Dirty Harry

Dirty Harry (1971)

12 corrected entries

(8 votes)

Corrected entry: The blackmail note Harry finds after the first murder is pinned to an antenna. When the note is projected at the Mayor's office there is no trace of the rather big hole in the middle. (00:05:30)


Correction: The note wasn't pinned, it was held on by a clip on the side of the note. There was never any hole.


Corrected entry: When the car with the bank robbers runs over the fire hydrant the water fountain comes with quite a delay. (00:11:55)


Correction: In my copy of the film, you can see the water erupt immediately as soon as the car hits the hydrant and starts to turn over. The only delay is the car turning completely on its side allowing the water to form a column shooting into the air.

Corrected entry: On the whole Dirty Harry is a realistic movie, but the way Harry shoots Scorpio without any aiming while Scorpio is holding a boy in front of him is not only something no policeman, not even a tough guy like Harry, would risk, but beyond any fathomable shooting skills (Wilhelm Tell says hi, but even he didn't shoot from the hip). (01:35:10)


Correction: The first time I ever tried point shooting (not using sights) I was able to consistantly hit a paper plate at about 30 feet with my pistol. There is a scientific and thoroughly tested technique as to how to hit with a handgun without using sights; a technique used extensively by American law enforcement officers. As for Harry taking stupid risks such as shooting at suspects hiding behind innocents, take a look at the rest of the film and it's four sequels where he uses an overpenetrative weapon in a crowded urban center countless times, crashes a car through a building to kill a liquor store robber (whom, by the way, is holding hostages), kills his boss with an improvised time bomb, beats information out of a priest in the middle of a church... well, perhaps I'm making this longer than it ought to be but the point is that Dirty Harry is a guy who would swat a fly with an anvil in a glass house if he thought that the fly needed swatting with no thoughts about the obvious consequenses, no matter how serious.

Corrected entry: Dirty Harry carries a .44 Magnum, but he uses .44 Special ammunition, which is quite a bit less powerful than the .44 magnum.

Correction: He explains his reasoning in "Magnum Force" - .44 special ammo, although less powerful, produces less recoil when fired, enabling the gun to be kept level for a quicker and more accurate follow up shot instead of winding up with the barrel facing skyward after each powerful .44 mag. round is fired.

Correction: In the John Milius' director commentary, he has explained the line was garbled by the cast in the take, and Harry does shoot 44 Magnum, not 44 Special. The line should have been "special, light load, " or a "light, special load" meaning he used a specially prepared lighter Magnum cartridge. https://www.range365.com/story/range-life/did-dirty-harry-use-44-specials-in-his-44-magnum/.

Correction: In the book of the next film Harry gives the charge and load of the "Special" loading. It could have been a VERY hot 44 Special or a soft 44Mag.

Corrected entry: The route that the Scorpio makes Harry take to the cross would definitely take longer than 20 minutes. In the movie he runs Harry all over town on a trek that would take many, many hours.

Correction: I couldn't find anything that suggested the entire running around event took 20 minutes. In fact, afterwards when Harry goes to the doctor about a patient with a knife wound, he says the girl only has an hour to live, meaning it was 2am. He started trekking around at 9:30pm.


Corrected entry: Harry waits on a bridge for the bus to jump on. When the bus comes closer he starts climbing down, but then, in a reflection in the windshield, he is still standing as before. (01:31:20)


Correction: When Harry climbs down he climbs to a lower level of the bridge. When he is next seen in the reflection of the bus windshield, he is now standing at that lower level.

Corrected entry: When Harry confronts the bank robber and clicks the empty chamber as if 6 shots had been fired, in truth he had fired only 5.

Correction: While in the theatrical release, Harry did indeed fire six rounds, newer cuts of the film depict six shots, one being offscreen and identifiable by sound.

While in the theatrical release, Harry did indeed fire five rounds, newer cuts of the film depict six shots, one being offscreen and identifiable by sound.

Correction: I counted 6 shots but you do indeed hear 7.

Just watched this and it sounds like 7 shots from him. But if you watch when the bank robber jumps out of the car, he is the one to fire the gun. Harry's 6th shot is just after this.

Corrected entry: On the way to Jaffe's diner Harry passes by a car in which a bank robber is waiting for his accomplices to come out. After he places his order Harry asks Jaffe if this car's engine is running, which he could tell from the exhaust smoke the car is emitting. However, when Harry drove by there were no fumes, only now there are, but Harry hadn't looked back since. (00:10:35)


Correction: The getaway driver could have started the car while Harry was walking into the diner.

William Bergquist

Corrected entry: When Harry drives by a car in which a bank robber is waiting, there is a close-up of the driver lighting a cigarette and dropping the previous one on the ground. Here we count eight other butts, which, even if he is a fast smoker, mean that he has been waiting there for about an hour, which is a bit long for a decent bank robbery. (00:09:50)


Correction: All of the robbers could have been waiting in the car finalizing their plans. Who's to say how long it took to rob the bank anyway? Their plans may have involved two drivers (one there, one away), and he's been there long enough to see them arrive too.

William Bergquist

Corrected entry: When Harry stops the bank robbers he gets shot in his leg. The blood on his pants is way too bright, even if it were arterial blood (but it's not, looking at the casual way he is dealing with his injury). (00:12:15)


Correction: No injury from being shot - it was ketchup that splattered from the hot dog he was eating. Hence the casual way he's looking at it.

Correction: Harry went for treatment and asked for a bandage and Mercurochrome.

Corrected entry: Scorpio is not charged with any crime due to inadmissible evidence. There is no reason why he could not have been charged with assault on a police officer, and with shoot to kill a police officer, given he assaulted Harry and shot Chico, who both were witnesses.


Correction: Everything about that night is tainted evidence and therefore not admissible, but not only that, the DA wasn't willing to try to prosecute on any crime because of Harry's actions.


Scorpio's face was covered with a ski mask so Harry or Chico couldn't identify him for assaulting or shooting a police officer. I did find a 1997 constitutional law paper from the University of Chicago (Dirty Harry and the Real Constitution, Michael Stokes Paulsen) that argues Scorpio could be tried and convicted.

Corrected entry: When Harry stabs Scorpio in the thigh, Scorpio pulls it out with ease. It should be much harder to pull out a knife that is lodged in your thigh. (00:58:40)

Correction: Scorpio is insane. Insane people have been known to show great strength and do dumb things like punch brick walls or pull out deeply imbedded knives.

Continuity mistake: During the scene on the football pitch where Callahan is torturing Scorpio to force him to say where the kidnapped girl is, there are several shots as if from Callahan's viewpoint. As the camera switches between the two characters, the white painted lines on the pitch mysteriously move or even vanish underneath Scorpio. (01:06:50)

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Question: What happened to the kid who was fishing at the end who the guy Harry was after took hostage? I don't think Harry shot through him, but I didn't see him when the camera pans out for the credits, is he dead?

Answer: If you watch closely, you see the killer throw him to the side and then take aim at Harry, at which point Harry shoots him. Since we don't see the kid again, we can assume he ran away as soon as the killer let him go.

Not true. Actually, Harry sees the boy, and appears to be lowering his weapon, and then blasts Scorpio... and when the bullet hits him, he is still holding the boy hostage... It is only after Harry shoots him, and he falls to the ground, that we see the boy running away.

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