Black SplatDirty Harry (1971)

"'Do I feel lucky?' Well do ya, punk?”

Dirty Harry - Callahan arrests a crook

Description: Clint Eastwood as police inspector “Dirty” Harry asks a poignant question to a crook in the motion picture Dirty Harry (1971).

Harry Callahan is a widowed, hard-boiled cop on the San Francisco Police Department. He is considered a dinosaur because of his old fashioned, take-no-prisoners approach to the law. But despite constant reprimands from his supervisors, Harry just can't seem to change his ways.

Oh yeah, Harry tends to lose his partners. As he told police Lt. Al Bressler (Harry Guardino), "You know what happens to the guys that I work with. Dietrich is still in the hospital with a bullet in his gut and Sanduchi's dead." But, partner or no partner, Harry always gets the job done.

One day, as Harry munches down on a hotdog at a local deli, he suspects a bank robbery is going down and asks Mr. Jaffe (Woodrow Parfrey), the counter-server to call the police. "Tell them Inspector Callahan thinks there's a 211 in progress at the bank. Be sure and tell them that's IN progress." Harry continues to eat, muttering "Now, if they'll just wait for the cavalry to arrive." But the alarm sounds, Harry says, "Ah shit!" and he slowly walks over to the bank. As the crooks emerge from the building, one of them fires a shotgun, nicking Harry in the knee. Harry fires his .44 Magnum revolver (Smith & Wesson Model 29 with 8 and 3/8 inch barrel) and kills two of the robbers and wounds a third.

Dirty Harry - Robber reaches for shotgun

As Harry approaches the bank , the wounded robber reaches for his fallen shotgun, Harry looks straight into the man’s eyes, points his gun and calmly says:

“I know what you're thinkin’: Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all of this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But bein’ that this is a .44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow you head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question...'Do I fell lucky?' Well, do you punk?”

The bank robber stops reaching for the weapon, but says to Harry, “I gots to know?” Harry draws a bead on the man’s face and pulls the trigger. Luckily, for the crook, the chamber is empty. Harry then gives the man a wry smile and walks away.

Later, at the police station Harry reluctantly meets his new partner, Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni), an educated Hispanic fellow who attended San Jose college and boxed as a light Heavyweight. "Just what I need, it's a college boy," moans Harry. Gonzales replies, "You haven't found one thing you like about me?" Harry answers, "Well, it's early yet." When Harry learns the Gonzales has a degree in Sociology, he says, "Sociology? Oh, you'll go far. That's if you live."

Gonzales: There is one question, Inspector Callahan: Why do they call you "Dirty Harry"?
De Georgio: Ah that's one thing about our Harry, doesn't play any favorites! Harry hates everybody: Limeys, Micks, Hebes, Fat Dagos, Niggers, Honkies, Chinks, you name it.
Gonzales: How does he feel about Mexicans?
De Georgio: Ask him.
Callahan: Especially Spics.

When the Mayor questions Callahan's methods, Harry explains, "Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That's my policy." The Mayor replies, "Intent? How did you establish that?" Harry answers, "When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross!" As Harry walks out of the room, the Mayor concedes, "He's got a point."

D. A.: You're lucky I'm not indicting you for assault with intent to commit murder.
Callahan: What?
D. A.: Where the hell does it say that you've got a right to kick down doors, torture suspects, deny medical attention and legal counsel? Where have you been? Does Escobedo ring a bell? Miranda? I mean, you must have heard of the Fourth Amendment. What I'm saying is that man had rights.
Callahan: Well, I'm all broken up over that man's rights!

Besides bank robbers, Harry has to contend with Charles Davis (Andy Robinson), a sadistic maniac dubbed the "Scorpio Killer" who has been terrorizing San Francisco. After killing a woman in a swimming pool, an undercover cop posing as a priest and raping and burying alive a young girl, Harry corners Scorpio in a rock quarry after he kidnaps a busload of school kids. Harry had refused to deliver the killer's $100,000 ransom. All Harry wants to give that bastard is a bullet.

Dirty Harry - Scorpio holds boy hostage

As Scorpio holds a young boy hostage, Harry feigns surrender then wounds Scorpio. As the boy runs away, Harry stands over the creep, and delivers his "Do you feel lucky, punk?" speech to the wounded psychopath. The killer decides to reach for his gun and Harry happily blows him away. The force of the Harry's Magnum revolver knocks Scorpio in the water. Disgusted with the whole mess, Harry tosses his police badge in the water and walks away.

Note: In the parody of the Lethal Weapon film National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (1993), Emilio Estvez as Sgt Det. Jack Colt reenacts a scene from Dirty Harry by drawing his weapion, and saying, "I know what you're thinking punk, did he fire 173 times or a 174..."

In the sequel Magnum Force (1977) Harry recommends, “Nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot.” After Harry exposes a vigilante division of the San Francisco Police Department that executes people who defeated the legal system on technicalities, he is confronted by crooked Police Lieutenant Neill Briggs (Hal Holbrook) who swears he will frame Harry for the murder of three rogue policeman.

As Briggs holds Harry at gunpoint, Harry manages to activate a bomb sitting in the front seat of the automobile that Briggs is about to use for a get-away. As Briggs drives away, the car explodes and Harry wryly smiles, and says, “Man’s got to know his limitations.” Earlier in the film, Briggs bragged that he never pulled a gun on anyone, to which Harry says, “You’re a good man and a good man always knows his limitation.”

In the 'Dirty Harry' sequel Sudden Impact (1983), Callahan enters the Acorn Cafe for his usual cup of coffee. The waitress pours too much sugar in the coffee. Harry pays for his coffee and leaves, but then returns suspecting something is up, coming in the back door. Suddenly, some thugs who had taken over the cafe place a CLOSED sign on the door and shouts, "All right folks, you did real good with that cop, now I want everything -money watches, rings, everything." Three other thugs proceed to rob the customers of their possession, when Harry appears. "Every day for the last ten years," Harry explains, "Loretta there has been giving me a large black coffee. Today, she gives me a large black coffee and it's got sugar in it. A lot of sugar. I just came back to complain. Now you boys put those guns down."

Dirty Harry - Callahan points his Magnum revolver

When one of the crooks says, "Say what?" Harry replies, “We're not just gonna let you walk out of here," Confused, the crook asks, “Who's we, sucker?” Harry reaches for his gun slowly, saying, “Smith..and Wesson..and me.” Harry shoots three of the thugs, and wounds the fourth who takes Loretta as a hostage. Harry approaches the man, points his Magnum revolver, and says tauntingly, "Go ahead,make my day." With the cafe now surrounded by police cars, the surviving crook surrenders.

“Look, punk, to me, you’re just dog shit. A lot of things can happen to dog shit. It can get stepped on and squashed, or it can just dry up and blow away. So remember that when the dog shits ya!” - 'Dirty' Harry Callahan

President Ronald Reagan, a fan of the ‘Dirty Harry’ movies used the same phrase “Go ahead, make my day” when he threatened a veto and challenged Congress to put a tax increase on his desk.

On the premiere episode of the police drama HUNTER/NBC/1984-91 LAPD Sgt. Rick Hunter (Fred Dryer) confronts a thief who also dropped his gun and in the spirit of Dirty Harry, Hunter says, “Well, punk, you gonna go for it?”

Dirty Harry - Movie Poster

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