It’s time for another retro review of the crime drama that pretty much set the tone for genre in the 1970s. One of the best guy flicks ever made, Dirty Harry. Clint Eastwood starts as Harry Callahan. Callahan is a detective that disregards the rules, but use his instinct and logic to get the job done. they call his “Dirty Harry” because he gets all the dirty jobs. A new case comes up, and he has to track down a psychotic serial killer in San Fransisco. Andrew Robinson is “Scorpio”, the only name we know for the crazed killer, and he plays the role well. Easy to see why this guy was cast as Scorpio, as he has wild blue eyes that can pierce right into anybody.
Harry regretfully takes a new partner, Police Inspector Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni), who amazingly saves Harry’s butt quite a few times, but ends up taking a bullet when an attempt to capture Scorpio goes awry. Harry’s past comes up once in awhile, as in we know that he is a widower, and that his wife died in a drunken driver accident, but we never really know why he uses his instinct rather than rules and laws to catch Scorpio. It gets him in some serious trouble with the D.A., and Scorpio goes free to terrorize San Fransisco again. Scorpio is crazy, but not stupid, as he robs a liquor store, and uses the take to pay a thug to beat him up, then takes to story to the press, and blames Harry for police brutality. A few days later, Scorpio is back on the street, and kidnaps some kids and their driver on a school bus after making demands to the city for a ransom of $200,000. It might not sound like a big ransom for a city the size of San Fransisco, but this is back when gas was 36 cents a gallon, and now it is $3 plus, so it shows how much of a difference there is in the inflation of the times.
If you like a good crime drama, with little erotic snippets here and there to keep the boys’ eyes glued to the screen, like strip joint scenes, for example, then watch Dirty Harry again, and if you haven’t seen it, give it a go for the nostalgia of the Nixon era. It’s a fun way to spend spend an hour and a half or so tracking down a crazed killer, and hearing the catch phases that have made into so many more movies after this one was made. “Do you feel lucky, punk?”