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Trivia / Dirty Harry

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Works in this series with their own trivia pages:

The first film

  • AFI's 100 Years... Series
  • Banned in China: The film was banned in Finland for over a year.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: The line is "Do I feel lucky?", not "Do you feel lucky?".
    • Nor is it "Do ya feel lucky, punk?" (although that is what Eastwood said in the second film).
  • California Doubling: The only thing that isn't an on-location shot is the entire bank robbery scene, which was done on the "New York" open-air set of the Universal Studios backlot.
  • Completely Different Title: (The) Inspector Harry in a few countries, Inspector Callaghan: The Scorpio Case Is Yours in Italy, Dirty Cop in Dutch, Implacable Pursuer in Brazil, and The Fury of Reason in Portugal.
  • Creator Couple: The screenplay was written by the husband-and-wife team of Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink
  • Dawson Casting: Debralee Scott, the uncredited actress playing the (nude) 14 year old girl, was (thankfully) 18.
  • Directed By Castmember: In Don Siegel's absence, Clint Eastwood directed the scene with the suicide jumper.
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  • Dueling Movies: With The French Connection, another 1971 Cowboy Cop movie.
  • Fountain of Expies: Harry, being the Trope Codifier for the Cowboy Cop, is the starting point for many Anti-Hero police characters.
  • Life Imitates Art: In 1972, a copycat crime took place in the state of Victoria in Australia, in which two men kidnapped a teacher and six pupils at gunpoint and demanded a $1 million ransom. The state government agreed to pay but the children managed to escape and the kidnappers were subsequently jailed. One of them was called Eastwood.
    • In September 1981 a case occurred in Germany, under circumstances quite similar to the Barbara Jane Mackle case: A ten-year-old girl, Ursula Hermann, was buried alive in a box fitted with ventilation, lighting and sanitary systems to be held for ransom. The girl suffocated in her prison within 48 hours of her abduction because autumn leaves had clogged up the ventilation duct. Twenty seven (27) years later, a couple was arrested and tried for kidnapping and murder on circumstantial evidence. According to the Daily Mail, the couple were inspired by the scene in which Scorpio kidnaps a girl and places her in an underground box.
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  • No Stunt Double: Clint Eastwood performed all of his own stunts, including the stunt where he jumps onto the roof of the hijacked school bus from a bridge. His face is clearly visible throughout the shot.
  • Real-Life Relative: At the quarry scene in the end, Andy Robinson is taking his own stepson Steve Zachs hostage.
  • The Red Stapler: Sales of Harry's iconic Smith & Wesson Model 29 shot through the roof after the movie's release.
    • Specifically, Smith & Wesson stopped producing the Model 29 several years before the film's production. Clint Eastwood himself contacted S&W representative Bob Sauer, who had several assembled from parts at the factory. Smith & Wesson reintroduced the Model 29 shortly after the film's release.
  • 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.
  • Throw It In!: Andy Robinson improvised several of Scorpio's lines, including the "hubba hubba" bit over the telephone and "my, that's a big one" when Harry pulls his gun in the park. The flip that Scorpio does when he is shot by Harry in the stadium was also Robinson's idea.
  • Uncredited Role: John Milius did an uncredited rewrite.
  • Underage Casting: Harry was originally written as being in his mid-fifties. Clint Eastwood was forty-one.
  • Wag the Director: Clint Eastwood initially did not want to toss the badge, believing it indicated that Callahan was quitting the police department. Don Siegel argued that tossing the badge was instead Callahan's indication of casting away the inefficiency of the police force's rules and bureaucracy. Although Eastwood was able to convince Siegel not to have Callahan toss the badge, when the scene was filmed, Eastwood changed his mind and went with Siegel's preferred ending.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The first choice for the role of Harry was Paul Newman, who declined on political principle. The filmmakers then offered the role to Frank Sinatra. Unfortunately, however, due to hand and wrist injuries he sustained while shooting The Manchurian Candidate, Sinatra could not hold the gun correctly. Additionally, his father had recently passed away, and Sinatra decided he wanted to do some lighter material.
    • John Wayne lobbied hard for the role of Harry but the studio felt he was too old for the part.
    • Steve McQueen turned the film down because he didn't want to do another cop movie after Bullitt.
    • Warner Bros. considered Marlon Brando for the lead role, but never officially approached him.
    • Burt Lancaster turned down the lead role because he strongly disagreed with the violence of the story and with what he perceived to be its "right-wing" morals.
    • Robert Mitchum turned down the lead role, calling this, "a film I would not do for any amount". Mitchum's younger brother John appears in the first three films as Insp. Frank De Giorgio.
    • James Caan was considered for Scorpio in the early stages.
    • In his 1980 interview with Playboy, George C. Scott claimed that he was initially offered the role, but the script's violent nature led him to turn it down. Lee Marvin also passed on it.
    • Plans for a Car Chase were dropped as, Bullitt had already set the bar; the next film, Magnum Force would have a bike-car chase filmed on some of the same streets, and The Dead Pool's suicide-bomber RC-car chase was modelled after the one in Bullitt.
    • The screenplay went through numerous iterations and had several potential endings, including one in which Scorpio gets dispatched by a Marine sniper rather than Harry himself. Eastwood felt that the later drafts were overcomplicating the core premise and opted for one of the earliest screenplays written instead.
    • The original screenplay was set in New York City, then Seattle.
    • Audie Murphy was initially offered the role of the Scorpio Killer, but declined due to fears of scarring young children.
    • According to the original script, the phrase that Dirty Harry quotes during the bank robbery and his final confrontation with the Scorpio Killer was not the actual quote for the movie, the actual quote in the script was
    Well? Was it five or was it six? Regulations say five...hammer down on an empty...only not all of us go by the book. What you have to do is think about it. I mean, this is a .44 Magnum and it'll turn your head into hash. Now, do you think I fired five or six? And if five, do I keep a live one under the hammer? It's all up to you. Are you feeling lucky, punk?
    • Terrence Malick wrote a draft where Scorpio was a vigilante who killed wealthy criminals who had escaped justice. Don Siegel didn't like this draft, but Clint Eastwood did, and it formed the basis for the sequel Magnum Force.
    • The "Do I feel lucky?" scene originally ended with Harry putting the gun to his own head. Clint Eastwood and Don Siegel thought this was too extreme, even for Dirty Harry.
    • Sydney Pollack was considered to direct.
    • A video game for the series was planned, but ultimately fell through.
  • Word of Dante: Andrew Robinson created a backstory for Scorpio which involved him being drafted into the Vietnam War, and seeing unspeakable horrors. When he returned home to the United States, he found himself a figure of hate, and his war experiences, combined with the people's treatment of soldiers, caused him to go insane.
  • Working Title: The title of the original film's script was Dead Right.
  • You Look Familiar: Albert Popwell played mooks in most of the films. (The bank robber in Dirty Harry; the pimp shot and killed in his Cadillac at close range by a rogue cop in Magnum Force; The Muslim Brotherhood leader Mustafa in The Enforcer). This sets up a nice subversion of his typecasting as a red shirt in Sudden Impact when he creeps up on Harry with a shotgun only to be revealed as a colleague from the department. It's lampshaded briefly in The Enforcer when Harry asks Mustafa if he knows him.


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