Dirty Harry and DO YOU FEEL LUCKY? Moment

The One-Line Summary: When a deranged serial killer threatens to murder one person every day unless he is given $100,000 in ransom, the San Francisco Mayor and the police chief reluctantly assigns Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) to the case, despite his aggressive, no-nonsense approach to law enforcement and a reputation for violence.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The Two-Line Blurb: This 1971 police thriller (loosely based on the Zodiac killer case) is the first in the five film Dirty Harry series and became highly influential for its strong, always in trouble with authority, male protagonist who seems unstoppable in hunting down the antagonist, but was highly controversial for themes of police brutality, victim’s rights and most especially, misogyny. Despite these issues, the film has since been recognized as one of the greatest ever made and the Dirty Harry character as a beloved hero.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The Three-Line Set-up: Soon after Callahan is put on the case, he is in a burger joint and witnesses a bank robbery in progress across the way. It’s already been established that Harry is a bit of a recluse, known for being a loose canon and is not in favor with many of his superiors. Dressed in gray slacks, a V-neck blood red sweater and a charcoal blazer, he is mid-meal when the alarms go off at the bank. Panicked pedestrians scurry as the robbers exit the building and try to escape.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The Four-Line Moment: An idling car is parked in front of the bank’s front door with driver at the ready as Callahan walks–Smith & Wesson Model 29 .45 Magnum drawn in aimed–toward the building. One man rushes out, fires a shotgun at Harry but is immediately hit by Harry’s first shot while another thief breaks for the car and jumps into the passenger seat. Callahan, grazed in the leg, steadily fires at the speeding car zooming straight for him and takes out the driver first, which causes it to hit a fire plug and flip onto its side. Harry shoots and kills the last robber and then casually walks to first man and sees him laid out but alive, thinking about reaching for the shotgun an arm’s length away before Callahan levels his pistol at his face and offers the single greatest challenge in film history.

The Five-Word Review: An iconic catchphrase is born.

Clip courtesy Movieclips

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Director:

Don Siegel

Writers:

Harry Julian Fink (screenplay), Rita M. Fink(screenplay)

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6 Comments

  1. The Telltale Mind July 29, 2015
    • David July 29, 2015
  2. Cindy Bruchman July 29, 2015
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  3. theipc July 29, 2015
    • David July 29, 2015