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'70s rebel-cop classic is way too edgy for kids.
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Top Critic Reviews
What a landmark of American cinema! Clint was already a star by this point, but this just pushed his career even further. There's a lot to like and love about this girtty, hard-edged crime thriller. The gritty location shotting looks awesome, as do almost all urban crime films from this era. The shot of Harry (from the back) looking at the Golden Gate Bridge in the dusk is a fine example of this. Featuring strong performances, a gripping story, good direction, and wearing the cynical sensibilities and atmosphere of the day on its sleeve, I can see how this film has become so influential, especially due to the infamous speech about one of the most bad ass of all film weapons. This is really Clint's show, but John Vernon is good as the mayor, Reni Santoni is decent as Chico, and Andy Robinson is outstanding as the creepy and menacing Scorpio. Shockingly enough, I had never seen this or any of the sequels until now, and I was pleasantly surprised by the humor. A lot of it (and Eastwood's general mannerisms/characterization) later came up in some of Eastwood's more recent films, which I think is just great. Gran Torino had me cracking up at times, and now I know where it comes from. The music is good too, although there were scenes where I think it would have been nice to hear it where there wasn't any music. However, one scene in question (when Harry goes from phone booth to phone booth) stands out as a little more tense because of the lack of score (which makes things a bit more realistic. One thing I like about this and other similar films from the 70s is how it's more than just entertainment. There's a lot of substance here. You could come up with all kinds of analyses about the effectiveness of police brutality, anti-heroes, racism, being macho, violence, etc. Many already have, but it's not like the well will likely run dry very soon. If you haven't seen this one yet, you definitely need to see it-it's a stone cold classic (despite not being wall-to-wall action and mayhem).
- cosmo313, Thursday, July 8, 2010
"I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" A San Francisco cop with little regard for rules (but who always gets results) tries to track down a serial killer who snipes at random victims. REVIEW Eastwood made cinematic lore out of laconic San Francisco renegade cop Harry Callahan known more for his intolerance of the bureaucratic legal system and his firm belief in justice through violent means necessitated by righting wrongs. In the first of the series he's faced with a psycho serial killer named Scorpio (grinning looney toon Robinson) just begging to be noticed. Directed by Eastwood's long-time mentor Don Siegel the film acts as a parable of the system strangle-holding society and still remains an indictment of how bad things still are. Classic Clint.
- mrpopcorn, Wednesday, May 5, 2010