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The resuscitation of Dirty Harry Callahan, after seven years' peaceful slumber, is the first of Harry's adventures over which Clint Eastwood has deigned to take directorial command, thus disrupting the pattern whereby Eastwood has tended to direct his most interesting projects himself, while the obligatory moneymaking ones -- the Every Whiches and Any Whiches -- have been turned over to hirelings. Certainly this already thrice-played role doesn't extend Eastwood's screen persona (which changes but little) into the new and revitalizing areas of Honkeytonk Man and Firefox. But his older, more careworn, almost cadaverous look adds something new to it anyway. And the lack of pleasure he exhibits in this role, most particularly when dealing out pain and punishment, might almost be construed as a moral stance. Of course it could also be construed as the psychopathy of a Mickey Spillane hero. Or it could be construed as nothing more than boredom. With Sondra Locke and Pat Hingle. (1983) — Duncan Shepherd

Rated R

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