of the serial killer in the original "Dirty Harry." With actually very limited screen time, Drake establishes a genuinely disconcerting presence that is believable and convincing, which adds much to the purely visceral response of the audience. This is the guy you can't wait to see Harry take care of in the end. Also effective is Audrie J. Neenan, who makes her character, Ray Parkins, the epitome of the proverbial "low life," who can be found in any bar in any city. It's a performance that evokes a gut-level response, and it adds greatly to the credibility of the film, in that it helps provide that necessary sense of realism.
The supporting cast includes Albert Popwell (Horace), Mark Kevloun (Bennett) and Nancy Parsons (Mrs. Kruger). With a perfect blend of drama and action, "Sudden Impact" dispenses justice that is a fulfilling respite from reality; the perfect justice of a not-so-perfect world, that makes for a satisfying cinematic experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST DIRTY HARRY IN THE SERIES!, Jan. 7 2002
By 
Baris Agun (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
After the disappointing Enforcer from 1977, Sudden Impact is without doubt the best episode in the five Dirty Harry films - excellent storyline, well played soundtrack, well-used locations and of course a strong cast. The climax of the film is truly well staged and blends the taut, seriousness of the film throughout. The story of a rape victim seeking revenge on those that carried out the attack certainly brings the best out of Sondra Locke.
Once the film was released, Clint Eastwood was universally acclaimed for bringing such a delecate subject to the cinema. It was a gamble that had hansomely paid off.
Clint himself is on top form and plays it vintage style, like the first Dirty Harry. The best line has to be the:- "Go Ahead - Make My Day". Harry's dog - Meathead brings some light moments to the script as does his scene with Bradford Dillman.
Great support too from Eastwood film veteran - Pat Hingle.
It is no suprise that Sudden Impact is to this date the highest grossing Dirty Harry episode.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The jamf is back!, Dec 9 2001
By 
Zagnorch (Terra, Sol System) - See all my reviews
Clint grabs the producer's & director's chair for this particular adventure! And he's throwin' then-girlfriend Sondra Locke into the mix as well! Hey, if you've got the perks, you might as well take full advantage, right?
Anyhoo, I thought 'Sudden Impact' was a pretty good turnaround from the previous DH outing, 'The Enforcer'. The main bad guy was actually scary this time 'round! And Harry finally gets some new surroundings in which to wreak havoc! There's Harry's new 'old standby', the .44 Automag! It sure makes for an impressive addition to his silhouette during the climactic final fight scene, don't it? Oh yeah, let's not forget our anti-hero's uttering of one of cinema's most memorable- and woefully overused- lines! In fact, it's SO very overused, I'm not gonna even include them in my review, 'cause y'all know it by heart anyway! Yep, the fun & hijinks rarely let up in this darkest of the DH sequels!
Like the previous DH flicks, this one does include the appearance of a future TV/film star. Look for 'The Practice' show co-star Camryn Manheim standing behind Harry in the elevator following the acquittal of a few punks he'd arrested. And Albert Popwell makes his final appearance in the world of Unclean Harold, this time as Harry's latest ill-fated partner Horace. Be on the lookout for him in the previous three movies- he plays a different character in each one! Oh yeah, there's also the big blooper. Take a look at the reflection in the driver-side door window of Horace's car during the forest firing range scene, and you'll see what I mean!
As for features, the 'Sudden Impact' DVD hasn't got much- just a trailer, and some brief text regarding the making of the mo-pic. Guess you'll just have to make do with watching the movie...
'Late!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Harry might Make Your Day in this one, Dec 5 2001
By 
Christopher J. Jarmick "Word Lover" (Seattle, Wa. USA) - See all my reviews
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After a 7 year hiatus, Eastwood returned to take a fourth Dirty Harry film.
Eastwood directed this Dirty Harry sequel and gave his long-time companion Sondra Locke an important role. There's two separate stories in this one that eventually come together for both Harry and the audience. The film is grittier, and move violent than The Enforcer and at times is dark enough that you almost forget this is action film sequel. It starts off as pretty formula stuff, but when one of the stories involves two young women being viciously gang-raped and an almost psychopathic woman vigilante on the loose--it's a little darker, more original and edgier than previous Harry films. Eastwood's a little older and there's a little less bounce in his line delivery so he seems more cynical than we have previously seen him. He's on the trail of some Mobsters who killed a prostitute and winds up in San Paulo, California (where most of the film takes place). When an important Mafia don dies while being interrogated by Harry (heart attack), well Harry's got a price on his head and lots of people gunning for him. The line Go Ahead and Make My Day became famous because of this film and our former President borrowed it from Harry not visa versa. Eastwood as a director brings a bit more style to the series than the previous two entries, but he can't hide the fact the film is a sequel and we know too early
what it going to happen. This is probably the best Harry sequel, and though it doesn't quite offer as much visceral fun as the other Harry's it's one to catch if you're an Eastwood/Harry fan. Look fast for Michael V. Gazzo and that's Camryn Manheim in that elevator with Eastwood.

DVD STUFF
Nearly all of the films in the (newly released November 2001) Dirty Harry Collection of DVD's are presented in Anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
Sudden Impact is presented for the most part with vibrant colors and strong black levels, but there are some visible flaws. A few scenes seem a bit 'soft' and there's some visible print damage in a couple places. Over-all it looks very good.
All of the Dirty Harry films have been given a complete audio over-haul and the engineers have done a superb job on all the films. The older films in particular have been improved a great deal with a very well done sound re-design. I suspect some re-recording of some foley type effects took place because some of the sound effects sound utterly free from distortion which you would expect to crop up in loud sound effects from 30 years ago. All of the films have a Dolby 5.1. track that has been masterfully presented. Dialogue is easy to hear, and the sound effects
And music effectively use the surround capabilities of all the speakers without over-doing it .
Sudden Impact is a pretty bare bones DVD which has a couple of production notes, memorable lines, list of cast and main crew and the original theatrical trailer included on the DVD. No featurettes, no commentaries.
Christopher Jarmick, is the author of The Glass Cocoon with Serena F. Holder a critically acclaimed, steamy suspense thriller.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Harry is at it again., Nov. 30 2001
By 
Chadwick H. Saxelid "Bookworm" (Concord, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sudden Impact (VHS Tape)
Rogue SFPD Inspector #71, 'Dirty' Harry Callahan himself, returns in this somewhat ineffective entry in the popular action series.
When Harry's harsh questioning gives an eldery mafioso a heart attack, the hitmen come gunning for revenge. Thankfully there is a murder case the brass can send Harry out of town to investigate. Too bad it shapes up to be a serial murder case linked to a small town's dark secret.
Sudden Impact turns Dirty Harry into even more of a fish out of water by sending him to 'San Paulo' (which Northern California residents will recognize as Santa Cruz) to dispatch criminals. Malpaso regular Pat Hingle does a real nice turn as the small town Sheriff gnashing his teeth over Callahan's intrusive digging to find the nasty clues linking the killings, but Sondra Locke is wooden as the killer turned love interest. Though the film is filled with action and humor, visually stylish, and graced with another fine score by Lalo Schifrin, the script by Joseph C. Stinson is incredibly weak. Sure it has some classic dialogue, but the storyline is shoddy and Harry's character behaves in a manner not consistant with the personality established in the first three films. Only Eastwood's strong performance both as Harry and as director of the movie (I hesitate to call his bloody confection a 'film') save this from getting three stars. Recommended for fans only.
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