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Tony Grist

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Dirty Harry [Aug. 27th, 2007|09:41 am]
Tony Grist
The system is rotten with liberalism. What we need is a few more maverick, vigilante cops who'll go round stomping on people's wounded legs.

The flaw in the argument is that Inspector Harry Callaghan doesn't exist and never did. He's a misplaced Wyatt Earp- only not the real Wyatt Earp (who was a pretty dodgy character) but the Wyatt Earp of legend.  No actual human being was ever so selfless and  incorruptible- or so good with a handgun.

In real life Harry's way leads to Abu Ghraib.

What is it with America and superheroes? Why this recurring fantasy of the untouchable crime fighter?  

They say you can't make a great movie from a lousy script. Dirty Harry is proof you can. That shot where we whoosh away from the misty stadium is pure genius. 

Did you notice all the religious imagery- how the Jesus Saves sign gets shot up, how the cross in the park is just this great charmless lump of concrete? This is a godless world.  In Clint We Trust. 

Religion is for saps. The world can only be saved by men with guns. 

Neo-conservatism in a nutshell.

Betcha Dick Cheyney loves this movie.

[User Picture]From: goddlefrood
2007-08-28 12:18 am (UTC)
The series of Dirty Harry films when taken as a whole show a lawless society that only corruption in its purest sense can clean up. This comes to a head in The Enforcer where Harry goes after other vigilante cops. Good entertainment, but a case of do not try this at home.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-28 08:44 am (UTC)
I think the makers of the sequels pulled back a bit from the far-right implications of the first movie. But D.H. was originally designed to stand alone. It ends, after all, with Harry- like the marshall in High Noon- throwing away his badge.
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From: algabal
2007-08-28 12:09 pm (UTC)
And High Noon was accused of being commie propaganda!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-28 01:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's interesting, isn't it? I think the politics of Dirty Harry are a bit messed up. I know Clint is a libertarian Republican and I believe Siegel was a man of the left (could be wrong) and I've got the feeling they didn't entirely realise when they were making it what a right-wing agenda it serves.

Basically it's an up-dated Western- of the kind Howard Hawks used to make.

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[User Picture]From: goddlefrood
2007-08-29 12:27 am (UTC)
If only other filmmakers would get it that a good first film does not make for an endless series of nonsense, not that Dirty Harry is complete nonsense, of course.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-29 09:01 am (UTC)
Dirty Harry is a great movie. I don't like what it stands for, but it's a remarkable piece of cinematic art- and hugely influential. The sequels aren't rubbish, but they're not in the same class.
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