Dirty Harry is one of those films that people watched and never forgot since it delivered one of the most iconic lines known in all cinema. Clint Eastwood was without a doubt the right man for this role since in almost every other role he plays his characters live to flout authority and impose their will. Harry has no trouble being aggressive and seeking out justice when the legal system seems too interested in protecting the rights of a known killer. In this day and age people would likely riot against a cop like this but back in the day he was the kind of guy you wanted on the streets since he could get the job done.
He was a bit rough around the edges but he took care of business.
10. The bank robbery scene could have been very different.
The ending at least would have been different since it called for Harry to put the gun to his own temple instead of pointing it at the perpetrator. It was felt that this wouldn’t be something Harry would do.
9. There was a back story for Scorpio.
He was one of many men sent to Vietnam and was traumatized by his experience and disillusioned by the time he reached home again. This caused him to become violent.
8. The best line is often misquoted.
“Do you feel lucky, punk?” is the simplified version of the quote “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”
7. Scorpio was loosely based on the Zodiac killer.
In fact even Harry was based loosely on Detective David Toschi, who was the lead investigator on the Zodiac case.
6. The actor playing Scorpio was just a little too sensitive for his role.
He would flinch violently when he was firing a gun and he had a real issue with being as nasty as his character needed to be. The studio had to send him to a gun range to shoot properly.
5. A police department in the Philippines requested this movie as a training video.
I really hope that it was more about what NOT to do rather than what should be done.
4. Eastwood performed all of his own stunts.
Throughout the film you can see as he’s performing each stunt that it’s him and not a stunt double.
3. The location of the film changed places a couple of times.
Originally it was set for New York, then the idea was to move it to Seattle, Washington, and then finally they settled on San Francisco, California.
2. This film actually inspired a couple of other actors.
The nature and actions of Harry Callahan inspired Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Urich when it came to their own movies and TV roles respectively. They adapted the part of the lawman that takes the law into his own hands into their own roles.
1. The film was banned in Finland for over a year.
Maybe it was too violent, too controversial, or just something else that the Finnish folks didn’t like.
It wouldn’t fly today, but it was great for its time.