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CLINT EASTWOOD AS DIRTY HARRY VS DAVID SOUL 'MAGNUM FORCE'

Clint Eastwood and David Soul in MAGNUM FORCE Year: 1973 Rating: ****1/2

Director Don Siegel's DIRTY HARRY was a cultural phenomenon that gave Clint Eastwood a franchise and character for two decades while defining his persona even beyond the Sergio Leone westerns...

But it was the 1970's, a decade of gritty films but also political correctness, and the sequel... written by John Milius and Clint's future THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT director Michael Cimino... gave the thug-beating, lawbreaking lawman a break by creating a story where there are literal killer cops... actually doing what Harry's been accused of influencing or even instigating (he's even joked about being a suspect since he hates criminals so much)— all to make Dirty Harry Callahan less crooked and more by-the-book, by comparison...  

Clint Eastwood and David Soul in MAGNUM FORCE with Kip Niven, Bob Urich & Tim Matheson

Enter four rookies with skills exceeding even the most experienced veteran, played by soon-to-be-famous actors including ANIMAL HOUSE leader Tim Matheson, VEGAS television detective Robert Urich and DAMNATION ALLEY survivor Kip Niven under sharp-shooting STARSKY AND HUTCH icon David Soul: the latter eventually facing-off with Harry at a pivotal policeman's annual target-shooting match...  

Equaling each of the body count deaths by faceless highway-patrol cops to San Fransisco's most ruthless antagonists that the actual law can't successfully nab or prosecute... from millionaire crime lords to a lowlife hooker-killing pimp... thrust into a b-story involving Harry battling a gang of vengeful red-herring mobsters...

Clint Eastwood and Hal Holbrook in MAGNUM FORCE

And, combining high-octane tough-cop drama with 1970's b-movie exploitation, MAGNUM FORCE has the coolest of DIRTY HARRY villains, particularly David Soul, randomly turning up in a formidable, almost robotic fashion (yet feeling genuinely guilty about killing a cop to cover the slaying of a highrise-dwelling criminal): and not without mystery since these lethal rogues include someone higher up, pulling the strings...  

Revealed near the end, Hal Holbrook as Harry's lecturing, rule-pious superior is always the obvious culprit: at which point the best scenes have already played out — including vignette-style scenes like an intense robbery surveillance (featuring Harry's second partner Felton Perry) and an attempted airline hijacking that Milius and Cimino throw into their (and director Ted Post's) action cop flick with everything.

David Soul in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE with John Mitchum
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE with David Soul
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE
Robert Urich with Kip Niven and David Soul in MAGNUM FORCE
Richard Devon in MAGNUM FORCE with Maurice Argent
Richard Devon in MAGNUM FORCE with Maurice Argent
Tim Matheson and Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE
Suzanne Somers in MAGNUM FORCE
Suzanne Somers in MAGNUM FORCE
Felton Perry in MAGNUM FORCE
Margaret Avery in MAGNUM FORCE
Dead Pimp in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood and Felton Perry in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE
From MAGNUM FORCE
From MAGNUM FORCE
From MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE with David Soul
Clint Eastwood in MAGNUM FORCE with David Soul
Robert Urich in MAGNUM FORCE with Kip Niven
Robert Urich in MAGNUM FORCE with Kip Niven & David Soul
Albert Popwell in MAGNUM FORCE with Margaret Avery
Albert Popwell in MAGNUM FORCE
Tony Giorgio in MAGNUM FORCE
Tony Giorgio in MAGNUM FORCE
Tony Giorgio in FOXY BROWN
Tony Giorgio in FOXY BROWN
Tony Giorgio in MAGNUM FORCE
Tony Giorgio in The Godfather 
Tony Giorgio in MAGNUM FORCE
Tony Giorgio in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in MAGNUM FORCE
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in MAGNUM FORCE
Knockout Scores for the MAGNUM FORCE Review

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