Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Enforcer (1976)

Director: James Fargo

Writers: Stirling Silliphant, Dean Riesner, Gail Morgan Hickman, S.W. Schurr

Composer: Jerry Fielding

Starring:  Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Harry Guardino, Bradford Dillman, John Mitchum, DeVeren Bookwalter, John Crawford, Samantha Doane, Robert F. Hoy, Jocelyn Jones, M.G. Kelly, Nick Pellegrino, Albert Popwell, Rudy Ramos, Joe Spano

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  The "dirtiest" Harry of them all!

Plot:  Dirty Harry must foil a terrorist organization made up of disgruntled Vietnam veterans. But this time, he's teamed with a rookie female partner that he's not too excited to be working with.

My rating:  7/10

Will I watch it again?  Yeah.

This third film in the DIRTY HARRY (1971) franchise starts to get sillier and more outlandish with Harry doing whatever it takes to bring the bad guys down.  I still like it despite the dependence on one liners and the topical nature of the story.  On one hand it's great that Harry is forced to deal with A) having a partner after working alone for so long and B) having a woman fill that spot.  It very much feels like a picture where someone said, "Hey, let's tackle INSERT SOCIAL ISSUE HERE" and they made this picture.  There's just something about it but then they're taking a larger than life character and seeing what happens when they introduce him to something that's...not him.  I appreciate it on that level.  There's one thing you can't say about the series thus far and that's that the filmmakers aren't covering the same old ground; they're trying something different.  Also worth mentioning is the inclusion of Albert Popwell, a longtime friend of Eastwoods.  He's in the first four pictures and died before the fifth was made.  He's a lot of fun and it's always a treat to see this guy show up in stuff.  I really dig a lot of these 70s crime flicks.  They're grittier than before and they show us a world that almost seems foreign to the post-1980s world.  The Warner Bros. 4 Film Favorites: Dirty Harry Collection has the first four films.  This one is presented in anamorphic widescreen and the features you get are a commentary track from James Fargo, a 30 minute featurette called THE BUSINESS END: VIOLENCE IN CINEMA (anamorphic widescreen), an 8 minute vintage making of doc called HARRY CALLAHAN/CLINT EASTWOOD: SOMETHING SPECIAL IN FILMS and trailers for all 5 films in the franchise.  You can pick up this set online for less than $8 (including shipping).  It's a no-brainer.

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