Or Dirty Harry, is one of Clint Eastwood’s most iconic film characters, along with The Man With No Name.
There were five films produced between 1971 and 1988 featuring the San Francisco Police Department Homicide Division Inspector Harry Callahan; in which the character became notorious for his unorthodox, violent and utterly ruthless actions against criminals and killers he had been assigned to apprehend.
The series also contained many scenes and lines which have become iconic film moments.
The first film was Dirty Harry, released in 1971, in which Callahan pursues a psychopath killer, clearly modelled on the Zodiac Killer.
The film caused huge controversy when it was released, inciting debate over issues ranging from police brutality, the nature of law enforcement and victims’ right.
Now it is regarded as a classic police thriller in which there is not an inch of fat in its’ depiction of Harry’s relentless pursuit of the psychotic killer.
A sequel was inevitable and in 1973
Magnum Force was released where Harry investigates a serious of murders of criminals in which it is revealed are being conducted by a renegade group of vigilante cops.
Unfortunately after the first two outstanding films, the series tended to drift off into being predictable police thrillers spiced by one or two excellent set pieces.
In The Enforcer (1976) Harry is assigned a female partner as they take on a terrorist ring. It’s mostly routine, but, there’s always at least one memorable scene to enjoy.
Then in 1983 we had Sudden Impact, which was directed by Eastwood himself. A rather nasty police thriller in which Callahan is sent to a small town to follow up a lead in a murder case which leads to a case of revenge.
But, of course the film is notable for one of cinema’s most famous catchphrases:
The final film in the series The Dead Pool was released in 1988 in which Harry finds he is among the subjects of a game betting on the deaths of celebrities. A rather lame end to a series that started off so well.
One thing is for sure today, they won’t be making films like Dirty Harry or Magnum Force anymore as the woke brigade would have nightmares about it.