My mum calls 70 mins into the film, and by the time I come off the phone it’s too late to watch the rest. And the missus had to return the DVD this morning. So…
Harry’s pissed off because the psychopath is free coz he busted down his door and stood on his windpipe in a football stadium. Harry prophesies that said nutjob will top some other poor buggers. Neither the DA (is he the DA? looks sleezy enough) nor the Judge demur. Everyone KNOWS that sleezeball white trash is gonna line someone else up in his telescopic sight.
They have a confrontation in Harry’s office. Harry tells the scumbag that all his scumbaggery is not his fault. “I know,” smirks the scumbag. “It’s not your fault,” insists Harry. “I know,” growls the scumbag. Harry gives him a big hug and all is forgive. The killer then moves to greener pastures.
Now, come, come! This is no joke thread. They is anyways as welcome in Cafe Society as Josie Wales. Who does douchebag whitey zero next? Does he get to wipe out more than one Friscan before Harry catches up with him? What about the “spic” - the sidekick with an uncanny resemblance to Mr Bean? Does he get stiffed?
It’s been ages since I’ve since the film, so I’m going off very rusty memories here.
At some point, Harry’s partner gets shot up bad (I don’t remember if this one’s the lucky one who gets to live or nor), and Harry’s all pissed off. The nutjob Harry’s after hijacks a bus full of school kids, and Harry figures out where the guy’s going. There’s a great shot of the bus coming to an overpass, with the nutjob staring out the window, looking up, and seeing Harry standing on top of the over pass, just looking at the guy, and you know he’s fucked.
They have their final confrontation in an old, abandoned mill/factory, with the nutjob ending up sprawled on the ground, his gun just a little bit away from him. Harry points his gun at the guy and says, “I know what you’re thinking, ‘Did he fire five shots or six?’ I normally count them, but in all the excitement, I lost count myself. So, you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” The punk does, goes for his gun and Harry blows his head off.
You’ll be happy to know that Hollywood is going to fuck all of this us when they do the remake of the film (which is either in production or slated to start soon, IIRC).
You forgot the best part. At the end, after dusting the punk in a mill near the bay, Harry walks over, looks at the body floating in the water, then takes out his badge and tosses it backhand into the water.
There’s a screencap of this here (from a site devoted to movie locations in the US), although it doesn’t do the scene justice. The look on Scorpio’s face when he sees Harry standing on the low-clearance railroad trestle, wearing shades and with his arms hanging by his sides – totally relaxed – is priceless. At that point Scorpio, as well as the audience, knows that he’s fucked.
The railroad trestle in the scene is about 10 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The area around there has been built up so it’s now the Larkspur Landing Shopping Mall and the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. The trestle survived until a couple of years ago, when it was torn down. I used to pass it all the time – mostly on a Golden Gate Transit bus – and would always look out and half-expect Clint Eastwood to be standing on it.
Fun Fact #1:
The bad guy, Scorpio, is based on the real-life Zodiac killer, who threatened to hijack a school bus full of kids (but never actually did).
Fun Fact #2:
Unusually for films set in San Francisco, it’s for the most part geographically accurate, in that character movements through the city make sense. When Harry is being “bounced around” the City to make sure he’s not being tailed, the various waypoints match with the timing given in the movie. At the end, however, it wouldn’t make sense for Scorpio to turn off 101 on the Sir Francis Drake Blvd exit if he wanted to go to the Santa Rosa Airport, but the trestle image is worth the “error”.
I counted on one viewing, and he does indeed fire six times in the early bank-robbery scene, so the continuity is fine there.
[MPSIMS: People who know me IRL are always amazed when I tell them that Dirty Harry is one of my favorite films; I don’t usually go for cop or vigilante genres, but I think it’s a wonderful movie. Every time I’ve seen it, I notice something new; last time, it was in the first minute or so, when Harry shows up at the rooftop swimming pool (the Holiday Inn on Kearny St., in fact) where the girl was shot, and the camera just catches in-frame a sign that clearly says “Swim at Own Risk”. Blink and you’d miss it, but it got a laugh out of me.]