Here’s Where Every Dirty Harry Movie Ranks

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Actor-director Clint Eastwood is known for his appearances in several Spaghetti Westerns, including The dollars trilogy as the man with no name. After that, Eastwood moved on to work on the anti-hero cop series dirty harry, playing the role of Harry Callahan who must use his methods to bring criminals to justice. Eastwood’s long career, working on more than 50 films as an actor, director and producer, has earned him four Oscars, four Golden Globes and even an American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.

the dirty harry The franchise follows the character of Harry “Dirty Harry” Callahan, a homicide detective whose methods of policing are not only unorthodox, but his regular use of excessive force often gets him in trouble with his superiors. The series began in 1971 and did not end until the release of The Dead Pool in 1988. With a total of five films in the series, not all of them are necessarily winners, but how do you determine which films are better than others? Here is where each dirty harry movie ranks.

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5 The Dead Pool


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Malpaso Productions

Not to be confused with Marvel dead Pool with Ryan Reynolds, The Dead Pool is the last install in the series and at the bottom of the list. Dirty Harry returns after a successful conviction of a mob boss when Peter Swan, a horror filmmaker, develops a “death pool” betting on the deaths of celebrities, and a serial killer begins targeting those who feature on the list, including himself. The Dead Pool featured a number of promising young actors of the day, including Liam Neeson and Jim Carrey. The film received mixed reviews, with many considering it to be the series’ weakest. As a result, The Dead Pool was the lowest-grossing in the franchise. While many wondered if there would be more additions to the series, Eastwood joked about a possible sequel, leaving the series to end with The Dead Pool.


4 Sudden shock


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While Harry Callahan is on mandatory vacation for his violent approach to his police work, he is curious about the murders happening around him. He is particularly interested in the case of Jennifer Spencer who was the victim of a gang rape ten years before and now demands justice for the unpunished crime by killing her rapists one by one. As Jennifer and Harry build a relationship, Harry is forced to make a decision when Jennifer’s life is once again in danger. Sudden shock was a great commercial success, given that it is the fourth installment of the series. The film is known for Eastwood’s catchphrase “Go ahead, make my day”, a slogan Ronald Reagan used in a speech threatening to veto tax-raising legislation.

3 Magnum Strength


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The Malpaso company

When a group of vigilantes begin executing criminals who have escaped punishment for their crimes, Harry Callahan thinks they are going too far. Going against the orders of his commanding officer, Lt. Briggs, Dirty Harry investigates the gang, suspecting a cop to be behind the murders, his prime suspect being his ex-partner Charlie McCoy. The second installation in the series, Magnum Strength launched a number of stardom careers, including David Soul, Robert Urich and Tim Matheson. Magnum Strength was the subject of much controversy over a specific scene where a prostitute is killed with a drain cleaner believed to have inspired the Hi-Fi murders, but the killers insisted they had not seen the film and that if they had seen it, they would’ve chosen a different method of murder.

Related: Clint Eastwood Re-enacted Grossly Stupid Stupid Scene, Then Overshared Info With Jeff Daniels

2 The executor


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The Malpaso company

The executor is the third film in the series and follows Dirty Harry after he is removed from the homicide division after using excessive force. When the terrorist group The People’s Revolutionary Strike Force kidnaps the mayor and steals rockets, Harry and his new partner Kate Moore must do everything in their power to bring the terrorists to justice. While the film was criticized for creating “cartoony” antagonists, Tyne Daly was praised for her performance in the film. She’s not just a female sidekick, but proves to be a worthy hero, strong enough to face the toughest challenges. The executor was the franchise’s most commercially successful film, grossing over $46 million.


1 dirty harry


The first of the movie series, the one that started it all is dirty harry. Cop Harry Callahan hopes to find the killer on the roof before the girl he kidnapped dies. When Harry finds the killer, he releases him to the street. The killer hijacks a school bus and Harry must pursue it once more, knowing that the only way to stop the killer is to kill him. This begins Harry’s journey and shows him living up to his name. The film drew inspiration from the actual cases of the Zodiac Killer, modeling the psychopath in the film after the actual killer. The film received a lot of accolades, but also sparked a lot of controversy, leading a line of Oscar protesters to call Dirty Harry a “fascist pig”. dirty harry also allegedly inspired the true crime Faraday School Kidnapping in which six children and a teacher were abducted in Australia.


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