Friday, March 28, 2014
Movies I Stayed Up Late For: MAGNUM FORCE
Yeah, I'd need both hands to count how many times I stayed up into the fog of pre-dawn for the second film in the "Dirty Harry" Callahan film series, "Magnum Force". Many nights I sat in front of the age-old Sylvania console television, rubbing the sleep out of my overworked peepers. I forced myself to stay alert with the single minded purpose of catching good old Clint himself as he blows away half of the crooked San Francisco police force, a single-handed, one man walking death warrant for the corruption that had infiltrated the SFPD, under the evil guidance of one Hal Holbrook.
Hal's soldiers included a then unknown Tim Matheson who went on to some fame in "Animal House", "Fletch", and as a side note, I believe I've caught his name on the small screen once or twice as a director of an episode or two of "Psych". Here we find a young David Soul, a few short years before "Starsky & Hutch" and the mini-series that had me defecating in my pants, "Salem's Lot". Mr "Don't Give Up On Us" was also one of the "dirty" cops that spent much of their time pulling over known pimps and drug dealers for one reason, and one reason only, and that was to shoot them in the face.
You might question why 'ol Harry, a damn-near vigilante himself, would have a problem with this sort of thing. That gets answered succinctly late in the film in a dust-up with a spiteful Lieutenant Briggs, Mr. Holbrook's character. He asks Harry about his "hypocrisy" and the Inspector's frequent "bucking of the system".
His response is genuinely twisted and hypocritical: "I hate the goddamn system! But until someone comes along with changes that make sense, I'll stick with it."
Kind of clunky spoken and thought out logic, there, Harry. I prefer a quote from earlier film:
"Nothing wrong with shooting, as long as the right people get shot." That's honesty.
Actually, "Magnum Force" is an infinitely quotable movie. After all, it's where I learned the life lesson that "a man has to know his limitations."
....and how to spot "salty lookin' dudes".
Ah, the 70's....We all love David Soul, despite his character's evil nature, and here's a reminder of why....