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“Dirty Harry” 50th Anniversary (retro article)

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  • “Dirty Harry” 50th Anniversary (retro article)

    Feeling Lucky? Remembering “Dirty Harry” On Its 50th Anniversary

    Originally posted by Digital Bits/Michael Coate


    By Michael Coate

    If you are the rare person who has never seen a Clint Eastwood film and wonder what all the fuss is about, Dirty Harry would be a good place to start. — Patrick McGilligan, author of Clint: The Life and Legend

    The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Dirty Harry, the popular action-thriller about San Francisco Police Department Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan and his quest to apprehend a psychopath. Starring Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) in the titular role, the film was inspired by the Zodiac Killer case and spawned a series of Dirty Harry films.

    Directed by Don Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Escape from Alcatraz), the film also starred Andy Robinson (Hellraiser, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Harry Guardino (Pork Chop Hill, Rollercoaster), Reni Santoni (Bad Boys, Cobra), and John Vernon (The Outlaw Josey Wales, Animal House).

    In 2012 the Library of Congress selected Dirty Harry for preservation in the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Its most recent home media release (on Blu-ray Disc) was in 2008 and 2010. (Hey, Warner Bros., how ‘bout a 4K UHD??!!)

    For the occasion of the film’s anniversary, The Bits features a multi-page article consisting of a Q&A with a trio of film historians who reflect on the film, box-office data and statistics that place the film’s performance in context, passages from film reviews, and a reference listing of its initial theatrical presentations.


    0 = Number of Academy Award nominations
    1 = Box-office rank among films directed by Don Siegel (adjusted for inflation)
    1 = Box-office rank among films in the Dirty Harry series (adjusted for inflation)
    2 = Box-office rank among films starring Clint Eastwood (adjusted for inflation)
    5 = Rank among top-earning films released in 1971 (lifetime/retroactive)
    5 = Rank among top-earning films during the 1972 calendar year
    5 = Rank among Warner Bros.’ all-time top-earning films at close of first run
    17 = Rank on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes & Villains
    18 = Number of weeks the longest-running engagement played
    41 = Rank on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Thrills
    48 = Peak all-time box-office chart position
    321 = Number of cinemas playing the film during its opening week

    $4.0 million = Production cost
    $16.0 million = Domestic box-office rental (earnings through 12/31/1972)
    $16.4 million = Domestic box-office rental (earnings through 12/31/1973)
    $16.5 million = Domestic box-office rental (earnings through 12/31/1974)
    $17.5 million = Domestic box-office rental (earnings through 12/31/1975)
    $17.8 million = Domestic box-office rental (earnings through 12/31/1976)
    $27.5 million = Production cost (adjusted for inflation)
    $36.0 million = Box-office gross
    $116.4 million = Box-office rental (adjusted for inflation)
    $240.0 million = Box-office gross (adjusted for inflation)


    Dirty Harry is a film I wish I could have liked more, since it was made in San Francisco by Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood, who show the city at its ravishing best. They also provided employment for a great many local actors. Heaven knows, they need it. And it’s nice to see old friends in what will no doubt be a popular movie. But improbability plagues Dirty Harry. An intriguing but rocky police thriller, it tends to frustrate the viewer with gaps and loopholes that irrevocably undermine the tough, violent story about a San Francisco plainclothesman in pursuit of a psychopathic killer.” — Stanley Eichelbaum, San Francisco Examiner

    Dirty Harry is a good deal more than dirty. The latest Clint Eastwood film is a despicable, degenerate and disgusting example of movie violence-pornography at its very worst, the kind of picture that frightens me because it seems to have an audience and because these people are running loose on the street, drooling over the kind of cruelty, sadism and viciousness that permeates the Dirty Harry style of film.” — John Huddy, The Miami Herald

    “Eastwood gives his surly, impulsive cop a likable aura. His acting style remains understated and his lines remain terse. Sometimes he smiles so warmly at a line that he seems about ready to break into a chuckle. (One of the picture’s little jokes, by the way, is an almost subliminal plug for Eastwood’s Play Misty for Me.)” — Dennis Stack, The Kansas City Star

    Dirty Harry is one of those tough-cop thrillers that stars its location, this time the city of San Francisco, rather than the actors. In these movies one always gets the feeling that the producers said, ‘We’ve got these great locations, now let’s build a movie around them.’” — George McKinnon, The Boston Globe

    “Excellent action movie, but miserable polemic.” — John W. Wilson, Houston Chronicle

    Dirty Harry is as engrossing as it is disturbing. It is a bluntly violent, very well-made suspense thriller that advantageously teams Clint Eastwood in the title role with director Don Siegel for the fourth time.” — Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

    Dirty Harry is an almost-successful, gory, blood-and-guts-filled and more than gratuitously violent film. It should be a first-rate film, because it’s the kind of screen situation in which Clint Eastwood is the most competent, and the kind of subject matter that director Don Siegel is expert at putting together. Yet, Dirty Harry is not an effective movie. The script has more loose ends than Penelope’s tapestry. Siegel’s direction unexplainably counterpoints the hit-and-run action with a general pace for the film that one could only call somnambulistic.” — John Weisman, Detroit Free Press

    Dirty Harry fails in simple credibility so often and on so many levels that it cannot even succeed (as I think it wants to succeed) as a study in perversely complimentary psychosis. What does succeed, and what makes Dirty Harry worth watching no matter how dumb the story, is Siegel’s superb sense of the city, not as a place of moods but as a theater for action. There is a certain difficult integrity to his San Francisco, which is not so beautiful to look at, but is fantastically intricate and intriguing—a challenging menace of towers and battlements and improbable walls.” — Roger Greenspun, The New York Times

    Dirty Harry, an incompetently biased new crime melodrama pits a supposedly hard-as-nails San Francisco cop, played by Clint Eastwood with an occasional curl of the upper lip, which suggests a ‘snarling’ expression of sorts, against a mad sniper-kidnapper-extortionist, played by Andy Robinson in the crackling psycho tradition made de rigueur by Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death. ” — Gary Arnold, The Washington Post

    “It used to be said that nothing would ever take the place of sex. That was before dirty movies bored everyone insensible with the subject. Now a substitute has been found in sado-masochism, which is a fashionable enough taste to have become known simply as S-M. There isn’t one sex scene in Dirty Harry. It’s S-M all the way. Pain is inflicted and received with a depraved relish that makes almost any tired old skin flick look positively healthy.” — William B. Collins, The Philadelphia Inquirer

    “The problem with the movie is that director Don Siegel has chosen to load it down with some very simple-minded propagandizing about law and order and the rights of society as opposed to the rights of the accused. A Siegel has it, the tough cop is the answer to society’s ills. The mayor and district attorney of the film are portrayed as so obsessed with constitutional niceties that they cannot see the forest for the trees. In the script they get all the dumb lines and Harry gets all the clever ones. The result is an insultingly simplistic treatment of the very complex problem of crime and justice in America.” — Howell Raines, The Atlanta Constitution

    “Eastwood in the past has had trouble with underplaying so deeply that he is in danger of dozing off. The exigencies of the story of Dirty Harry, in which he is almost constantly running, make him avoid this danger.” — Emerson Batdorff, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

    Dirty Harry begins as a straight, albeit compelling, police thriller. However, after one hour of perhaps a dozen gripping action scenes, Dirty Harry takes a right-wing turn after a false ending and becomes the most controversial motion picture of the year.” — Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

    “I think films are more often a mirror of society than an agent of change, and that when we blame the movies for the evils around us we are getting things backward. Dirty Harry is very effective at the level of a thriller. At another level, it uses the most potent star presence in American movies—Clint Eastwood—to lay things on the line. If there aren’t mentalities like Dirty Harry’s at loose in the land, then the movie is irrelevant. If there are, we should not blame the bearer of bad news.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

    “[I]t’s a realistic picture of what one given man—a no-nonsense detective—might do when confronted with a homicidal maniac. And, Eastwood is just right for the part. He has the physicality, the bearing, the cool-eyed determination to make Harry both a believable empathic man. Even though you know he’s playing ‘way beyond the rules,’ you keep rooting for him to win.” — John Neville, The Dallas Morning News

    Dirty Harry is a vigorously tough cop melodrama that comes across like Bullitt might have if it had been written by Mickey Spillane.” — Ted Mahar, The Oregonian (Portland)

    “You can get into a lot of psychological things about Dirty Harry. The tangle between law interpretation and law enforcement that lies just under the surface of the plot; the elements of emerging violence that scar our society; that plight of an idealistic man caught in the thralls of a sluggish and even cowed bureaucracy. Or you can dig it as a thriller. It functions well on any of those levels.” — Tom McElfresh, The Cincinnati Enquirer

    “You could drive a truck through the plotholes in Dirty Harry, which wouldn’t be so serious were the film not a specious, phony glorification of police and criminal brutality. Clint Eastwood, in the title role, is a superhero whose antics become almost satire. Strip away the philosophical garbage and all that’s left is a well-made but shallow running-and-jumping meller…. Bruce Surtees directed the excellent cinematography, and Lalo Schifrin’s modernistic score is very effective, underscoring the film’s suggestion that it is an updated, freaked-out Peter Gunn episode.” — A.D. Murphy, Variety

    “As the psycho, Robinson is fairly hysterical. He is a stage actor who has not yet learned how persuasive underplaying is on the screen.” — Paine Kickerbocker, San Francisco Chronicle

    “Movies can make Fascists of us all, and Dirty Harry does a particularly slick and thorough job of it. In retrospect, it’s difficult to fault the picture on anything but its point of view. Siegel makes his points more effectively than many directors of gentler films. He stacks the deck against the idea of civil liberties but he does it so well that his argument appears airtight.” — John Hartl, The Seattle Times

    “Siegel has a flare for rough-tough metropolitan films. This is no exception, continuing the San Francisco chase tradition which reached its high point in Bullitt.” — James Meade, The San Diego Union

    “It’s a brutal crime melodrama which tries to have it both ways. It’s a law-and-order movie which is also pro-violence. Amazingly, the film’s makers don’t seem to see any contradiction in that.” — George Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Dirty Harry is a slam-bang, highly exciting action film. It also offers some strong criticism of the niceties of legalisms that permit a killer to go free to kill other innocent victims.” — Myles Standish, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    “If you go along with the movie—and it’s hard to resist, because the most skillful suspense techniques are used on very primitive emotional levels—you have but one desire: to see the maniac get it so it hurts. The movie lacks the zing and brute vitality of The French Connection, but it has such sustained drive toward this righteous conclusion that it is an almost perfect piece of propaganda for para-legal police power. The evil monster represents urban violence, and the audience gets to see him kicked and knifed and shot, and finally triumphantly drowned. Violence has rarely been presented with such righteous relish.” — Pauline Kael, The New Yorker


    What follows is a reference listing of Dirty Harry‘s openings in the United States and Canada. The emphasis in this work is on the film’s initial week of release and is designed to provide a sense of the film’s rollout which, in this instance, was an early-1970s model of a nationwide saturation release. (If you think this sort of distribution model began with Jaws, think again!)

    The theatrical presentations of Dirty Harry were in 35mm anamorphic (2.39:1 aspect ratio) with monaural audio.

    Co-Feature Legend:

    BCH = The Ballad of Cable Hogue
    CHL = Cool Hand Luke
    DF = The Delta Factor
    GC = Get Carter
    HLH = The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
    LSJD = Let’s Scare Jessica to Death
    MW = Man in the Wilderness (opening day only)
    OM = The Omega Man
    PW = The Priest’s Wife
    RW = Ride in the Whirlwind
    THX = THX 1138
    TWACM = There Was a Crooked Man
    WDRTE = When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
    WB = The Wild Bunch
    WEBT = When Eight Bells Toll

    World premiere on Tuesday, December 21st, 1971:

    San Francisco — Loew’s*

    *The premiere of Dirty Harry was dramatized in David Fincher’s Zodiac (2007) but inexplicably depicted as having taken place at the Northpoint at Bay and Powell rather than at the Loew’s on Market Street.

    Opened Wednesday, December 22nd, 1971:

    Huntington Beach — Huntington [w/ DF]
    Los Angeles — Hollywood Loew’s
    Orange — Orange 1 Drive-In [w/ DF]
    San Francisco — Cinema 21
    San Francisco — Loew’s [w/ GC]
    San Francisco — Mission Drive-In [w/ OM]

    New York — Orpheum
    New York — State 2

    Opened Saturday, December 25th, 1971:

    Birmingham — 5 Points West
    Huntsville — Martin
    Mobile — Loop
    Montgomery — Paramount
    Tuscaloosa — Bama

    Calgary — Palliser Square 1
    Edmonton — Paramount

    Glendale — Thunderbird Drive-In [w/ LSJD]
    Phoenix — Bethany
    Tucson — Catalina

    Fort Smith — Phoenix Village 1
    Little Rock — Arkansas

    Vancouver — Capitol
    Victoria — Royal

    Alameda — Showcase I [w/ WB]
    Bakersfield — Nile
    Belmont — Starlite Auto Movie [w/ OM]
    Berkeley — United Artists [w/ OM]
    Campbell — Pruneyard 1 [w/ OM]
    Carmichael — Cinema 150 [w/ OM]
    Carmichael — Westerner Auto Movie [w/ OM]
    Chico — El Rey
    Concord — Capri
    Concord — Solano 2 Drive-In [w/ OM]
    Dublin — San Ramon II Auto Movie II [w/ OM]
    Fremont — Showcase II
    Fresno — UA Cinemas 3
    Goleta — Fairview
    Livermore — Vine [w/ OM]
    Menlo Park — Guild
    Millbrae — Millbrae [w/ OM]
    Monterey — Steinbeck
    Oakland — Airport 1 Auto Movie [w/ OM]
    Oakland — Roxie [w/ OM]
    Palm Springs — Camelot II
    Sacramento — Encore [w/ OM]
    Sacramento — Southgate Auto Movie [w/ OM]
    Salinas — El Rey [w/ OM]
    Salinas — Salinas 1 Drive-In [w/ OM]
    San Anselmo — Tamalpais
    San Carlos — Carlos [w/ OM]
    San Diego — Campus Drive-In [w/ OM]
    San Diego — Spreckels [w/ OM]
    San Jose — Century Almaden 4 [w/ OM]
    San Jose — El Rancho Drive-In [w/ OM]
    San Lorenzo — Lorenzo [w/ OM]
    Santa Clara — Moonlite Auto Movie [w/ OM]
    Santa Cruz — Cinema 1
    Sunnyvale — Hacienda [w/ WEBT]
    Union City — Union City 1 Drive-In [w/ OM]
    Vallejo — Crescent Auto Movie [w/ OM]
    Visalia — Visalia
    Walnut Creek — Festival 4
    Yuba City — Sutter

    Colorado Springs — Cinema 70
    Denver — Paramount
    Fort Collins — Campus West
    Greeley — Cooper Twin 2
    Pueblo — Chief

    Brookfield — Fine Arts
    East Hartford — Eastwood 1
    Groton — United Artists
    Norwalk — Norwalk
    Wethersfield — Cine Webb

    Newark — King
    Wilmington — Prices Corner Drive-In [w/ CHL]
    Wilmington — Warner

    Washington — Palace

    Clearwater — Trans-Lux
    Coral Gables — Gables
    Deerfield Beach — Gold Coast Drive-In [w/ WB]
    Fort Lauderdale — Coral Ridge
    Fort Myers — Arcade
    Gainesville — Center Twin 1
    Hollywood — Florida 2
    Jacksonville — Center
    Jacksonville — Normandy Twin Gold
    North Miami Beach — Sunny Isles 1
    Orlando — Beacham
    Pensacola — Saenger
    St. Petersburg — Plaza 1
    South Miami — Suniland 1
    Tampa — Horizon Park 4
    Tampa — Twin Bays 4

    Athens — Palace Two
    Atlanta — Lakewood
    Atlanta — Rhodes
    Augusta — Imperial
    College Park — National 1
    Columbus — Bradley
    Decatur — North Dekalb
    Macon — Cinema II
    Macon — Weis Drive-In [w/ HLH]
    Marietta — Town & Country
    Savannah — Cinema II

    Honolulu — Kuhio

    Bloomington — Irvin
    Carbondale — Varsity
    Champaign — Co-Ed II
    Chicago — Loop
    Decatur — Northgate Mall 1
    Galesburg — Carrols Twin II
    Kankakee — Paramount
    La Salle — Majestic
    Milan — Showcase 1
    Peoria — Rialto
    Rockford — Times
    Sterling — State

    Anderson — State
    Evansville — Victory
    Fort Wayne — Southtown Mall II
    Lafayette — Lafayette
    Indianapolis — Glendale IV
    Indianapolis — Regency 1
    Muncie — Delaware
    Terre Haute — Honey Creek Square 1

    Cedar Rapids — Stage 1
    Cedar Rapids — Stage 4
    Des Moines — Fleur 1
    Des Moines — Fleur 2
    Sioux City — Riviera I
    Waterloo — Crossroads I

    Overland Park — Ranch Mart 1
    Topeka — Gage 3
    Topeka — Gage 4

    Ashland — Midtown 2
    Bowling Green — State
    Lexington — Turfland Mall
    Louisville — Showcase 1
    Owensboro — Lincoln Mall Twin 1

    Baton Rouge — Hart
    Lafayette — Cinema Center 2
    Lake Charles — Paramount
    Monroe — Plaza
    New Orleans — Saenger
    Shreveport — Strand

    Portland — Paris
    Waterville — Cinema Center 3

    Winnipeg — Capitol

    Baltimore — Liberty II
    Baltimore — Northwood
    Baltimore — Patterson
    Baltimore — Town
    Greenbelt — Beltway Plaza
    La Vale — Center
    Potomac — Seven Locks I
    Silver Spring — Flower Ave. Playhouse
    Wheaton — Aspen Hill 2

    Boston — Savoy II
    Brockton — Westgate Mall III
    Chelmsford — Route 3 Cinema City 4
    Fall River — Cinema I
    Leominster — Searstown 1
    New Bedford — North Dartmouth Mall III
    Pittsfield — Capitol
    West Springfield — Showcase 5
    Worcester — Webster Square 1

    Bloomfield Hills — Showcase II
    Detroit — Palms
    Farmington Hills — Old Orchard 2
    Flint — Genesee Valley Twin Red 1
    Garden City — La Parisien
    Grand Rapids — Alpine Twin 1
    Harper Woods — Eastland
    Kalamazoo — Capitol
    Lansing — Gladmer
    Oak Park — Towne 2
    Port Huron — Huron
    Saginaw — Franklin
    Taylor — Southland 1

    Duluth — Norshor
    Minneapolis — Gopher
    Rochester — Oakview
    St. Paul — Strand

    Gulfport — Paramount
    Hattiesburg — Saenger
    Jackson — DeVille

    Columbia — Campus Twin 1
    Columbia — Campus Twin 2
    Kansas City — Empire 1
    Richmond Heights — Esquire 1
    St. Joseph — Fox East Hills
    Springfield — Gillioz

    Great Falls — Fox Holiday

    Lincoln — Cinema 1
    Omaha — Cooper 70

    Las Vegas — El Portal
    Reno — Crest

    Manchester — King
    Nashua — State
    Portsmouth — Civic

    Princeton — Garden
    Trenton — Lincoln

    Amherst — Boulevard Mall II
    Binghamton — Binghamton Plaza 2
    Buffalo — Backstage
    Elmira — Colonial
    Lockport — Mall 2
    New Hartford — Paris
    Niagara Falls — Four Seasons II
    Niskayuna — Mohawk Mall 1
    Rochester — Regent
    Syracuse — Westhill

    Asheville — Plaza II
    Charlotte — Southpark I
    Durham — Center II
    Fayetteville — Colony
    Gastonia — Gaston Mall
    Greensboro — Cinema
    High Point — Center
    Raleigh — Ambassador

    Fargo — Lark

    Akron — Chapel Hill II
    Avon Lake — Avon Lake
    Boardman — Southern Park
    Cincinnati — Grand
    Cleveland — Euclid Ave. Drive-In [w/ WDRTE]
    Cleveland — Memphis Drive-In [w/ WDRTE]
    Cleveland Heights — Center-Mayfield
    Columbus — Arlington
    Cuyahoga Heights — Canal Road Drive-In [w/ TWACM]
    Dayton — Dabel
    Euclid — Shore
    Maple Heights — Southgate II
    North Ridgeville — Aut-O-Rama Drive-In [w/ PW]
    Parma — Parmatown II
    Rocky River — Westgate II
    Rocky River — Westgate IV
    Steubenville — Grand
    Toledo — Franklin Park 4
    Warrensville Heights — East Side Drive-In [w/ TWACM]
    Whitehall — Town & Country

    Lawton — Showcase
    Oklahoma City — Centre
    Tulsa — Boman Twin East

    Ottawa — Place De Ville 1

    Portland — 104th Street Drive-In [w/ THX]
    Portland — Paramount

    Altoona — Capitol
    Erie — Cinema-18
    Harrisburg — Colonial
    Lancaster — RKO Twin 1
    Levittown — Fox
    New Castle — Cinema
    Philadelphia — Fox [w/ MW]
    Pittsburgh — Fiesta
    Reading — Fox North
    Washington — Penn

    Montreal — Loew’s

    East Providence — Four Seasons I
    Warwick —Warwick Mall II

    Charleston — Gloria
    Columbia — Palmetto
    Greenville — Astro II

    Sioux Falls — West Mall

    Chattanooga — Martin
    Jackson — Malco
    Kingsport — State
    Memphis — Malco
    Nashville — Paramount

    Arlington — Six Flags Mall II
    Austin — State
    Beaumont — Liberty
    Big Spring — Cinema
    Corpus Christi — Deux Cine II
    Dallas — Astro 1 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Dallas — Capri 1
    Dallas — Casa Linda
    Dallas — Gemini 1 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Dallas — Preston Royal
    Denton — Campus
    El Paso — Cinema Park 2 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    El Paso — State
    Fort Worth — Hollywood
    Galveston — State
    Garland — Apollo 1 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Grand Prairie — Century 1 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Houston — Gulf-Way Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Houston — McLendon 3 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Houston — Metropolitan
    Houston — Post Oak 1 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Houston — Shepherd Drive-In [w/ CHL]
    Houston — Town & Country 6
    Irving — Chateau
    La Marque — Bayou 1 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Lubbock — Fox Twin 2
    Plano — Plano 1 Drive-In [w/ RW]
    Port Arthur — Park Plaza II
    San Angelo — Parkway
    San Antonio — Aztec 1
    San Antonio — Laurel
    Waco — 25th Street
    Wichita Falls — Strand

    Salt Lake City — Utah

    South Burlington — Plaza I

    Fairfax — Turnpike
    Lynchburg — Boonsboro
    Norfolk — Loew’s
    Richmond — Colonial

    Olympia — State [w/ BCH]
    Seattle — Town
    Spokane — State
    Tacoma — Narrows

    Charleston — Virginian
    Huntington — Camelot
    Wheeling — Victoria

    Eau Claire — Cinema 1
    Green Bay — Stadium 2
    Kenosha — Roosevelt
    Madison — East Towne Mall II
    Milwaukee — Wisconsin 1
    Racine — Westgate I
    Superior — Palace

    The engagements cited above represent only a fraction of the film’s bookings. Not cited in this work are the subsequent-wave bookings (i.e. larger cities inexplicably absent from the film’s initial launch, smaller markets, lower-population locales, expansion waves in larger markets, second-run, etc.) that commenced during the weeks and months that followed the initial rollout. Re-issues and international bookings have also not been cited. What you also will not find in the listing are any entries for December 23rd or 24th (1971), two dates numerous sources erroneously claim was the film’s U.S. release date.

    Note that in some cases a co-feature was added, dropped or changed during holdover week(s) or during late-night weekend screenings.

    THE Q&A

    Gary Leva is the director and producer of the Clint Eastwood: A Cinematic Legacydocumentary series (2021). He has directed and produced numerous other documentaries including Fog City Mavericks: The Filmmakers of San Francisco(2007) and value-added material for home media releases including Dirty Harry, Apollo 13, Sully, Singin’ in the Rain, THX 1138, and many others. Gary was previously interviewed for this column’s retrospectives on THX 1138 and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Patrick McGilligan is the author of Clint: The Life and Legend (St. Martins, 2002). He has authored over ten books, including Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light(Harper Collins, 1994), Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast (St. Martins, 1997), Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane (Harper Collins, 2015), and Funny Man: Mel Brooks (Harper Collins, 2019). Patrick was previously interviewed for this column’s retrospective on Citizen Kane.

    Lee Pfeiffer is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Retro magazine (“The Essential Guide to Movies of the ’60s & ’70s”). He has written numerous books including The Films of Clint Eastwood (with Boris Zmijewsky; Citadel, 1993), The Essential Bond: The Authorized Guide to the World of 007 (with Dave Worrall; Boxtree, 1998/Harper Collins, 1999), and The Incredible World of 007: An Authorized Celebration of James Bond (with Philip Lisa; Citadel, 1992). Lee has been interviewed numerous times for this column’s retrospectives, including for Shaft, Smokey and the Bandit, and numerous James Bond movies.

    The interviews were conducted separately and edited into a “roundtable” conversation format.

    Michael Coate (The Digital Bits): How do you think Dirty Harry ought to be remembered on its 50th anniversary?

    Gary Leva: What stands out to me about Dirty Harry is its sense of humor and irreverence. So many cop movies before it were glum, joyless exercises. Though there’s a lot of violence and even moments of absolute terror in it—particularly the sequence with the kids on the bus—Siegel manages to bring a sense of fun to it, almost a feeling of adventure, despite the dark subject matter.

    Patrick McGilligan: Dirty Harry is the film that cemented Clint's iconic tough-guy persona and enabled Life magazine to put him on its cover with this headline, "The World's Favorite Movie Star is—No Kidding—Clint Eastwood." The Spaghetti Westerns already had made Clint a star in Europe, but Dirty Harry made him a big star in America, a position he has held—with regular Top Ten box-office hits—for over fifty years now. Its story and characters attuned to the times, its controversial politique, Clint's central performance (and one of the most villainous villains he'd ever face on the screen), gave the film an unprecedented (for Clint) popularity with audiences, and was not only a must-see at the time, it remains a must-see today as one of his best films, one of the best American films of the early 1970s, and an influential film in terms of others in the culture (others with Clint and imitators and emulators) that followed. It also remains controversial for its repudiation of legalities and its endorsement of vigilante justice.

    Lee Pfeiffer: The film was one of a number of crime dramas that perfectly captured the mood of the nation at that particular point in time. America was coming out of the contentious period of the mid-to-late 1960s when the nation seemed to be falling apart due to a variety of factors. The Vietnam War was still raging and was more controversial than ever. Race riots had scarred major cities over the last few years. The country was still trying to cope with the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. The Democratic party was in meltdown and their Chicago convention devolved into violent chaos in the streets, leading the political resurrection of Richard Nixon. It was a pretty awful time despite the fact that many people tend to romanticize the era due to the great aspects of popular culture that had emerged. The nation’s big cities were awash with crime and the general feeling was that the judicial system had failed and the police were compromised by ineffective policies and laws. Dirty Harry played to those sentiments. I would also include Taxi Driver and Death Wish as equally relevant examples. These films dealt with vigilantes, albeit in a different manner. Taxi Driver presented a would-be villain who, through a quirk of fate, happened to kill the right people and emerge as a local hero. But Dirty Harry and Death Wish celebrated protagonists who took the law into their own hands to go after overt villains. One of the ad campaigns designed by the late, great Bill Gold, who would go on to create the posters for most subsequent Eastwood films, captured the scenario perfectly with this tag line: “Dirty Harry and the homicidal maniac. Harry’s the one with the badge.” The movie resonated with audiences in a way that I doubt even the Warner Bros. brass would have imagined.

    The Digital Bits: What was your first impression of the film?

    Pfeiffer: I don’t know why men always seem to remember exactly where they saw certain films, but it seems to be the case with my generation. I saw it in my hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey, just a stone’s throw across the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan. The Loew’s was an opulent, former movie palace and a great place to see movies. I was enthused about seeing Dirty Harry because I had been an Eastwood buff since seeing Fistful of Dollars when it was released in America in 1967. I had never seen a hero like Eastwood…he was the ultimate antihero, a rougher version of my idol John Wayne. The TV spots and trailers for Dirty Harry had built up expectations and the film delivered. I would see it multiple times during its first run.

    Leva: I was a kid when the film came out in 1971, so I couldn’t get into an R-rated movie. I must have seen it years later, probably on television. I remember being struck by the film’s energy, its forward movement, driven by a character bent on finding justice for someone he’d never even met.

    McGilligan: I saw the film while in college at the University of Wisconsin in Madison at the time of its release, and I was on the fringe of a left-wing group of mostly East Coast sophisticates that worked to put out a film journal called The Velvet Light Trap. One of these sophisticates, a writer named Anthony Chase who went on to become a law professor and legal writer, dissected the film in a famous essay attacking its fascistic qualities—namely, the scorn for lawyers, judges, government officials and law professors; Harry taking the law into his own hands and "executing" Scorpio, etc. I agreed and still agree with Tony Chase, who later wrote a book about this and other films called Movies on Trial: The Legal System on the Silver Screen. (Pauline Kael dismantled Dirty Harry on much the same grounds, while also attacking Clint's narcissism.) But part of Dirty Harry's enduring strength is that, despite all this and also in part because of this, the film is exciting to watch and superbly well-made.

    The Digital Bits: In what way is Dirty Harry a significant motion picture?

    McGilligan: The film is significant historically and politically because of all the societal issues it contextualizes, some of which are still current—Dirty Harry as a symbol of a certain law-and-order mindset, for example—but also it can be seen, more narrowly in terms of American film history, as an important work for launching Clint's career and persona (along with the Leone films) and for normalizing the kind of violence, nudity, and themes in the American cinema that are taken for granted nowadays but were still fresh in the early 1970s. Also, it gave rise to a whole sub-genre of filmmaking with police or victims avenging crimes regardless of the law—Death Wish, etc.

    Pfeiffer: For the reasons previously stated, the film went beyond being a popular success. It touched a nerve in society and generated a lot of controversy, with some critics calling it an approval of fascism. It would be an exaggeration to say that movie started the rogue cop genre. One can go back three years earlier to Steve McQueen in Bullitt and then William Friedkin’s The French Connection, released a couple of months before Dirty Harry, as having that designation. But Dirty Harry carried the genre to new highs, or lows, depending upon your point-of-view. It played to populist notions, as films of this type must do. There are no nuances when it comes to the bad guys. That’s important if you are going to get audience members cheer a protagonist who intentionally violates suspect’s constitutional rights. The villains have to be pure scumbags with no redeemable qualities. The scenario has to be laid out in relatively simplistic terms: the bad guy is irredeemable, the victims are pure and innocent and the hero only breaks the rules because “the system” has tied his hands. The film presents one of cinema’s most memorable psychopathic villains, Scorpio. He’s chillingly played by Andrew Robinson in a performance that deserved an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actor.

    Leva: I think the film’s long-lasting significance is its influence on the cop film genre. The character of Dirty Harry had attitude, and the hundreds of cop films released in the 50 years since reflect this element to one extent or another. Certainly, without Dirty Harry, there is no Lethal Weapon. And that’s true of so many other films as well.

    Pfeiffer: Dirty Harry, and most especially Death Wish, inspired a slew of similarly-themed copycat movies and TV productions that emulated the oppressed good guy having to seek justice on his own terms. It’s doubtful the film could be made today. Rogue cops are no longer in style but, viewed through a retroactive lens, the movie has a timeless quality. I should mention that much of the credit must go to the screenwriters, Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink and Dean Riesner. They knew the mindset of the audience during this era of populist cinema and their script hits all the right notes.

    The Digital Bits: In what way was Don Siegel an ideal choice to direct?

    Leva: Don Siegel’s simplicity and efficiency in storytelling, coupled with his signature sense of forward momentum, meshed nicely with the script and Eastwood’s performance. There’s a no-nonsense quality to Siegel’s work that certainly characterizes Clint’s performance as well. There aren’t a lot of artsy shots or fancy angles. It may be the perfect synthesis of Siegel’s directing gifts and Eastwood’s talents as a screen actor.

    McGilligan: The main reason why Don Siegel was the perfect choice to direct the film was his previous track record with Clint—several films with an interesting range but among them a cop film (Coogan’s Bluff) that was a Harry-forerunner. Siegel was long considered an action director who could bring a thoughtful or thematic dimension to his work, sometimes a B director but with a stylish A atmosphere and performances. He had a close relationship with Clint dating back years, Clint trusted him, and Clint took his own quick and lean directing approach partly from Siegel, who has a cameo in Play Misty for Me, Clint's first directorial effort, which he made around the same time as Dirty Harry(and in the same northern California vicinity). Siegel's team, which included the finishing writer on Dirty Harry, followed him from film to film, and Clint borrowed some of these same people when he moved into directing. Arguably, Siegel's Dirty Harry film was better than any of Clint's many follow-ups, but inarguably Siegel set the template. Also arguably, Clint was a better actor under another director besides himself, and he was never better than in Dirty Harry.

    Pfeiffer: Siegel was one of those directors who was respected as being talented and reliable but never received effusive praise. He had generally been assigned to low-budget films and his talents, like those of so many of his peers, were regarded as workmanlike. However, he would see his reputation rise as a new generation of movie fans appreciated his direction of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which by the 1970s, would be regarded as the classic it is. Eastwood and Siegel first collaborated unexpectedly. Alex Segal had been hired to direct Eastwood’s 1968 crime thriller Coogan’s Bluff but he became unavailable for some reason. The studio told Eastwood that Don Siegel would take over, leaving Eastwood to gripe that Universal didn’t seem to have anyone without that surname available to do the film. But he and Siegel hit it off immediately. Eastwood was already eager to move into directing and he had learned a great deal from Sergio Leone. Now, Siegel would become even more influential. He worked on a fast schedule, shooting rapidly and trying to get each scene on the first take. He expected the same of his cast and crew. That appealed to Eastwood. He and Siegel would collaborate again in short order on Two Mules for Sister Sara and an underrated gem, The Beguiled before teaming for Dirty Harry. Prior to Harry, Eastwood made his directorial debut with the thriller Play Misty for Me which had been released earlier in the year. By this point, Siegel had been like a father figure and mentor to him. To bolster his confidence, Eastwood wanted to have Siegel on the set, so he hired him for a supporting role. Siegel proved to be a very good actor, too. Unfortunately, after Dirty Harry, the two men would only collaborate one more time—for the 1979 crime film Escape from Alcatraz, probably because Eastwood quickly became comfortable directing most of his own movies. Don Siegel died in 1991 but he lived long enough to see his work and reputation re-evaluated in a very positive light.

    The Digital Bits: Which are the film’s standout scenes?

    Pfeiffer: There are many. Probably the most famous is where Harry first places his .44 Magnum in the face of a wounded bank robber and asks him the question “Do I feel lucky?” before clicking the weapon in a bizarre game of Russian Roulette. Then there’s Harry’s leap atop the hijacked school bus. However, my favorite scene follows the scenario in which Scorpio wants to frame Harry for police brutality so he hires another bad guy to beat his face to a bloody pulp. When Harry is confronted with the accusation, he says anyone can tell he wasn’t responsible for Scorpio’s appearance “because he looks too damned good.

    Leva: I love the first action sequence where Harry stops the robbery and says “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” The iconography of it is right out of a Western. I love the shot of Albert Popwell’s hand twitching next to his rifle with the shadow of the .44 Magnum falling on the sidewalk. It’s shot right out of a John Ford Western. The whole standoff between them, the tense shots of their faces, the close-up of the gun… it could be the streets of Tombstone… or whatever town it was in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly…. But the best thing in the scene—and the thing that’s unique—is what follows. Harry starts to walk away and Popwell says, “I gots to know.” Harry walks back, points the Magnum at him and pulls the trigger, scaring the life out of Popwell. The gun clicks, empty. Harry laughs and walks away. I’d never seen that before. That announced to audiences that this was going to be a different kind of cop movie….

    McGilligan: The rooftop opening murder, which is eerie and disturbing, and is quickly followed by Clint/Dirty Harry investigating the scene, which shrewdly introduces him as the titular character. The Harry-is-interrupted-while-eating-a-hot-dog bank robbery in downtown San Francisco (ending with "Do ya feel lucky, punk?"). The football stadium showdown between Harry and Scorpio, which like many scenes takes place at night and is pure action cinema. The somewhat absurd climax of the film, which is nonetheless mesmerizing, beginning with Scorpio terrorizing kids inside a school bus and segueing to Clint/Harry leaping from above the highway onto the bus and then holding on to the careening bus as Scorpio, driving, tries to throw him off and crashes the bus. Any one of these scenes would be a standout in another film. All of them—and others—taken together lift Harry to greatness.

    Leva: The other sequence I love is when Zodiac takes over the school bus. It’s such an over-the-top idea to begin with. And forcing the kids to sing Row, Row, Row Your Boatduring this terrifying sequence echoes another film that came out in 1971, with Malcolm McDowell’s doing Singin’ in the Rain in A Clockwork Orange as he brutalizes a couple in their home…. And then the bus drives by a bridge and you see Harry, again echoing Western iconography, standing alone on the bridge—the lone hope for order in a world of chaos. Like Shane, or Ethan Edwards in The Searchers.

    The Digital Bits: Any thoughts on Clint’s performance in the film?

    McGilligan: Dirty Harry ranks among his five greatest performances certainly: My top five would include The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, maybe White Hunter, Black Heart with Clint as John Huston, which is a clever impersonation, and I'm not sure of the fifth. Clint typically didn't put the same demands on himself as a performer that some other directors did, in my opinion.

    Leva: I can’t imagine anyone else playing Harry as well as Clint does. I’m sure there were a few people on the list—I know Frank Sinatra was the original choice—but Clint's talents and no-nonsense style are a perfect match for Harry.

    Pfeiffer: I remember the controversial reviews and one critic had said Eastwood must have attended the Mount Rushmore Acting Academy. It’s true that prior to this, he had played largely stoic, one-dimensional characters, with the exception of The Beguiled, in which he played a rather villainous character for the first and only time and acquitted himself very well. But I could tell with Dirty Harry there were some indications he had much greater acting abilities. Like most actors, Eastwood would hone his skills over time and become a more interesting screen presence as he aged. He was nominated for Best Actor for his 1992 classic Unforgiven, which won him the Best Picture and Director Oscar. As few people had seen his fine performance in The Beguiled since it was a rare Eastwood boxoffice flop, most people would attribute his performance in Dirty Harry as being the first evidence that he was more than simply a fun action hero.

    McGilligan: Clint’s best scene? The scene where he walks down flights of steps with his partner's wife (they have just visited his partner recovering from his wounds in the hospital), in which Harry speaks movingly of his dead wife, is one of Clint's best "quiet" scenes. Both of the "Do ya feel lucky, punk?" scenes are Clint at his best—mocking himself a little the first time, which is why audiences always chuckle a little—and the second time fierce, angry, and determined to kill. Again, Siegel and the script demand a range from him as an actor in this film that is not as challenging in the sequels, or all the many other Dirty Harry-type films Clint has made.

    Pfeiffer: In the late 1970s, as I was getting ready to graduate college, I decided to write a book about Eastwood’s films. Much to my surprise, I found a publisher right away. When I submitted the manuscript, however, my editor said to me something like, “Look, we all like Clint Eastwood movies but you’re going overboard in regard to his talents.” I believed even then that Eastwood had the potential to grow as an actor and filmmaker into an artist of considerable esteem. There were a few bumps in the road, but overall, he fulfilled my expectations. But there’s no doubt that, by and large, the critical establishment was resistant to his work. It’s strange to see so many of today’s critics hail Eastwood’s work with Sergio Leone and Don Siegel as classics, when back in the day, reviewers largely dismissed these films as examples of mindless violence.

    Leva: Clint would give more moving, powerful performances later, of course, particularly in Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino and The Mule, but I think his performances in the five Dirty Harry films hold up just fine.

    Pfeiffer: Interestingly, Eastwood was not Warner Bros.’ first choice to play the role of Harry. Frank Sinatra has been signed for the film and the studio took out trade ads announcing it. However, Sinatra suffered a hand injury and had to withdraw. John Wayne was approached but he turned it down on the basis that the script would be deemed to be alienating for his core audience. He was probably right. The film would have had to have been watered down to accommodate Wayne’s concerns. Curiously, after Dirty Harrybecame a sensation, it inspired Wayne to get out of the saddle and make two detective movies of his own, McQ and Brannigan, both of which proved to be quite entertaining and popular.

    The Digital Bits: Do you believe Dirty Harry has been well represented on home video?

    Leva: Having produced the most recent special features for the Dirty Harry series in 2008, I’m the wrong one to ask! But I think they turned out well. We got a huge pool of interviews—as usual, when you call saying you’re working with Clint, no one says no. And we tried to match the style of the documentaries to the era of the films, with flashy ‘70s graphics and Lalo Schifrin-esque music. I think they hold up well.

    The Digital Bits: Gary, can you discuss your latest project?

    Leva: We produced Clint Eastwood: A Cinematic Legacy over the past couple of years—it’s a nine-part documentary series looking at different aspects of Clint's career on the 50th anniversary of his debut as a film director in 1971. It was a wonderful project to work on, with Clint’s direct cooperation and feedback, and it was thrilling for us to see it on HBO Max. If you count each episode of the new series as its own documentary, which is how we designed them, it means I’ve produced 27 documentaries on Clint’s career. I should be an expert by now!

    The Digital Bits: How do the Dirty Harry sequels compare to the original movie?

    Pfeiffer: Well, it’s similar to the original Planet of the Apes series. The first one was so good, there was nowhere to go but down. However, that doesn’t mean the sequels weren’t highly entertaining and successful. Most interesting was the first sequel, Magnum Force, directed by Ted Post, who Eastwood had worked with on Rawhide and Hang ’Em High. What makes it unique is that the script, which was written by future directors John Milius and Michael Cimino, seems to go to great lengths to reel Harry Callahan in from charges that the character was inherently fascist. This time around, it’s Harry who defends the system and the constitution by taking on a group of rogue vigilante cops. It’s the strongest of the sequels because it at least addresses a societal issue. The other sequels tended to have cookie-cutter villain types and scenes that seemed designed simply to invent a new tag line for audiences to repeat. It worked. In the case of the third sequel, Sudden Impact, Harry’s utterance of “Make my day” made it into popular culture. President Ronald Reagan even used it to humorously bait his political rivals.

    Leva: I think Magnum Force is terrific, with that John Milius script and Hal Holbrook having such a great time playing the bad guy, something he rarely got to do on screen.

    McGilligan: The sequels get progressively stupider, although they have their moments if you love the character of Dirty Harry (I don't). The second, less fascistic, is very well directed by Ted Post, all things considered, and Tyne Daly in the third does the heavy lifting as Clint's sidekick. But the ideas behind the sequels and too many Clint films can be boiled down to "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do ... with a gun," and I don't find that a very serious or intelligent lifelong theme.

    The Digital Bits: How would you describe Dirty Harry to someone who has never seen it?

    Leva: I would call Dirty Harry an urban Western about an obsessed cop hellbent on justice.

    Pfeiffer: Beyond the rather academic aspects to its merits, on the most basic level it’s highly entertaining and an example of the no-nonsense style of filmmaking that Siegel and Eastwood excelled in. No budget excesses or expensive special effects—just a good story told in a compelling manner.

    McGilligan: Dirty Harry is one of the best cop movies ever made with many touches, good and bad, which mirror that historical period of reality as well as the fictional worlds of early 70s genre moviemaking. I think the film only falls down where it posits Clint as a fantasy superhero ("I alone can fix it!"), which is said in many ways throughout the film, and especially towards the end. But most people don't care about that complaint because Scorpio is such a creep.

    The Digital Bits: What do you think is the legacy of Dirty Harry?

    Pfeiffer: The film is more than an expertly made crime thriller. It’s a sociological time capsule that can be studied in an academic sense to understand where America was at in the early 1970s.

    Leva: One of the legacies of Dirty Harry is the scores of cop movies made since that incorporate the irreverence and sense of humor that Harry Callahan brings to the film.

    McGilligan: Dirty Harry is one of Clint's definitive films in terms of its enduring popularity and its influence on his persona and the rest of his career. If you had to see one Clint Eastwood film, this might be it. If you are the rare person who has never seen a Clint Eastwood film and wonder what all the fuss is about, this would be a good place to start.

    The Digital Bits: Thank you—Gary, Patrick, and Lee—for sharing your thoughts about Dirty Harry on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.


    Selected images copyright/courtesy Malpaso Company, National Screen Service, San Francisco Chronicle, Warner Bros., Warner Home Video.


    The primary references for this project were the motion picture Dirty Harry (Warner Bros., 1971), regional newspaper coverage, trade reports published in Boxoffice and Variety, and interviews conducted by the author. All figures and data pertain to North America (i.e. United States and Canada) except where stated otherwise.


    Al Alvarez, David Ayers, Don Beelik, Stephen Bjork, Mark Lensenmayer, Gary Leva, Stan Malone, Adam Martin (Cinema Tour), Patrick McGilligan, W.R. Miller, Lee Pfeiffer, and a very special thank-you to the librarians, genealogists and private researchers who assisted with this project, in particular Laura Baas (State Library and Archives of Florida), Tiffany Bargas (Merced County Library), Bonnie Battaglia and Gavin Furman (El Dorado County Library), Katie Biehl (Bozeman Public Library), Deb Bier (Peoria Public Library), Bonnie (Hamilton Public Library), Linda Bridges (Live Oak Public Libraries), Jennifer Browne (Middle Georgia Regional Library), Michelle Burkhart (Michigan City Public Library), Aggie Burstein (Olympia Timberland Library), Sherri Camp (Topeka Shawnee County Library), Laurie Carroll (City of Duluth Library), Jose E. Castro (Kitsap Regional Library), Morgan Chance (Texarkana Public Library), Chuck (Jones Memorial Library), Scott Clark (Kitchener Public Library), Clara (Providence Public Library), Julie Colby (Danville Public Library), Caitlyn Cook (New Jersey State Library), Dan (New Bedford Free Public Library), Tabitha Davis (Pueblo-City-County Library), Reynaldo De Guzman (Solano County Library), Judy Dombrowski (Centre County Library and Historical Museum), Margaret Dunlap (Richland Library), Erin Edwards (Carnegie Library for Local History), Lunden England (Norman Public Library), Sandra Enskat (St. Catharines Public Library), Robin Everett (Wyoming State Archives), Laura Fazekas (Chapin Memorial Library), Ann Gagnier (Athens-Clarke County Library), Whitney Gaines (Columbus Public Library), Anne Girouard (Daniel Boone Regional Library), Carl Hamlin (Cabell County Public Library), Brian Hargett (Lee County Library), Vanessa Harris (Waukegan Public Library), Debra James (Jonesboro Public Library), Jeanne (Bristol Public Library), Jennifer (Alachua County Library District), Jess (Terrebonne Parish Library), Leigh Anne Johnson (Indiana State Library), Jordan (London Public Library), Julia (Halifax Public Libraries), Amy Kastigar (Ohio County Public Library), Matt Kendall (Yakima Valley Libraries), James Kettel (Boyd County Public Library), Patrick Kilmer (Jefferson-Madison Regional Library), Kim (Dauphin County Library System), Anna Kimball (Belleville Public Library), Kaitlin Kirkland (Midland County Public Libraries), Dyron Knick (Roanoke Valley Libraries), Michael Lara (San Jose Pubic Library), Philippe Legault (Bibliothéque et Archives nationales du Québec), Molly Luby (Chapel Hill Public Library), Anne Marie (Boise Public Library), Monique Matta (San Luis Obispo Library), Genevieve Maxwell (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), Grace May (Forsyth County Public Library), Nick McCavitt (Falmouth Public Library), Alex Merrill (Kalamazoo Public Library), Michael Miller (Sherman Public Library), Nancy Miller (Rochester Public Library), Will Miner (Grand Rapids Public Library), Sana Moulder (Cumberland County Public Library), Katherine Muto (Osterhout Free Library), Jody Osicki (Saint John Free Public Library), Carrie Ottow (Corvallis-Benton County Public Library), Ann Panthen (Champaign County Historical Archives), Debra Jean Pfendler (Stark Library), Amy Pfifferling-Irons and Ambar Alvarez (Elkhart Public Library), Roxanne Puder (Onslow County Public Library), Alison Purgiel (Muskegon Area District Library), Tiffany R. (Moorhead Public Library), Suzette Raney (Chattanooga Public Library), Reference Staff (Albany County Public Library), Reference Staff (Erie County Public Library), Reference Staff (Portland Public Library), Stephen Rice (Connecticut State Library), Emily Rundle (Jervis Public Library), Desirée Sharland (Thompson Library, University of Michigan-Flint), Elena Smith (California State Library), Erica Sodeyama (Grand Forks Public Library), Joyce Sonnier (Calcasieu Parish Public Library), Susan (Buffalo & Erie County Public Library), Sean Sutcliffe (Waco McLennan County Library), Beth Swenson (Idaho Falls Public Library), Fiona Swift (Public Libraries of Saginaw), Leah Tams (Durham County Library), Julie Thompson (Washington State Library), Tim (Jackson District Library), Kate Towers (Stanislaus County Library), Jace Turner (Santa Barbara Library), Rachele Vaughan (Tulsa City-County Library), Esther Vorhauer (Cambria County Library), Galen Webb (Fort Smith Public Library), Christine Weislo (Anderson County Library), Darla Welshons (Ann Arbor District Library), Abigail Williams (Utica Public Library), Robin E. Yarzab (Parkersburg & Wood County Public Library, Carol Zoladz (Kankakee Public Library).

    Gordon Bau (makeup supervisor), 1907-1975
    Dale Hennesy (art director), 1926-1981
    Maurice S. Argent (“Sid Kleinman”), 1916-1981
    Woodrow Parfrey (“Mr. Jaffe”), 1922-1984
    James Nolan (“Liquor Proprietor”), 1915-1985
    Craig Kelly (“Sgt. Reineke”), 1907-1991
    Don Siegel (director), 1912-1991
    William Randall (sound), 1929-1995
    Harry Guardino (“Bressler”), 1925-1995
    Harry Julian Fink (screenplay), 1923-2001
    John Mitchum (“De Georgio”), 1919-2001
    Dean Riesner (screenplay), 1918-2002
    Ruth Kobart (“Bus Driver”), 1924-2002
    William Paterson (“Bannerman”), 1919-2003
    John Vernon (“The Mayor”), 1932-2005
    Lyn Edgington (“Norma”), 1939-2005
    John Larch (“Chief”), 1914-2005
    Carl Pingitore (associate producer/editor), 1924-2008
    Mae Mercer (“Mrs. Russell”), 1932-2008
    Bruce Surtees (director of photography), 1937-2012
    Jo De Winter (“Miss Willis”), 1921-2016
    Robert Daley (executive producer), 19??-2016
    Bill Gold (key art/promotional material illustrator), 1921-2018
    Reni Santoni (“Chico”), 1938-2020

  • #2
    If you've never seen the amazingly entertaining deep-fake version of the Dirty Harry
    trailer with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the titular role, give it a look HERE:

    Geez 50 years- - I remember running this in New York when it first came out. Almost
    every nite was a sold out crowd. Now,living in San Francisco, my ride home from the
    theater takes me right past the stadium where the climactic scenes were filmed, so I
    think about that film often.
    I think I have the original 35mm trailer in my collection somewhere. I wish I knew
    who that 'trailer voice' was- - it brings back a lot of memories, since that guy voiced
    dozens of trailers back then.