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Dirty Harry, Drama - Police

Dirty Harry 4: Sudden Impact (1983)


Duration 1h 57m Rating (UK) 18
Source of story An original screenplay using the characters from the other Dirty Harry outings
Director Clint Eastwood
Writers/Script Joseph Stinson, Dean Riesner (Story Earl E. Smith, Charles B. Pierce)
Starring Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Pat Hingle, Bradford Dillman, Albert Popwell,

Elevator Pitch: Harry Callahan is sent to beachfront town of San Paulo to keep him out of the way after some unsettling events in San Francisco, including him causing the heart attack of a mafia boss, making him a target for the man’s henchmen. Meanwhile artist Jennifer Spencer is dispatching the men who raped her and her sister ten years before in the town by shooting them in the balls and, despite opposition by the local police chief, Harry is on the case . He inevitably meets Jennifer and begins to suspect her of being the vigilante.

Content: There is one event of female nudity probably to get the R rating. The rape scene is noisy but not graphic and there is some implied consensual sex. Some smoking and drinking. Harry dispatches a group of robbers holding diners hostage. He falls out with a judge over his arrest technique and causes the death of the mafia boss by threatening him at his daughter’s wedding. There are one or two car chases. He is pursued by a variety of gangsters with whom he exchanges gunfire, in the finale with the .44 Magnum Automatic.

A View: The almost continuous battles between Harry and the bad guys is, in the end, just a bit wearing. There are three groups after him, some young men one of whom he had arrested, the henchmen of the mafia boss who died, and the low lives involved in the rape.  Some of them are virtually cartoon characters, which seems to me to be a failure on the part of the director. What was he thinking?  And even though I am a fan I don’t really go for Eastwood’s habit of including his current girfriend in his films. So in my view, by far the worst of the Dirty Harry franchise. Watch the others first.

Additional Info:   The town of San Paulo is played by Santa Cruz, California, apparently the location of over 300 movies – most recently “Us”.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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