Just watching Magnum Force...


November 13, 2004, 10:24 PM
This is by far my favorite Dirty Harry movie...lots of revolver work...actual reloads.using speed loaders.I love the Compition scene....David Soul shoots a Colt(although the silencer on a revolver was kind of corny)
So whats you favorite DH movie?? :cool:

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November 13, 2004, 10:39 PM
The original Dirty Harry. Very dark (which I liked). Magnum Force was anti-cop, if you think about it, but from a gun standpoint, has some great scenes like you mentioned, The Enforcer was stupid because of the goofy Tyne Daly side-kick.

Anything after that (Sudden Impact, et al) was hokey.

They "jumped the shark" with that stupid AutoMag.

What's everyone's favorite line?

"They want a car."

"So what are you gonna do?"

"Give 'em one."

November 13, 2004, 11:03 PM
" a man's got to know his limitations"

Parker Dean
November 14, 2004, 01:46 AM
I ran across the last 15 minutes or so and it seemed like all of them had Colts. Pythons in particular. Too dark in the ship to see well, but it seemed both had underlugged barrels. Then when the guy gets in the car that get blown up you get a fairly good look at his revolver and it looks like a Python to me. Of course they probably just used the same gun as needed.

edit: I also noticed they used many of the same streets and SFX as Bullitt. Also that street with all the curves, amazing how it changed from reasonable in Bullit, to looking pretty run-down in Magnum Force, to looking seriously upscale in some recent show on the Travel channel.

November 14, 2004, 02:00 AM
What I remember about the series was that prior to that, sales of M-29's were ho-hum. But after Dirty Harry, they were selling for twice Manufacturer's Suggested Retail.

Mark whiz
November 14, 2004, 07:45 AM
Good show..............I watched it a week or so ago myself. :)

But what is really scarey is that I remember waiting in line at the theater to see it when it originally opened on a Thanksgiving evening. :what: GAWWD I'm old. :eek:

November 14, 2004, 08:41 AM
Love MAGNUM FORCE ... :cool:

Call me weird; but, after seeing that movie, I was jonesing more for a Python than a M-29... :D

November 14, 2004, 08:49 AM
Imho, the best Dirty Harry movie: MAGNUM FORCE (http://www.epinions.com/content_143171096196) :D

Chuck Dye
November 14, 2004, 10:55 AM
I have always loved the range scene in Magnum Force where Callahan explains that he uses "a light Special" load in the world’s most powerful handgun. :neener: :neener:

November 14, 2004, 01:45 PM
I have ponderd that one myself. In my mind, I like to think that Harry was a fan of Old Skeeter Skelton and Elmer Keith and cooked up some 180gr LSWHP's and was tossing them out the end of the tube at around 1100-1200fps.

By "light" we can only hope he meant light bullet, moving fast. Not "light" sissy load that would make Elmer and Skeeter call Harry a recoil sensitive girly man with sissy tendencies and questionable amounts of testosterone.

(Though, I much prefer shooting specials to magnums!)

November 14, 2004, 02:12 PM
I watched it last night. I took the "light specials" comment to mean that he uses light specials for the shooting competitions that he always wins, but on the streets he uses full power magnums.

But that was just my interpretation (trying to give Harry the benefit of the doubt).

November 14, 2004, 04:42 PM
I was surprised by the "light specials" comment too -- doesn't he say it is so he can recover faster for mutliple shots -- better than a .357? Not those words but something to that effect...

The curvy street in SFO is Lombard Street -- the "crookedest street in the world" -- its a hoot to drive down -- it is on a steep incline.

November 14, 2004, 06:26 PM
My fave Clint one liner is from Sudden Impact. It's my username. .

November 14, 2004, 06:57 PM
The first two are the best of the series. But that's probably because John Milius was involved with writing them. The rouge cops all carry 4" Colt Pythons, but what I find interesting is that Harry's partner and the Lieutenant in charge of the vigilante officers are carrying either Colt Diamondbacks or Python snubbies. I have the movie on DVD and I've paused the scenes several times - looks like they're carrying the 2.5" Python to me. You don't see that in very many movies.

By the way when they're having the big shoot out with the gangsters near the end of the movie pay attention to the bad guys weapons. Looks like they're using Winchester M1897 riot guns and the Thompson M1A1 (WW II model). Nifty. Of course in 1973 the Winchester 1897 12 guage and the Thompsons weren't classics yet - just old guns. My question is how could a bunch of rookie cops afford Pythons? Didn't they cost like $150 bucks back in the early seventies? Ouch. :what:

November 14, 2004, 07:48 PM
Aside from great guns and cool lines, Dirty Harry is extremely overdressed for a cop.

You guys know that Frank Sinatra was originally going to play Dirty Harry, but arthritis kept him from handling guns for a bit, he suggested Paul Newman who 'didn't agree with the film's politics' but suggested Clint Eastwood for the role.

Dirty Harry remains the only film made about "The Zodiac Killer", there are steals straight from the original letters written to the police and papers.

November 14, 2004, 11:08 PM
That is one Eastwood movie I'll never forget. A bunch of buddies and I watched it in a theatre in downtown Ubon, Thailand (tail end of the Viet Nam War...Air Force days). It was in English, but the Thai's had an interpreter with a mic, doing the script. It was a hoot. They were laughing at the serious parts.......apparently, the interpreter was quite a comedian.

We, however, were enjoying the look at the "States," and loved the movie.

I still do!

November 15, 2004, 09:02 AM
You guys know that Frank Sinatra was originally going to play Dirty Harry, but arthritis kept him from handling guns for a bit, he suggested Paul Newman who 'didn't agree with the film's politics' but suggested Clint Eastwood for the role.

The immortal John Wayne, that's right the Duke, was slated to play DH and turned it down. He came out with McQ and Brannigan once he saw the success of DH.

November 15, 2004, 01:01 PM
I liked Magnum Force a lot, but my favorite Dirty Harry line is from the original:

"When are you going to quit messing around with this guy?"

November 15, 2004, 06:01 PM
I assume that Harry meant that he carried a "light special" all of the time. Probably a 240 grain swc and 7-9 grains of Unique.

November 15, 2004, 09:25 PM
I'm not ashamed to admit this:
I hadn't seen the movie in years, and for some reason I didn't have a Python at the time.

The Python has always been my favorite revolver, and it took me MANY years before I could afford one. For some reason, I had sold my last one.

One night in the mid-80's, they showed the usual cut-to-pieces of the "good" parts movie. I just caught the last half, and I'd forgotten how it went, so I went out and rented it on a Friday night.

I was doing paper work as I watched, but I really sat up and took notice at the beginning when the cycle cop stuck that 4" Python in the hood driver's face and opened fire.

I dropped the paperwork and really paid attention.

When David Soul stuck his 4" Python in the pimp's face under the Golden Gate bridge, something gelled for me.

Next morning I ordered a 4" blue Python from my wholesaler.

Since that Friday night, I've always made sure to have a couple.

November 16, 2004, 07:27 AM
...I don't wanna be in front of the muzzle of Dirty Harry's S&W M29 even when it's loaded with "light" .44 S&W Special rounds. Ever noted how effective these "mild" big bore loads can be???

Brian D.
November 17, 2004, 11:14 AM
As far as casting "Dirty Harry Callahan", I remember reading that Bill Cosby was considered for the role also. If memory serves, this story listed about a half dozen actors ahead of Eastwood for the part.

November 17, 2004, 10:25 PM
Does any body know what Harry's badge number was . :)

November 18, 2004, 12:20 AM
2211, wasn't it?

December 14, 2004, 09:17 PM
Everyone may have already realized this but have you noticed the same black guy plays different roles in all the movies except dead pool? He was the shot bank robber in the first movie, the pimp in the car in Mag force, Big Ed musstafa in enforcer, and Horace in Sudden Impact.

I always assumed the light special meant they were 44 mag loads that were loaded a little light, like CCI's SWC used to be.

Also, in the first scene in the first movie, that .44 has one heck of a finish on it. Do you think it was specially done?


P. Plainsman
December 15, 2004, 06:20 PM
Ah, it's been less than a month -- no harm in reviving this thread, I hope.

Re: the "light specials" line: I bought the DVD of Magnum Force recently and viewed the critical scene several times.

The scene is ambiguous. They were talking about the shooting competition before the line is delivered, but they were also talking about killers out on the streets. The question the rookie cop (Sweet?) asked Harry was simply, "what kind of a load you use in that .44?"

As we know, Harry replies that he uses "a light special" that "give[s] [him] more control with less recoil" than "a .357 with wadcutters."

Hmm. "with wadcutters."

Did 70s cops use .357 wadcutters (note that it might be shorthand for "semi-wadcutters") as a duty load? If so, then I think Harry is saying he uses a "light" .44 Special to pop perps. Not bad, but kinda makes the "most powerful handgun in the world" line misleading. (If so, then if I'm a thug, I'd rather get shot by Harry than by Davis (David Soul's character) and his Python...)

But if 70s cops did not use "wadcutters" on duty, then the context indicates that Harry is simply referring to using Specials as target ammo for competition, and his image is safe.


December 15, 2004, 07:06 PM
I think it's just another case of a HollyWeird writer not knowing jack about guns.

P. Plainsman
December 15, 2004, 07:57 PM
Maybe. But the whole vibe of John Milius's movies is sufficiently pro-gun that I wonder. And the .44 Mag was one of the icons of the series. I mean, the opening credits of Magnum Force are just one long, loving shot of that blued Model 29, with a finger on the trigger! And then, finally, that thumb slowly, lazily moves up to the hammer and cocks it. Cli-click. Great opening. Also gotta love the oh-so-70s, slightly funkified, "mean streets" music. ;)

But back to the issue: if the writers were clueless about guns, why have a scene talking about "specials" and "wadcutters" in the first place? Only the gun guys in the audience are gonna get anything out of it, and they'll care what the characters say.

December 15, 2004, 08:01 PM
Or, like a lot of movies and TV, you throw in good-sounding but essentially meaningless (to the movie) jargon to make the scene sound more "authentic." Like I assume much of the medical stuff is on those shows.

December 15, 2004, 08:46 PM
I agree with carebear,,, to the director it was just "technobabble" to make eastwood look like a gun savvy crime fighter with more interest in stopping crime, than in taking the criminals to court.

December 15, 2004, 08:58 PM
Harry is clearly discussing various target loads. For his revolver he uses light .44 Specials to get the trophies. This is in contrast to .357 wadcutters, which would indeed be more difficult to control.

December 15, 2004, 09:12 PM
Seems I recall hearing/reading somewhere that the gun Eastwood used was actually a 41 magnum, Model 57. Anyone else recall that or am I smoking crack?

December 15, 2004, 10:10 PM
Seems I recall hearing/reading somewhere that the gun Eastwood used was actually a 41 magnum, Model 57. Anyone else recall that or am I smoking crack?

I read somewhere that due to the unavailabilty of Model 29's at the time, they could only get one, so they bought a couple more N frames with 6.5 " barrels as spares for the shooting scenes where they could just keep handing Eastwood loaded guns (with blanks) as they would shoot the same scene multiple times.

NoTsO cLeAn HaRoLd
December 15, 2004, 10:31 PM
Magnum Force is my favorite.

Python's, a M29 & Suzanne Summers by the pool !!!

December 16, 2004, 12:50 AM
I'd say John Milius is a 'gun guy' and he wrote Dirty Harry and Magnum Force.

December 16, 2004, 06:17 AM
I couldn't find a blued one. :(

December 16, 2004, 11:36 AM
I actually read in another article that Clint's pistol in one of the movies used .45 colt blanks since the prop guy had a ton of them from westerns. They bored the cylinder out. It was an actual magazine too that I read it in but can't remember where but it was before the age of the internet.


December 16, 2004, 02:11 PM
I read that article too, it said that the prop guns were .41 mags bored out to take Hollywood 5in1 blanks, which are essentially 45 LC blanks.

Ol' Badger
December 16, 2004, 03:51 PM
Aside from great guns and cool lines, Dirty Harry is extremely overdressed for a cop.

I don't know if I agree. :p

December 16, 2004, 04:23 PM
Ol Badger-

I love it. Almost made me want to soil my pants.

December 16, 2004, 05:23 PM
Man that hole looks big. :what:

The Rabbi
December 16, 2004, 08:39 PM
Having had a Model 29-2 with requisite 8 3/8 in barrel, what impressed was how in the movies DH could walk through narrow corridors shooting people. My eardrums would be gone after the first round. Those things are LOUD.

December 18, 2004, 12:31 PM
Just finished watchign the movie.
I thought that comment was made at the competition, but it was at the police shooting range. To me, that would indicate his carry load, as he was loading from the speedloaders in his pocket. I'll chalk it up to a brain fart on the writer, producer or director's end and figure the scene was just to show that the rookies were "gun saavy", versus the regular guys for whom being a policeman was "just a job".

Mrs. Armoredman
December 18, 2004, 04:10 PM
I liked the movie where he said "We not just gonna let you walk outta here now"
Thief says " Who's we sucker"

DH "Smith and Wesson and me"

Love that line.

December 19, 2004, 02:27 PM

It's fully pinned & recessed - I don't think you can get more DH authentic!


December 19, 2004, 08:02 PM
Side note:

Strolling through Borders Books this afternoon and noticed a bin of 2 for $12 DVDs. Magnum Force and Pale Rider were in the selections.

December 23, 2004, 04:20 PM
David Soul: I couldn't help noticing that he's expatriated, having become a citizen of the UK in 2004:


That pretty much soured me on this fellow for the rest of my natural-born days!

rick newland
December 23, 2004, 06:23 PM
Tim I don't think so, I bought a 29 and a 27 in that time frame. Both guns had beautiful finishes. Still have them and they are more than worn, but I still love them.

Brian D.
December 23, 2004, 06:49 PM
Love the way 'Callahan' busts his lieutenant's (Hal Holbrook as 'Briggs') chops throughout the movie. Just short of outright insubordination, but of course that doesn't matter by the end.

Being in civil service myself, have had a tenuous relationship with a boss or two over the years. Just didn't blow 'em up! :evil: Yet..

December 24, 2004, 12:20 AM
After the scene in the parking garage where Callahan confronts the motorcycle cops, off camera, the three actors on bikes piled into one another as they drove off. Eastwood quipped, "I've just been threatened by the Keystone Cops!"

December 24, 2004, 01:51 AM
Speaking of which, has anyone noticed how the SFPD Moto Guzzi morphs into an SFPD Triumph Bonneville after leaping onto the deck of the ship?
Believe it or not SF really did have Guzzis back then.

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