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Dirty Harry (1971) is a crime thriller produced and directed by Don Siegel. It is the first film in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco Police Department Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan.
Dirty Harry was followed by four sequels: Magnum Force in 1973, The Enforcer in 1976, Sudden Impact in 1983, and The Dead Pool in 1988.
A serial killer who calls himself "Scorpio" (Andy Robinson) murders a young woman in a San Francisco high-rise rooftop swimming pool using a high-powered sniper rifle from the top of the 555 California Street skyscraper. The spent shell casing is found on the roof of another high-rise across the street by Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood); it's accompanied by a ransom message from the Scorpio Killer, promising more deaths if the city does not pay him $100,000. The chief of police, with the agreement of the Mayor (John Vernon), assigns Harry to the case and arranges for extra support.
As he waits for his lunch in a local cafe, Harry notices a robbery is taking place and tells the cafe owner to call the police and report an armed robbery in progress. While he waits for reinforcements, the robbers emerge from the bank, shooting wildly into the bank, forcing Harry to act. He confronts a robber in the street, who fires a shotgun at him. Harry returns fire, sending the robber sprawling to the ground. Another robber makes it into the getaway car, which the driver aims at Harry as he pulls away. Harry fires at the car, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a fire hydrant. The next day, Harry is assigned a rookie partner named Chico Gonzalez (Reni Santoni). Annoyed, Harry notes that his partners always get injured (or worse) while working with him and that he needs someone experienced, but accepts Gonzalez when the Chief gives him no other option.
A police aircraft foils Scorpio's second attempt at murder when he's targeting an African American in a park, but Scorpio escapes. The next night, he manages to kill a young boy from another rooftop. Chico proves himself when he saves Harry from a beating while Harry's investigating a briefcase matching the helicopter team's description of Scorpio's rifle case.
Since Scorpio's last victim was African American, the police believe Scorpio will pursue a Catholic priest as his next victim, feeling 'owed' one for the disruption of his earlier attempt. The police set up a sting, with teams on rooftops throughout the city, but leaving the rooftop Scorpio used in his last murder clear, and providing a target of opportunity, a priest at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Harry and Chico wait for Scorpio on an adjacent rooftop, Harry with a high-powered rifle and Chico with a spotlight. They initiate a shootout with Scorpio when he appears, but Scorpio escapes, killing a police officer.
Infuriated that his plans have twice been foiled, Scorpio kidnaps a teenage girl, rapes her and buries her alive. He contacts the city and demands twice his previous ransom. giving the city until 3:00 a.m. the following morning, when the girl's air will run out. The mayor decides to pay, and Harry told to deliver the money to a location at the docks with no back-up. Without permission, Harry wears a wire, has Chico follow him and tapes a knife to his shin. When Harry reaches the drop point, Scorpio contacts him through a public pay phone, sending Callahan on a journey between various pay phones in the city, in order to separate the inspector from any back-up that he may have. However, Harry's wire allows Chico to follow him.
The chase ends when Harry reaches an enormous cross at Mount Davidson, one of the city's parks. Scorpio instructs Harry to drop his gun and the money, then to face the cross and stand up against it. Scorpio then proceeds to beat Harry before revealing that he has "changed his mind" and is going to let the girl die anyway, and kill Harry as well. Chico, thanks to the wireless microphone, arrives at the scene and ambushes Scorpio, firing at him and saving Harry. Chico is shot in the resulting shootout. While Scorpio is distracted, Harry stabs him in the leg with his concealed knife. Scorpio screams hysterically and escapes without the money. Chico survives his wound, but tells Harry he will be resigning from the force.
Harry and his new partner, Frank DiGiorgio, question several doctors in the area. They find the doctor who treated Scorpio. The doctor tells them that he has seen Scorpio living and working in nearby Kezar Stadium. Running out of time, Harry and Frank break into the stadium and search Scorpio's room without a warrant. Harry hears Scorpio fleeing and chases him, shooting Scorpio in the same leg he was stabbed in. When Scorpio is unwilling to reveal the location of the girl, instead asking for a lawyer, Harry tortures Scorpio by standing on his wounded leg. Scorpio finally tells where he has been keeping the girl but, unfortunately, she probably was dead before she was buried.
Because Harry broke into his home illegally and tortured him to obtain a confession, Scorpio is released without charge. As Scorpio's rifle was seized improperly, it cannot be used as evidence and the District Attorney decides that he cannot be charged with any of the other murders. After Scorpio's release, Harry follows Scorpio on his own time. Scorpio sees Harry following him, and pays a thug to give him a severe but controlled beating. He then tells the press that the police are harassing him, personally naming Harry as the one responsible for his injuries to the press. The police chief orders Harry to stop following Scorpio, despite Harry's protest that he didn't beat the man, because despite his injuries "he looks too damn good". However, he follows his orders, knowing he cannot stop Scorpio if he is suspended or fired. On the next evening, Scorpio attacks a liquor store owner, takes the store owner's pistol and leaves.
Using the pistol, Scorpio kidnaps a busload of children. He demands another ransom and a jet to take him out of the country. The mayor again insists on paying, but Harry refuses to deliver the money this time, instead pursuing Scorpio without authorization. Scorpio spots Callahan standing on the top of a railroad trestle over the road to the airport. When the bus passes underneath him, Callahan jumps onto the top of the vehicle. A panicked Scorpio starts shooting through the roof and drives the bus erratically, trying to shake Harry off. Scorpio stops the bus after crashing through some gates while swerving to avoid a truck. The children escape while Scorpio runs into a nearby cement factory.
Harry pursues Scorpio, resulting in a gunbattle. Scorpio retreats until he takes as hostage a boy who happens to be fishing at a nearby slough. Harry pretends to be willing to surrender, then shoots Scorpio in the shoulder, knocking him to the ground. The boy escapes, and Scorpio looks up to see Harry standing over him, gun drawn. Scorpio's pistol is inches from his hand. Harry then reprises his now-famous "Do you feel lucky, punk?" speech. Unlike the bank robber in the earlier scene, Scorpio tries his luck and, laughing maniacally, grabs for his gun. Before he can fire, Harry shoots him in the chest, and Scorpio falls into the water. Harry watches as Scorpio's body floats on the surface of the water. He takes out his inspector's badge, and hurls it into the water, walking away
Mali, 1994, Clint Eastwood
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