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Enforcer, The (1976, Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly)

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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 and 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.

production details
US | Warner | 96 minutes | 1976

Director: James Fargo
Script: Stirling Silliphant, Dean Riesner,

cast
Clint Eastwood as Insp. Harry Callahan
Tyne Daly as Insp. Kate Moore
Harry Guardino as Lt. Al Bressler
Bradford Dillman as Captain McKay
John Mitchum as DiGiorgio
DeVeren Bookwalter as Bobby Maxwell
John Crawford as The Mayor
Samantha Doane as Wanda
Robert F. Hoy as Buchinski
Jocelyn Jones as Miki
M.G. Kelly as Father John
Nick Pellegrino as Martin
Albert Popwell as Mustapha
Rudy Ramos as Mendez
Bill Ackridge as Andy

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