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Dirty Harry
(Clint Eastwood Collection)

review by Zach B.

 

Rated: R

Running Time: 102 minutes

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Rene Santoni, Andy Robinson, John Larch and John Vernon

Screenplay by: Harry Julian Fink & R.M. Fink and Dean Riesner
Story by: Harry Julian Fink & R.M. Fink

Directed by: Don Siegel

 

Studio: Warner Bros.

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: Cast and Crew, Original Documentary, Dirty Harry: The Original, Interview Gallery, Behind The Scenes, On Location, Memorable Lines, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Mono, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Index (31 Scenes)

Released: November 20th, 2001

 

 

In our first installment of this franchse, and what may be Clint Eastwood's famous role, "Dirty Harry" follows San Fransisco cop "Dirty" Harry Callahan. Harry, of course, doesn't play by the rules. He's ruthless, he's violent and that may actually be a good thing when he's fighting crime with his no holds bar style. Truly, Dirty Harry is one of the most famous characters to ever hit the silver screen, and one of the most fun for sure (audiences seemed to agree... there were five Callahan adventures).

In the first, and what I think is the best installment, we meet Dirty Harry and what makes him who he is. In all this, a rooftop snipr named Scorpio plans to kill a person in San Fransisco every single day unless his demands of money are met. While the police force seems to be willing to give into his demands, Harry is on the case to track him down. With a new partner he's not quite happy about, Harry is armed, dangerous and of course, ready to take action.

But what makes "Dirty Harry" so good? A lot of things. It has a sharp script that flows well and never gets down as momentum keeps building up and up. It has fantastic editing, great action sequences and goes at a great pace with great directing, courtesy of Don Siegel (who also produced the film). And of course, there is the acting. The supporting players are nice and play well off Eastwood, but Eastwood himself was born to play Harry. His timing is great, he mannerisms and the way things go about are magnificent. Simply, Eastwood was born to play Harry.

"Dirty Harry" is now thirty years old (a bit hard to believe), but like all great classic films, it still really holds up and stands the test of time. It's a fun movie, but it's a great cop caper that moves fast and is really entertaining. With his catchphrases and ways, "Harry" has made himself into pop culture quite nicely. If you've never seen it, you owe yourself to check out a great film.

 

 

Sporting a new 2000 digital transfer, "Dirty Harry" looks quite nice but is still a bit flawed. An abundance of scratches, pieces of dirt, nicks and blemishes are present throughout and do tend to get in the way of things. There's also a good deal of shimmering and noise too. It looks its age, and despite the cleanups, it still looks a bit flawed. There are some solid levels of detail and black levels though, as well as fine color saturation and fleshtones. Considering the film's age, it's not bad. But I've seen better restorations. The film is 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, but I think the aspect ratio is a little bit higher than that.

 

A 5.1 Dolby Digital English remix is included (same as on the old release), and I was surprised how good it sounded. It sounds a bit artifical, but overall, it's quite solid. Fidelity is pretty nice with good dynamic range, and decent use of the .1 LFE. Dialogue is clear and pretty crisp, while surround use, especially during the action sequences, may sound somewhat newly created, but the activity within cannot be denied. Nicely done. Also included are English closed captions, subtitles in French, Spanish and English as well as a French mono track.

 

It's not packed, but the disc has some very good supplements that are worth nothing. Probably the biggest inclusion is Dirty Harry: The Original. This new documentary is quite a treat, featuring clips from all the Dirty Harry films. But the main focus is the original film, and features new interviews with Clint Eastwood and others. Stuff such as the locations, Harry's magnum and the character himself is discussed as well as the film. A lot of this is nicely done, and you can see more of the like in the Interview Gallery. You can watch some more interviews with Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Urich, Patty Clarkson, Andy Robinson, Evan Kim, Hal Holbrook, John Hilius, Ted Post and Joel Cox. Inspirations and whole sorts of Harry stuff is discussed here nicely. Enjoy!

The Original Documentary. With clips from the film, clips from classic movies and behind the scenes footage of the movie being shot, this is simply a promotional tool. And the rest is all more or less text based: there's a listing of the Cast and Crew, information on filming the movie in Behind the Scenes, stuff on the locations in On Location, two quotes under Memorable Lines and finally, the anamorphic widescreen Theatrical Trailer.

 

"Dirty Harry" is a classic, and this DVD is worth it for any Eastwood or Harry fan. For a great price, we get a decent transfer, a surprisingly strong 5.1 remix and pretty good supplements. So, do you feel lucky to have a new Harry on DVD, punk?