Encountereds. I came, I saw, I commented.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Don Siegel - Dirty Harry (4)

It's a classic among vigilante movies, the best of the series it spawned, and it has Clint Eastwood in it, playing a socially disconnected moralizing force of one, dealing revenge and retribution without restraint. That setup works in Leone's Man With No Name series, probably in part because of the cool, detached direction and abstraction of the old west setting, but also because we are never supposed to take Eastwood's side in those. I wanted to rewatch Dirty Harry because it's set in San Francisco, quickly realized I had never seen it before, and found myself distracted from the sweeping views of bay and bridge by the manipulative moralizing message that weaves through the film. Mores are crumbling, and with a weak justice system unable to keep the depravity in check, men like Harry have to clean up, and get dirty in the process, a dark avenger, protecting us all. Feel reactionary today, punk?


Blogger kybruno said...

Dirty Harry was a great movie for it's time. The fact that it doesn't stand up too well is to expected. Star Wars looks pretty crappy by today's standards of what a sci-fi movie should be. Everyone thought the world was going to hell in a handbag and wanted it all to stop. It didn't stop, most of the old duffers are dead, and this is hell, isn't it? Hmm, where's Harry when you need him?

7:20 AM

Blogger Kai said...

True enough. Sir Alec Guiness, though, was fed up with the Star Wars maudlin metaphysics mushup and refused to mouth any more pseudo-wisdom penned by Lucas for any sequels, or so I read somewhere.

And of course thinking that everything is going to hell and wanting it to stop is what being a reactionary is all about.

4:07 PM


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