Warner Home Video / 7 disc set
Featuring Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Tyne Daly
One of the truly iconic characters of cinema Dirty Harry, as played by Clint Eastwood, is a take no nonsense, ask questions later cop who bestrode the 1970’s and 80’s like a cop behemoth and this new release from Warner brings together all five of the Harry Callahan movies into one highly covetable 7 disc box set, which includes not just the movies and heaps of extras but also some great collectables in the shape of a hard cover book, Harry’s cop wallet and ID, some vintage lobby advertising cards and a cool map of San Francisco looking at Harry’s hunt for the infamous Scorpio killer.
DIRTY HARRY is the whole thing that set the ball rolling, with Inspector Harry Callahan (known as “Dirty Harry” for his unconventional methods) tackling a vicious serial killer known as Scorpio. Teamed with new partner Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santini) Harry is determined to bring Scorpio down. Dirty Harry was a massive success, part of a whole new wave of violently real crime dramas and turned Harry’s weapon of choice, the Smith and Wesson model 20 .44 Magnum (“the most powerful handgun in the world”) into a thing of almost mythic beauty. This two disc set is also packed to the rafters with special features from featurettesm new audio commentaries and a classic doco 1993 doco on Eastwood’s life and work.
Given the popularity of Dirty Harry a sequel was a shoe-in so enter MAGNUM FORCE, this time out Harry is on stake out duty following the fallout from the Scorpio case, following a spate of murders Callahan is soon back in Homicide and its not too long before Harry is tangling with crooked cops and a less than scrupulous boss. Again this set is jam packed with extras with an audio commentary and a spate of featurettes.
THE ENFORCER in which Harry is teamed with new partner Tyne Daly (Inspector Kate Moore) appeared in 1976 and has a team of terrorists targetting San Francisco, ransoming the whole city for 2 million dollars (which doesn’t sound much now but back in 76 that was huge of course), leading to a thrilling climax in Alcatraz prison. Again there are commentaries and featurettes.
For a while it looked like that would beit but 7 years later came SUDDEN IMPACT with an older and wiser Harry who finds himself in small town San Paulo to ionvestigate a murder and discovers that rape victim Jennifer Spencer (sondra Locke – Eastwood’s real life partner) has turned vigilante. Directed by Eastwood himself SI was criticised heavily at the time for its apparent uber violence and even now still does have the power to shock but Eastwood absolutely knows his stuff and turns in a solidly entertaining movie.
Finally comes THE DEAD POOL made in 1988 in which celebrities are being murdered after appearing in a betting game put together by a film crew, when Harry learns that he himself is on the list its a race against time to stop the killer before he stops Harry – for good. Something of a last hurrah for an ageing Callahan here who, though times might have he changed definitely hasn’t.
An absolutely brilliant set of movies, the first of which helped usher in a whole new style of movie and overall they make up an essential purchase.