A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
Harry Callahan - or Dirty Harry as he is known from the previous four movies in this series - is investigating a strange betting game. A list of local celebrities has been handed out, and bets are being taken on who will be the first to die. Things start to get interesting when the name 'Harry Callahan' appears on the list.Written by
Colin Tinto <email@example.com>
When Johnny Squares dies, his hand is down on his chest. On the next scene when the police are there, his hand is up against his chin. See more »
Do you mind, gentlemen? I happen to be at a funeral.
Like to talk to you about your list.
It's no big secret. Most of the cast and crew knew about it. I didn't tell you because the dead pool is just a harmless game.
Sounds pretty sick to me.
Let me tell you something, Callahan. People... people are fascinated with death and violence. That's why my films make money. They're an escape, a vicarious release of fear. Same thing with this game. Nobody takes my films *or* the dead pool seriously.
[...] See more »
To get a '18' rating in 1988, 12 seconds were removed from the UK version by the BBFC with edits made to images on a TV screen combining footage of a woman screaming in a car and a shot of a woman being attacked by a dog (the latter of which was stock footage from the 1977 film The Pack). In 2002 these cuts were waived. See more »
This was altogether too simple for the critics back in '88 -- the whole idea was to point the barrel of the joke right back at the criticism.
Whereas the previous Dirty Harry features sat on a platform of utter contempt for bureaucrats and political correctness, here it's expanded to contempt for journalists, and especially the subspecies of 'media critics'. As if they couldn't make it clearer, a 'movie critic' is murdered, and treated as an occurrence of 'death of celebrities by threes'.
Yes, this is explicitly about movie making; the previous four movies suffered from poor supporting casts that only got in the way of the narrative. Here Van Horn deliberately employs good actors to play bad genre roles and thus turns the series on its head.
Along the way, we get a nice comment on "Bullitt", this time deflating the over touted car chase with a gag: an explosives laden model '63 Z06 (instead of a fastback Mustang, to drive home the point).
By this time, the .44 Magnum is treated as a character, with a 'voice' that rolls off the cityscape like thunder...the bad guys run at the mere sight of it. To put the icing on the 'man with the biggest gun' motif, Clint dispatches the villain with an earlier one liner ("you're S.O.L.") and a movie prop harpoon. The elaborate conflation of sexual double entendre, humor and cowboy justice went soaring over many heads. Arnold wishes he was half this funny in "Last Action Hero".
Ah, we miss Harry...but his retirement to Carmel was both serendipitous and necessary. By the end of this, he's killed off every cartoon bad guy left in the movie universe, paving the way for both the dimensional villains of "Die Hard" and its ilk, AND the hosannas bestowed on "Unforgiven".
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