YMMV: Dirty Harry


  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Many viewers agree with Harry's tough, aggressive methods, whereas others seem to find fascist undertones in the film.
  • Complete Monster: The Scorpio Killer, with his nerve-screeching laugh, smug, cowardly demeanor (I have the right to a lawyer!) and sick sense of fun thatserves as a contrast for the loose cannon cop Harry Callahan, who still deep down cares for justice bureaucratic systems that often fail to deliver when giving criminals apt punishments. The film starts with Scorpio sniping a swimming woman to death. His actual defining moment of sinking low is when he kidnaps a 14-year-old girl, hides her in a well with a limited oxygen supply and sends the police a message that the girl will die if the ransom money doesn't drop in time. When Callahan delivers the money, Scorpio hits him from behind and proceeds to tell him that he changed his mind and is going to let the girl die anyway. When the girl is found, she's dead (and it's strongly implied Scorpio repeatedly raped her). Later, Scorpio captures a school bus full of children, planning to kill them all.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: When Harry finally kills Scorpio, ending his rampage. Audiences leapt to their feet and cheered.
  • First Installment Wins: The first film is easily the one that has retained the greatest stature in pop culture, to the point that some people forget that "Go ahead, make my day" didn't originate from it.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Scorpio crosses the line when he gleefully shoots children.
  • Narm: The Dirty Harry franchise has had its unintentionally funny moments:
  • Sequelitis: General consensus seems to be that each film is successively weaker than the last, although there are some who argue that Sudden Impact is better than The Enforcer was.
  • Technology Marches On: The most powerful handgun in the world. In fairness, the claim is only made in the initial movie, but an upgrade is made to the .44 AutoMag in Sudden Impact. Given that handguns have gone up to impractical calibres even for action movies, he goes back to his famous S&W revolver for The Dead Pool.