7.2/10
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178 user 69 critic

Magnum Force (1973)

Dirty Harry is on the trail of vigilante cops who are not above going beyond the law to kill the city's undesirables.

Director:

Ted Post

Writers:

Harry Julian Fink (original material), Rita M. Fink (original material) (as R.M. Fink) | 3 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Harry Callahan
Hal Holbrook ... Lt. Briggs
Mitchell Ryan ... McCoy
David Soul ... Davis
Tim Matheson ... Sweet
Kip Niven ... Astrachan
Robert Urich ... Grimes
Felton Perry ... Early Smith
Maurice Argent Maurice Argent ... Nat Weinstein
Margaret Avery ... Prostitute
Richard Devon ... Ricca
Tony Giorgio ... Palancio
Jack Kosslyn Jack Kosslyn ... Walter
Bob March Bob March ... Estabrook
Bob McClurg Bob McClurg ... Cab Driver
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Storyline

San Francisco Police Inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan and his new partner, Early Smith have been temporarily reassigned from Homicide to Stakeout Duty. You Meanwhile, those of the city's criminals who manage to avoid punishment by the courts are nevertheless being killed by unknown assassins. Callahan begins to investigate the murders despite orders from his superior officer, Lieutenant Briggs. A man has to know his limitations... Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspector Harry Callahan...#1 on the list of the nation's endangered species! See more »


Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1973 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Magnum .44 See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,871,011, 30 December 1973

Gross USA:

$44,680,473, 31 December 1974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Malpaso Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Stanley was hired as cinematographer and Lalo Schifrin once again conducted the score and filming commenced in late April 1973. During filming, Clint Eastwood encountered numerous disputes with Ted Post over who was calling the shots in directing the film, and Eastwood failed to authorize two important scenes directed by Post in the film because of time and expenses; one of them was at the climax to the film with a long shot of Eastwood on his motorcycle as he confronts the rogue cops. As with many of his films, Eastwood was intent on shooting it as smoothly as possible, often refusing to do retakes over certain scenes. Post later remarked: "A lot of the things he said were based on pure, selfish ignorance, and showed that he was the man who controlled the power. By Magnum Force Clint's ego began applying for statehood". Post remained bitter with Eastwood for many years and claims disagreements over the filming affected his career afterwards. According to director of photography Rexford L. Metz, "Eastwood would not take the time to perfect a situation. If you've got seventy percent of a shot worked out, that's sufficient for him, because he knows his audience will accept it." See more »

Goofs

After Harry tries Davis' gun at the shooting competition, he is heard to say to Davis, "Not bad, I seem to have lost the last one" but the movement of his lips clearly indicates that he actually said "the first one". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Harry Callahan: [at end of main titles] This is a 44. Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and it could blow your head clean off. Do you feel lucky?
[fires at the audience]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are played over a hand (presumably Harry's) holding a 44 Magnum against a red background. As such, this is the only Dirty Harry movie in which the opening credits are not played over San Francisco scenery. See more »

Alternate Versions

Harry Callahan's character name becomes Harry ''Callaghan'' in the Italian version and titles because the local distributor thought it sounded better. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Clint Eastwood knows his limitations.
20 February 2007 | by BroadswordCallinDannyBoySee all my reviews

After a known criminal, with clout over the city, manages to escape the punishment of the law, he and his partners are gunned down by a vigilante dressed as a cop and with a .44 Magnum. Drawn to the case Infamous San Francisco Detective "Dirty" Harry Callahan starts to investigate as the vigilante continues to take out criminals citywide. Soon there are suspicions that the criminals are getting their information from inside the police force.

If there is one actor that can be plainly badass, macho, and tough in the most stereotypical way without making a fool of himself, it's Clint Eastwood. Never has an actor been so plain and stoic, yet so entertaining and funny at the same time. That's because Eastwood knows his limitations and, as a result, never becomes totally ridiculous. Whether he's dropping one liners, shooting his cannon of a revolver, or mysteriously seducing women with no effort whatsoever Clint Eastwood just plays it cool. Steve McQueen also managed the same with his classic "Bullitt" and Dirty Harry uses essentially the same formula, but it does it well with its own unique spin and style. Also Clint Eastwood has lived well past McQueen's early death so his films are more prevalent in the current movie mindset.

The film isn't quite perfect and there is one sequence in particular - at the airport where Harry takes out two hijackers single handedly - that seems to be just there to show that Harry Callahan is a badass who makes his own rules and gets things done. Yet this scene does nothing to advance the plot. With the film clocking in at over two hours this could have easily been dropped. Along with a few trimmings here and there for a slightly brisker film.

That said, the movie remains entertaining and a good part of Eastwood's action era. --- 8/10

Rated R for violence


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