Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan), Harry Guardino
(Lt. Bressler), Reni Santori (Chico), John Vernon (The Mayor), Andy Robinson (Scorpio)
The film which introduced Clint Eastwood's most famous
character, Harry Callahan, a maverick homicide cop with no respect for the civil rights of criminals.
Set in San Francisco, a mad sniper, going by the name of
Scorpio, holds the city to ransom following a series of killings and kidnappings, and Callahan puts the law into his own hands to bring about justice.
Widely criticised at the time of its release, the film has
since become a blueprint for countless cop thrillers as well as spawning four sequels for the Dirty Harry character (Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact & The Dead Pool).
This film received some inspiration from the real life crimes
of the Zodiac Killer, who was active the late 1960's and taunted the police with his unsolved crimes and it has to be said that, while the actions of the main character are morally dubious, it
does provide great satisfaction to see the bad guys get what they deserve.