Magnum Force (1973)


Ted Post

Magnum Force is a 1973 American action thriller and the second to feature Clint Eastwood as maverick cop Harry Callahan after the 1971 film Dirty Harry. Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in the television series Rawhide and the feature film Hang ‘Em High, directed this second install


A sequel with a new story…

22 July 2005 | by MonteCarloMan (United States) – See all my reviews

This sequel to the entertaining “Dirty Harry” stands with few peers when it comes to successful follow-ups. Most don’t stand on their own feet but Magnum Force does solidly. Changing the plot but not the style is good formula in movies, rather than playing out what was already done in the original, which is why so many sequels fail. “Magnum Force” is my second favorite film by Eastwood after “High Plains Drifter”. Harry still likes to do things his way although rather than focusing his energy on the bad guys, he’s focused on some crooked cops in his own department! Follows in the original’s footsteps with lots of great views of San Francisco (My Birthplace!) I always feel at home when watching this movie. This is another film that is played a lot on TV because its so good on it’s own. Felton Perry does a good job as Harry’s partner, comparable to Reni Santoni in the original. Didn’t like any of the sequels that followed this movie with the exception of Sudden Impact. Magnum Force is a film that rates highly as watchable again & again.


Another Dirty Harry masterpiece

Author: chvylvr80 from Northridge, California
3 September 2003

Magnum Force turns up the heat a little more than Dirty Harry. There is a little more gunplay and more of the sizzling 70’s soundtrack that helped Dirty Harry be so groovy. Clint returns of course as Dirty Harry Callahan, this time after a small group of rogue cops. All the Dirty Harry movies are great and this is the 2nd best in the series, after Dirty Harry. The streets of San Francisco provides a beautiful backdrop, and Hal Halbrook does a great job of playing the continually annoyed chief. Bottom Line: Magnum Force meets the bar set by Dirty Harry and does a fabulous job of continuing the series.



Frank Stanley was hired as cinematographer and Lalo Schifrin once again conducted the score and filming commenced in late April 1973.During filming Eastwood encountered numerous disputes with Post over who was calling the shots in directing the film, and Eastwood failed to authorize two important scenes directed by Post in the film because of time and expenses; one of them was at the climax to the film with a long shot of Eastwood on his motorcycle as he confronts the rogue cops. As with many of his films, Eastwood was intent on shooting it as smoothly as possible, often refusing to do retakes over certain scenes. Post later remarked: “A lot of the things he said were based on pure, selfish ignorance, and showed that he was the man who controlled the power. By Magnum Force Clint’s ego began applying for statehood”.Post remained bitter with Eastwood for many years and claims disagreements over the filming affected his career afterwards.According to director of photography Rexford Metz, “Eastwood would not take the time to perfect a situation. If you’ve got seventy percent of a shot worked out, that’s sufficient for him, because he knows his audience will accept it.”


Eastwood himself was initially offered the role of director, but declined. Ted Post, who had previously directed Eastwood in Rawhide and Hang ‘Em High stepped in to fill the director’s chair. However, Eastwood has indicated interviews that he and second unit director Buddy Van Horn directed more of the film than Post did due to a number of creative differences. Ironically, both Eastwood and Van Horn would go on to direct the final two entries in the series, Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool respectively.

Intriguing and lots of action Eastwood’s second Dirty Harry outing

Author: ma-cortes
21 January 2009

This time Harry Callahan(Eastwood) attempts to detain a vicious killers are murdering mobsters and criminals.The rock-hard inspector is accompanied by an African-American cop(Felton Perry) and they track down a suspects P.D.(Robert Urich,Tim Matheson, Mitchell Ryan).The killers band sees outlaws freed on legal technicalities and they take justice into their own hands.Harry aware a secret gang which administers justice extra-legally and take revenge. Harry is called on once again and wielding a Magnum 44 revolver, he returns his unorthodox means;taking on ominous avengers group that is threatening the city of San Francisco. Harry in trouble as habitual with his chiefs(Hal Holbrook) because his methods lead abuse the criminal’s civil rights and a pile of death in clod blood along his wake.Harry pursues the revenge-obsessed murderers and encounters he has more in common with them than he expected.


Eastwood’s second Dirty Harry entry is well written by John Milius and Michael Cimino; it packs tension,violence, action-filled and is really effective. Although less exciting than ¨Dirty Harry(1971,by Don Siegel with Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson) but still interesting and plenty of vivid action and suspenseful. However this time ,doesn’t feature Callahan’s classic phrases, such as ¨Do you feel lucky¨ or ¨Go ahead , make me day¨, though he also says some original lines. Good use of locations by cameraman Frank Stanley and adequate musical score by usual Lalo Schifrin. Taut and expert direction by Ted Post and well produced by the usual, Robert Daley. Followed by ¨The enforcer'(1976, by James Fargo with Tyne Daly,Harry Guardino), ¨Sudden impact¨(1983, Eastwood with Sandra Locke)and ¨Dead pool¨(1988,by Buddy Van Horn with Lian Neeson, Jim Carrey). This formula thriller will like to Clint Eastwood fans and Harry Callahan series enthusiastic.


Year Of The Gun

Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas
15 December 2008

It’s all about the man, his politics, and his methods. Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is a tough, no-nonsense cop. In this second “Dirty Harry” movie, Callahan is on the trail of a ruthless vigilante gang. The story starts off well enough, with a fair amount of suspense. As the plot moves along, however, it becomes less tight and more drawn out. Suspense fizzles. And the puzzle solution is revealed too soon.


The film conveys an angry tone, especially directed at the American court system. The idea is that the “law” doesn’t really protect innocent people. So we need loners like Dirty Harry to hunt down the bad guys. The film glorifies guns, a symbol of “rough justice”. As such, Harry is very much a modern representative of the Old West cowboy gunslinger. Right is right; wrong is wrong; there’s no in-between. I hate that overly simplistic mentality.

Color cinematography is fine; there’s some good overhead camera shots. Many scenes take place on city streets. Way too much time is spent on car chases. Acting is acceptable. I especially liked the performance of the always reliable Hal Holbrook.


The original “Dirty Harry” was quite suspenseful. By contrast, “Magnum Force” is much less so. Still, it’s not a bad movie, if you don’t mind lots of car chases and the sounds of screeching tires, and if you adhere to a philosophy that a lone tough-guy cop can protect us, with the help of his trusty “44-Magnum”, “the most powerful handgun in the world”.


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