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Quick Daily Review #141: The Enforcer (1976)

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The Enforcer (1976)

In this the third installment of the Dirty Harry series, Harry Callahan takes on a group of Mayor kidnapping hippy-terrorists known as the People’s Revolutionary Strike Force (PRSF), Black Extremists, and also deals with feminism in his own unique way. The feminism bit comes when Callahan is assigned a partner (which never, ever works out well in these movies…) that “happens to be” female played by Tyne Daly. The diminutive Daly spends much of the movie trading barbs with Eastwood, until of course, they begin to develop feelings for each other, which I felt was an unnecessary compromise for this story to take. And again, of course near the end when it Harry has to rush in to attempt to save her from the bad guys. The scene with Callahan sitting in on the interview committee assigned to pick his new partner is a fascinating look into the mindset of old Dirty Harry. However, by this point in the series, Callahan is more myth than person and Daly is far more interesting to watch as an actor here, as she brought to mind the character of Mattie Ross from True Grit (pick either version you will). This movie feels much more at home with the first two films of the series than the final two, at least as far as the feeling and look of the movies go. The first three movies are much less self aware and take a more direct approach to the subject matter, while the final two films go more over the top and are more obvious attempts to establish catch phrases and do action set pieces. Also these first three films have a much lighter grainier 70s look to the actual film than the latter two movies did, and I find that quality of dirty 70s film stock always works best with movies of this type, which is why directors these days when making copy cat films often try to deliberately saturate their film in order to emulate the look.

3-5stars

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About William McPherson (367 Articles)
Professional freelance writer, who also writes blogs, reviews, and assorted nonsense at www.vortexeffect.net

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