January 3, 2017
Review #893: Dirty Harry.
Clint Eastwood (Inspector Harry Callahan), Andy Robinson (Scorpio), Harry Guardino (Lt. Al Bressler), Reni Santoni (Inspector Chico Gonzalez), John Vernon (The Mayor of San Francisco), John Larch (Chief of Police), John Mitchum (Frank "Fatso" DiGiorgio), Woodrow Parfrey (Jaffe), and Josef Sommer (District Attorney William T. Rothko) Directed by Don Siegel.
Welcome to Season 7 (2017), folks. I decided to use this film as the beginning point in part because the 45th anniversary (in late December) had passed on without notice, and it also seemed right to do this film, a hallmark of police films. This is certainly an excellently crafted film, right down from the style and action but also the way it presents its main character. Eastwood is excellent at conveying this loose cannon type of cop with the sort of cynicism and blunt edge without any kind of insincerity nor too overblown. The movie is at its best when showcasing the action (or in some cases, the sets used, such as Kezar Stadium), with a particularly excellent climax in a rock quarry. Besides the grit (and catchphrases) is a movie that does not try to hide its loyalties or thoughts on certain manners, especially with scenes regarding Vernon. Guardino and Santoni are servicable, doing their roles without any kind of distraction. Robinson does a good job as the villain in part because of his mannerisms and how unassuming he seems. There is a perfect kind of imbalance that he conveys that work within the manners of the film. The movie seems to slow itself a bit around the middle, but it manages to have a good enough beginning and end that it doesn't really account for too much slog. It's obvious to say this isn't the kind of movie for anyone (especially for ones that aren't fans of violence), but it's also obvious to say this is a film that uses everything given to it (fine directing and a fine enough cast along with well conveyed action) and makes it a worth while time at 102 minutes. It isn't a standard kind of procedural and that's just the way it likes it to be.
Countdown to #900: 10, 9, 8, 7...
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.