“Do you feel lucky punk?” Those were the words that San Francisco Police Dept. Inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan uttered to his prostrate criminals as they contemplated whether they should reach for their guns or not. It was new role for Clint Eastwood, who, had recently become an international star with the Sergio Leoni spaghetti westerns where he played the “man with no name.” Dirty Harry wasn’t much different: an avenging western hero come to the big city to bring the values of the Old West on a current society that had gone mad, all concerned with the rights of the criminals where effete district attorneys and smart lawyers ensured that criminals entered the court room and exited free men. What was going to stop this insanity.
Well, obviously the title character of Dirty Harry (Warner Bros., 1971).
The film has a lot in common with the Steven McQueen vehicle Bullitt (Warner Bros., 1968), a more stylish film which puts police Lt. Frank Bullitt on a collision course with political corruption.
Dirty Harry was not embraced by liberals, especially liberal film critics like Pauline Kael who, while admitting the work was structurally sound, said the film had “a fascist potential” and was “a deeply immoral movie.”
“Dirty Harry is not about the actual San Francisco police force; it’s about a right-wing fantasy of that police force as a group helplessly emasculated by unrealistic liberals. The conceit of this movie is that for one brief, glorious period the police have a realist in their midst—and drive him out,” she wrote in the New Yorker in 1971.
Yes, this is 1971, the beginning of that awful decade of crime, graffiti on the subways of New York City, inflation, wage and price controls, the energy crisis, the Iran hostage crisis, Jimmy Carter, line-ups at the gas pumps, horrible hair styles, worse clothing styles, a dollar that couldn’t keep pace with the Japanese Yen.
Does any of this seem familiar. Well, not the parts about the Yen or Carter. Today it’s China that is trying to economically dominate the world and it’s President Joe Biden destroying the United States but the rest is the same.
And the movie is the same. I watched the film again the other night because I have been reliving a lot of the 1970s to prove to myself that history is indeed repeating itself: and it’s not all from that decade. We seem to be moving back to October 1962 on another front without most Americans even knowing it but more about that next week.
The movie focuses on Callahan’s obsession with putting a serial killer known as “Scorpio” behind bars. He uses a long-range hunting rifle to murder random victims. When he kidnaps, rapes and murders a teenage girl, Harry has had enough. After delivering $200,000 to the scumbag, Scorpio beats the crap out of the cop but not before Harry shoves a knife into his thigh.
Callahan eventually breaks into his digs, finds the rifle and forces the killer to reveal the whereabouts of the girl – who is already dead. Days later, the San Francisco DA tells Callahan, on the advice of a local judge who teaches at Berkeley, that the killer will be let free because Harry has violated his rights.
Harry eventually tracks the punk down when he highjacks a school bus and attempts to highjack a plane. Convinced he will be dismissed for violating orders, Callahan removes his police badge from its wallet and throws it into the ocean.
What is fascinating about this film is that San Francisco has just recalled its George Soros-funded DA because he couldn’t find a criminal he couldn’t support. In fact, there are Soros-funded DAs all across America who are undermining the law and finding new rights for criminals that are not guaranteed by the Constitution because they honestly believe that the police are the problem, not the criminals.
And it is interesting that this movie ends with a car jacking, because that might be the most popular crime in the United States at the moment.
Call it serendipity, but while I was preparing this piece, Fox News’s most popular host, Tucker Carlson, ran an opening segment on carjacking that was fascinating in that it not only outlined how rampant the crime was but how liberal DAs chose to respond to the crime.
“Well, Philadelphia, like New Orleans, sends so-called at-risk youth to violin lessons through something called the Philadelphia Arts and Education Partnership. So, the idea is, after a month of violin lessons, these young criminals, people who've been busted committing crimes, get the records expunged. That was the plan that Philadelphia's D.A. put into place last year.
“Has it worked? Well, sad to tell you that despite the violin lessons, crime has gone up among young people, carjackings in particular. As Philadelphia's police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, put it, "I don't want to say it's surprising, but it's definitely concerning." Really? Well, it's not surprising to us, but it is for sure an understatement. From 2020 to 2021, there's been a 108% increase in carjackings in Philadelphia.”
Carlson ran an opening segment that outlines how so many of these crimes have been extremely brutal and directed against helpless, elderly people.
As Carlson, points out when this crime continues and the people feel that the state doesn’t care or cares more for the criminal, a breakdown in society is inevitable. That is what Dirty Harry is all about. It was about one cop seeing that breakdown and dealing with it in his own improper but desperate way.
People today are feeling that same desperation and are seeing the system fail them, are seeing the criminals released without bail, going back on the streets and reoffending. It’s not enough anymore to just read their rights to them or to get a search warrant. How many people were charged during the Black Lives Matter riots? How many innocent property owners ever received restitution for the damages incurred by criminals who destroyed their livelihoods?
People turn to vigilante justice when they cease to trust the authorities or think those authorities do not work for them but for a corrupt government or for corrupt private interests. That was the case in the Old West where the law could be bought by the cattle or oil barons.
The new wrinkle today is that people are increasingly not trusting the FBI, the group that became famous as “The Untouchables” because, unlike any police force during Prohibition, they couldn’t be bought off. Well, it’s not that the drug lords are dropping wads of bills at their feet or sending etransfers into their bank accounts, but the bureau does seem to have a political agenda. It clearly set up and foiled the phony kidnapping of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI). It obviously colluded with the pathetic elements of the Jan. 6 “insurrection” in a typical case of entrapment. It raided the home of a former president on the flimsiest pretext and the shakiest of search warrants. The DOJ and the FBI are in the pocket of the Democratic Party and Biden knew all about this raid – if he could remember that far back.
Who does the public trust?
Can it trust DAs who were appointed by a mad left-wing zealot named George Soros who wants to destroy America? Can it trust the FBI when it is controlled by Joe Biden and the Democrats and views MAGA voters as extremist as the KKK? Can it rely on the police when they are being thwarted by left-wing activists and the criminals they arrest are routinely released?
Or is it time to imagine Inspector Harry Callahan to the rescue? A no-nonsense cop who can’t be bought, has no time for politics and thinks bad guys belong in jail and old people should be protected. Society is at a breaking point. If the current recession – which the Biden administration insouciantly denies exists – intensifies, this nation will come to a breaking point and there will be little toleration for coddling carjackers, rapists, killers, shoplifters and irresponsible DAs.