HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
The Freshman
Hear My Song
Hear My Song
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
In This Corner of the World
Dirty Pair: Project Eden
Pyewacket
Disaster Artist, The
God of Cookery, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
   
 
  Enforcer, The When Harry met KatieBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: James Fargo
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Harry Guardino, Bradford Dillman, John Mitchum, DeVeran Bookwalter, Albert Popwell, John Crawford, Michael Cavanaugh, Jocelyn Jones, Dick Durock, M.G. Kelly, Kenneth Boyd
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 3 votes)
Review: Third in the Dirty Harry series, by which stage the movies were coming close to self-parody. We open on a scantily-clad cutie (Jocelyn Jones) in tight hot-pants who lures two gas company men to isolated spot. They’re promptly murdered by Bobby Maxwell (DeVeran Bookwalter), leader of the so-called People’s Revolutionary Strike Force, who use the gas men’s uniforms and vehicles in a violent heist. Meanwhile, as in every Dirty Harry movie, the first fifteen minutes are a series of random encounters wherein Inspector Harry Callaghan (Clint Eastwood) seemingly wanders the crime-infested streets of San Francisco, looking for scumbags to kick in or blow their asses to kingdom come with his .44 Magnum (lest you forget, punk: “the most powerful handgun in the world”).

After Harry and his partner (uh-oh!) Frank DiGeorgio (Harry Guardino) - returning from the first two movies - intervene in a liquor store robbery with predictably bullet-strewn results, Callaghan is reprimanded for “excessive use of force” and temporarily reassigned from the Homicide Unit to Personnel. “Personnel is for assholes”, growls Harry. Whereupon his superior, Captain McKay (Bradford Dillman, who plays a differently named yet virtually identical role in Sudden Impact (1983)) declares he worked in personnel for several years. Oops. Harry subsequently aids in interviewing new inspectors for the Homicide Unit and is less than impressed they include Kate Moore (Tyne Daly), one of three women taking new positions despite having no experience in homicide, no arrests or involvement in violent situations. To his surprise - if not ours - Kate becomes Harry’s new partner (uh-oh!) after DiGeorgio is murdered (told you so!) while intervening in the PRSF’s theft from a U.S. Army storage facility. Hell bent on foiling these militants, Harry and Kate embark on a series of violent episodes climaxing with the kidnapping of the Mayor (John Crawford) and an explosive finale at Alcatraz Island.

As directed by James Fargo, The Enforcer could pass for an especially violent episode of Kojak or The Streets of San Francisco. While watching Clint do his thing retains its thrill-factor, the action is distinctly by-the-numbers. Where Don Siegel’s original Dirty Harry (1971) was partly a reaction to the activities of the Zodiac Killer and Magnum Force (1973) tackled vigilantism, The Enforcer tries to retain this topicality by referencing the wave of militant groups that sprang up during the Seventies, including the Black Panthers and the Symbionese Liberation Army responsible for the kidnap of heiress Patty Hearst. Yet it clearly has no idea how to explore these facets. Bookwalter’s terrorist leader is just another gurning psycho. Jocelyn Jones’ leggy sidekick is far from complicated, merely an illustration of that strange way movies like this and the Death Wish (1974) series are simultaneously sexually aroused and repulsed by transgressive figures. If you want to get Freudian about it there’s all that phallic weaponry going bang with sexy ladies dying sudden deaths, but maybe that’s going too far.

As if acknowledging the urban terrorist angle isn’t up to much, screenwriters Sterling Silliphant (who penned the equally muddled The Eiger Sanction (1975) for Eastwood) and Dean Reisner add a subplot involving Harry’s first female partner, with Tyne Daly doing a dry-run for her stint on Cagney & Lacey. Daly engages in the role, but all her character does is remind you how long ago the Seventies were. Kate Moore merely confirms Harry’s worst suspicions, rather than challenging them, belittled and humiliated in a way that now seems wholly unfair. At one point she is literally cornered by a group of angry African-American revolutionaries (led by Albert Popwell, who plays a different role in every Dirty Harry movie save The Dead Pool (1988)), before Harry hauls her to safety - something he does too frequently for it to suggest anything other than that the filmmakers are making a sexist point. Kate comes good in the end of course, shortly before a downbeat finale that was beginning to seem pretty rote.

All of which makes The Enforcer (not to be confused with the superb Humphrey Bogart thriller from 1951, which Eastwood claimed inspired the title-change from Moving Target) sound like a chore to sit through. It isn’t. Star power, sly humour and a winning chemistry between Eastwood and Daly put up a valiant fight against the lazy script, but though this was the series’ biggest earner in the Seventies, it remains the weakest. Music by Jerry Fielding, making this the only Dirty Harry movie Lalo Schifrin did not score.

Click here for the trailer



Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2577 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
   

 

Last Updated: