The Enforcer (Warner 1976, Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly)
As Dirty Harry was conceived as a trilogy, this should have brought the tough cop icon to a close; two films later it still seems the best of the sequels.
When he slaughters a gang of liquor store robbers, Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is rewarded with a demotion and transferred to the personnel division. Meanwhile, The People’s Revolutionary Strike Force raid an armoury and shoot two cops, including Callahan’s partner, Di Giorgio, whose dying words help identify the group’s leader as Bobby Maxwell (DeVeren Bookwalter).
When the group threatens to destroy San Francisco, Callahan is drafted back to homicide and discovers his new partner is a woman, Kate Moore (Tyne Daly). They trace black militant Big Ed Mustapha (Albert Popwell) and persuade him to help them track down the Strike Force. But when the Mayor uses Mustapha to further his own ends, Callahan resigns in disgust. Then Maxwell kidnaps the Mayor, and things change…
The Enforcer nearly never happened. The two connection-starved writers left a copy at Eastwood’s Carmel restaurant, and it eventually found its way to the boss, who passed it to his pet script doctors, Stirling Silliphant and Dean Riesner, to rebuild.
The franchise’s formula was honed by now, although the introduction of the Kate Moore character gave the film a contemporary relevance (and a great marketing angle). The unknown Tyne Daly – who only accepted the role at the fourth time of asking – was an excellent choice, displaying the balls that won her the role of Mary Beth in Cagney & Lacey, and made her name. Eastwood continued to build Callahan with every performance, giving him even more disaffected integrity to offset the slaughter, and building on Don Siegel’s original work of a complex cop coming to terms with modern justice.
- James Fargo
- Writers: Stirling Silliphant, Dean Riesner (from a story by Gail Morgan Hickman and S.W. Schurr)
Music: Jerry Fielding
Cinematography: Richard Glouner
Producer: Robert Daley
- Year of Release: 1976
- Country: USA | Warner Bros.
- Language: English
- Runtime: 96 minutes
- Budget: $9,000,000