Magnum Force

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Magnum Force is the 1973 sequel to Dirty Harry in which Clint Eastwood as San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan investigates a series of killings by vigilante police officers.

Directed by Ted Post. Written by John Milius and Michael Cimino.
Clint Eastwood is Dirty Harry in Magnum Force (taglines)

Harry Callahan[edit]

  • A man's got to know his limitations.
  • Nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot.
  • I asked if you knew where San Quentin is, and you do, don't you asshole?
  • Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of guys.


  • Prostitute: [to cabdriver] Too bad you're not on welfare, I'd give you a freebie.


Sunny: Hi!
Harry Callahan: Oh, hi... what's your name?
Sunny: Sunny. You know, I've been living here for almost six months now. It's funny I've never met you before.
Harry Callahan: Oh well... I work a lot.
Sunny: I know. You're the cop who lives upstairs.
Harry Callahan: That's right.
Sunny: Mind if I ask you a question?
Harry Callahan: Go ahead.
Sunny: What does a girl have to do to go to bed with you?
Harry Callahan: (after recovering from his initial shock at so brazen a seduction effort) Try knocking on the door.

[Harry and Early converse about John Davis, Philip Sweet, Michael Grimes, and “Red” Astrachan - the motorcycle cops - after encountering them outside the police station following the Cost Plus robbery]
Harry Callahan: You know those guys?
Early Smith: They came through the Academy after me. They stick together like flypaper, you know? Everybody thought they were queer for each other.
Harry Callahan: Tell you something. If the rest of you could shoot like them, I wouldn't care if the whole damn department was queer.

Harry Callahan: [confronted by Davis, Astrachan, and Grimes, the three surviving vigilante cops] You heroes killed a dozen people this week. What are you going to do next week?
Officer John Davis: Kill a dozen more.

Harry Callahan: By the way I'd like to have Davis and Sweet as my backup squad.
Lieutenant Briggs: Davis and Sweet? They're just rookies!
Harry Callahan: Well you drum up someone in the department who can shoot as well and I'll use them.
Lieutenant Briggs: Dammit, there isn't supposed to be any shooting! Besides, they don't experience needed for a job like this.
Harry Callahan: How the hell is a man supposed to get experience if nobody gives him a chance? And Davis is the new pistol champion.
Lieutenant Briggs: Suppose they panic and start shooting?
'Harry Callahan: Nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot!

Lieutenant Briggs: You're on loan to Stakeout, Callahan.
Harry Callahan: That's right, Lieutenant! You saw to that.
Lieutenant Briggs: I've got nothing personal against you, Callahan, but we can't have the public crying police brutality every time you go out onto the street.
Harry Callahan: Well you just might need me on a job like this. Whoever did this was very good at it.
Lieutenant Briggs: You're sure one to know, Harry.
Harry Callahan: Well, I just work for the city, Briggs!
Lieutenant Briggs: So do I, longer than you, and I never had to take my gun out of its holster once. I'm proud of that.
Harry Callahan: Well, you're a good man, lieutenant. A good man always knows his limitations...

[to stop an aircraft hijacking, Harry disguises himself as a pilot and begins taxiing for takeoff]
Pilot: Excuse me, Captain. This may seem silly, but can you fly?
Harry Callahan: Nope. Never had a lesson.
[This shocks the hijacker holding a gun to Harry's back long enough for Harry to subdue him]

Officer Phillip Sweet: What kind of a load do you use in that .44?
Harry Callahan: It's a light Special. This size gun it gives you better control and less recoil than a .357 Magnum with wadcutters.

Infirmary Doctor: [stitching up Harry's head] Sure you don't want a local for this, Harry? Takes about seven stitches.
Harry Callahan: No, thanks.
Infirmary Doctor: Ok, it's your ass...
Harry Callahan: My head, the cut's on my head.
Infirmary Doctor: Why does everybody suddenly become a comedian in here?

[Davis stops Ricca's limo]
Officer John Davis: [taps on the window; Gino rolls it down] Could I see your driver's license, please?
Gino, Ricca's Driver: [chewing on a piece of gum] Do you know who that is, sitting back there?
Officer John Davis: I'll still have to see your driver's license, please.
Gino, Ricca's Driver:: I'll have to find it.
Officer John Davis: You know why you're being stopped? [Ricca's attorney in the backseat rolls down his window]
Nat Weinstein: Yes, we know, officer, and you're making a big mistake.
Officer John Davis: You crossed the double-line back there.
Gino, Ricca's Driver: Double-line? [The attorney pats Gino on the shoulder]
Nat Weinstein: Just take it easy. [to Davis] Whatever you say, officer. [Gino can't find the license]
Gino, Ricca's Driver: Just can't happen to find it, sir. [Davis walks back to his motorcycle] That's right, simple assignment. Check, see if it's stolen.
Carmine Ricca: I want this bastard busted out of his job.
Nat Weinstein: We'll take care of this guy, you fellas. Just take it easy, huh? [Davis finishes writing something on his notepad, then walks back up to the car]
Officer John Davis: This car registered to you?
Gino, Ricca's Driver: [points to Ricca] To him.
Officer John Davis: I'll have to see the registration.
Gino, Ricca's Driver: Come on, give me that license. [Davis promptly takes his Colt Python revolver out of its holster, and empties six rounds into the car at point-blank range, killing all four occupants inside. As the bodies fall limp, Davis reholsters his gun, walks back to his motorcycle, and rides off.]

[The day after the murderous pimp kills one of his girls, he is driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. Phil Sweet comes up behind his car, and trails him. Sweet follows the pimp as he takes the exit for Alexander Avenue, and then turns left to head under the highway. He eventually ends up on the service road below the Vista Overlook, and stops under the bridge's north approach. Davis dismounts and starts walking towards the car. The pimp quickly hides his Colt Detective Special pistol in his lap]
Officer Phil Sweet: Good day, sir. Is this car registered to you?
J.J. Wilson: Oh yes, sir, this is my car. You must be new. Do you know who I am?
Officer Phil Sweet: I'll still have to see your license and your registration, sir. I believe you were speeding coming across the bridge.
[The pimp chuckles, and pulls out his wallet, which has several wads of money in it, an obvious bribe. Sweet brings up his Colt Python and shoots the pimp in the neck. As the pimp falls over into the passenger's side of the seat, Sweet fires four more rounds into the man's chest. He reholsters his weapon, walks back to his motorcycle, and speeds back up towards the road as the pimp's body goes limp]

[Harry is at the morgue with Briggs and Avery, examining the bodies of the vigilante cops' victims]
Lieutenant Neil Briggs: You and your partner are back on Homicide.
Harry Callahan: This is a little dramatic, is it, Briggs? Not your usual style.
Lieutenant Neil Briggs: It's meant to be, Callahan.
Captain Avery: Look, this thing might be bigger than even we think it is. [They walk past the bodies of the vigilante cop's victims, with Avery calling out each one's crimes as they go along] Hijacking and gambling. [He lifts the tag of the second corpse] Trucking. [lifts tag on the third corpse] Narcotics and prostitution. This is the cream in the bottle, Callahan: someone's trying to put the courts out of business.
Harry Callahan: So far you've said nothing wrong. [They reach the last two bodies]
Captain Avery: This one just came in about an hour ago. Somebody wants it all. [points to the left body] This guy was just a pimp. [points to the body next to it] That's one of his girls.
Harry Callahan: How did she get it?
Captain Avery: Uh, sometime before he got hit, he poured a can of drain cleaner down her throat.
Harry Callahan: That shows a certain sense of style.
Lieutenant Neil Briggs: You're all heart, Callahan.
Harry Callahan: Look, am I gonna have to have him leaning over my shoulder?
Captain Avery: Look, you work with Briggs on this, Callahan. But if you ever lean out of line, so help me lord, I'll flop you lower than whale shit.
Harry Callahan: Speaking of whale shit, what have you turned up, Briggs?
Lieutenant Neil Briggs: Nobody in my department is sitting on their ass.
Captain Avery: [takes out a cellular phone, a new device for the time] See this thing, Callahan? The chief; he calls me on this all the time. Even in the can. I haven't been out of my shoes for 48 hours and still we have no witnesses; not one. In these cases, there's always an officer right on top of the crime, but nobody's ever seen a thing.
Harry Callahan: Who was the officer on this one?
Captain Avery: A patrolman, uh, Sweet, wasn't it, Briggs?
Harry Callahan: (as Briggs nods in confirmation) Sweet seems like a good man. Well I'll get on the Ballistics report first thing in the morning.
Lieutenant Neil Briggs: We ran all the slugs through Ballistics. We're never gonna see those guns; it was too professional. You're wasting your time.
Harry Callahan: Well it takes me time, Briggs. [walks towards the door] A man has to know his limitations. [leaves the morgue]

[Harry, Early, and one of the CSI technicians are examining the pimp's car in the crime garage]
Walter, Crime Scene Investigator: Whoever it is, he enjoys it. It's possible the man was dead with the first shot. The others were thrown in for good measure.
Harry Callahan: Well everybody has to pay something.
Walter, Crime Scene Investigator: Now, he'd have to be standing right here, this close. Point-blank range. [Harry peers inside the car]
Harry Callahan: And the driver's license and a $100 dollar bill were out. Almost like he was showing it to a traffic cop.
Walter, Crime Scene Investigator: Yeah. And from what we have it figures to be someone impersonating a police officer. On the cars at least, it's been done before. This close? It would have to be someone he would never recognize.
Harry Callahan: Or never suspect.

Harry Callahan: I'd bust Palancio for stepping on a crack in the sidewalk if I could, but this isn't his style. Not the cars, anyway. It's too direct.
Lieutenant Briggs: Callahan, you just keep your nose pressed against Palancio's ass, until I get a warrant from the DA's office to bring him in. And I want the first conviction on this animal.
Harry Callahan: "Conviction"? He's liable to be your next victim! Just what are you asking for, Lieutenant?
Lieutenant Briggs: I'm not asking you to follow him, Inspector; for the last goddamn time, I'm telling you!

Nick Royale: (to Palancio after they received an anonymous phone call warning of a pending hit) But what if they are cops? This could be a set-up!
Frank Palancio: After the holes they put in Ricca, you wanna wait and see? If they're cops, they'll have papers, you'll know if they're cops!


  • Clint Eastwood is Dirty Harry in Magnum Force
  • A man's got to know his limitations.
  • Clint Eastwood is back in 'Full Force' as Dirty Harry in "Magnum Force."


See also[edit]

Dirty Harry (1971)
The Enforcer (1976)
Sudden Impact (1983)
The Dead Pool (1988)

External links[edit]

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