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Dirty Harry (1971)



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Taking a cue from 1968's Bullitt, Dirty Harry stepped up the grit, grime, violence, and sleaze and kicked off a whole new style of inner city crime thrillers that pervaded the 70s and continue to evolve to this day. The French Connection came out the same year, simultaneously taking the new genre in a more thoughtful direction. Dirty Harry is more notorious than masterful: it had brutal violence, sleaze, a funky pre-disco soundtrack, one of the most legendary tough guy characters in movie history, and the introduction of many of Clint Eastwood's most infamous lines. All these elements combined to make an appealing film for some, enough to spawn four sequels. I like the character of Henry Callahan and his dialogue, but The French Connection is more my style.

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