This serious series began in 1971 with “Dirty Harry”, followed by “Magnum Force” of 1973, “The Enforcer” of 1976, “Sudden Impact” of 1983 and “The Dead Pool” of 1988, all of which recounted the adventures. filthy San Francisco. “Dirty” Police Department Homicide Division Inspector Harry Callahan. Designed by Clint Eastwood, Callahan was a tough, uncompromising cop who had no time for bureaucratic red tape, bleeding heart hippies or buddy partners who would only slow down his one-man mission to take crime off the streets. of a town apparently overrun by rapists, drug dealers and thugs.
Some critics saw the films as nothing less than fascist, but the “Dirty Harry” movies were a box office success. The model Don Siegel designed was largely a product of his time, reflecting the bitter struggle in society at the time between free and hard-line ideologues – criminal conservatives in the wake of the Manson and Zodiac murders. Nonetheless, nihilistic as it might sound, 1970s audiences reacted to the primitive, cathartic sight of a policeman with a very large pistol, holding the responsible dirt scum on the other end of it.
All these decades later, Eastwood is so closely tied to the role that it’s hard to imagine anyone else adjusting to their cranky shoes and tight lips. Are the times ripe for a similar political / police commentary that comments on modern law enforcement? Sure, but let a new writer create some new characters to explore the theme. Clint keeps moving forward, throwing punches in “Cry Macho” at age 91 – but unless he finds a brilliant way to say goodbye to this iconic character at the “unforgiven“, it’s best to let Harry put his .44 Magnum away for good.