he movie opens at City Hall, San Francisco. Union boss Carmine Ricca (Devon) has just been acquitted of the murder of labor reformer, Anthony Scarza and his family, due to lack of admissible evidence.
The press are in a frenzy and a large angry demonstration is waiting for the acquitted man outside of City Hall. Ricca and his associates walk the gauntlet of verbal abuse from the protesters before leaving the chaos in a Cadillac.
Elsewhere in an apartment, an unidentifiable motorcycle cop methodically prepares... for his shift?, with the TV report on the Ricca/Scarza case on in the background.
Back to Ricca and his cohorts, who are driving on the freeway when a
motorcycle cop pulls them over for a minor traffic offence. The surly
driver produces his license for inspection, it is returned to him and as he returns it to his wallet, the cop suddenly pulls his gun from his holster and blasts away the four men in the car.
The cop (???) then calmly returns the gun to his holster and rides off, as if concluding a routine traffic stop.
One of the first cops to arrive at the crime scene is Detective Harry
Callahan (Eastwood). Who just happened to be close-by on an assignment with the stake-out squad. Callahan having been transferred to the squad by Lt. Neil Briggs (Holbrook). The commanding officer has a vendetta in for Harry because of the detective's judge and jury police work of the past. Of course Briggs is not impressed to see Harry and the two exchange insults.
Callahan's next visits a buddy at San Francisco airport. While chewing the change it transpires that hijackers have taken control of a jumbo jet still on the runway. They are demanding an international pilot. So Harry being in the right place at the right time, slips on an airline captain's uniform and boards the plane. Ten minutes later there is one dead hijacker and one severely injured hijacker. This coincides with the arrival police back-up, lead by Lt. Briggs! Of course the needle between the two men continues.
Elsewhere in the City a motorcycle cop parks up near a hillside residence and ascends to a vantage point overlooking a pool party. As the revelers are partying in and by the pool, the motorcycle cop throws a briefcase bomb into the pool then machine guns everyone dead.
Lt. Briggs is thrust before the TV reporters to answer for the rise in
violent murders in San Francisco. His sound bite response is unconvincing. Meanwhile Callahan returns to the stake-out squad. The assignment is protecting a liquor store!
Sure enough though, armed robbers turn up but their fate is similar to the hijackers. DEAD.... By Magnum .44!
But more hoodlums keep getting murdered. A hooker (Avery) is murdered by her pimp (Popwell) in the back of a taxi cab. The pimp soon follows the fate of the hooker though. Killed by a motorcycle cop. Or at least someone impersonating a cop.
Callahan is called into the morgue by Lt. Briggs. The bodies of all the 'hoods are laid out, someone is trying to put the courts out of business. Dirty Harry and his partner are back on homicide squad to investigate these vigilante slayings.
Forensics indicate that a cop may be responsible due to the weapon used and the set up of the crime scenes. Briggs though focus' the investigation on known criminals as he feels the killings are due to a gang war.
Harry though has his suspicions about the quartet of four new motorcycle rookie cops fresh from the academy. They are lead by Davis (Soul) who seems as biddable as a shepherd's dog, but does his bland facade hide a fascist fervor to murder criminals in cold blood?
Don't forget that Magnum Force is now available to order on Widescreen DVD using our special 70s search device... [See DVD section or click here for more details]
By: Stuart Fitzgerald
'Magnum Force' is the second in a five film series following SFPD's most notorious cop, 'Dirty Harry Callahan. At the end of the first film Harry threw his badge into the creek at Larkspur. Now obviously having backtracked from quitting the police force, he finds himself having to protect the very establishment that caused him so much angst in the first film. Regarded by all as a renegade cop, he is the one who will return to good old fashioned police work to reveal the true renegades who our slaughtering the city's law breakers.
Director Ted Post continued the precedent of the first film by showcasing real San Francisco locations. This was a theme which runs through each of the five films. As well as revisiting City Hall, new sites included Potrero Hill, San Francisco airport, Fairmont Hotel, the base of Golden Gate bridge on Marin County side, Embarcadero waterfront, Pier 54 & Mission Bay. The climatic shootout was filmed at the foot of 20th & Illinois Streets. This location was also in the final Dirty Harry film 'The Dead Pool' (1988).
'Magnum Force' lacks the psychological power of the first film but compensates with a series of great action sequences. Eastwood is seminal in this role and the supporting cast is excellent too. Hal Holbrook is memorable as the ball-breaking lieutenant who has it in for Harry. David Soul & Robert Urich debut impressively, both were making the jump from TV to motion pictures. Ultimately 'Magnum Force' has more in common with Samuel Peckinpah's 'Killer Elite' (1975) than it does with Don Siegel's illustrious predecessor 'Dirty Harry' (1971). Even so, 'Magnum Force' is a first class police/action/thriller from the 70's.
'Magnum Force' has some memorable lines. Here as some of my favourites:-
"You're a good man lieutenant... A good man always knows his limitations."
"Well put your pants back on Callahan and come down to the city morgue"
"But if you ever lean out of line so help me I'll flop you lower than whale sh*t"
"Either you're with us or against us"
know some Magnum Force trivia that we could add? [Please
send it in]
|Trailer, Featurette, Notes|
|Trailer, Featurette, Notes|
The remarkable Lalo Schifrin produced yet another fantastic score for this film. His other soundtracks from the 70's include 'Enter The Dragon' (1973) and 'The Eagle Has Landed' (1976).
Thanks to Lalo Schifrin's label Aleph Records, we are able to enjoy his work for Magnum Force for the first time. Track listing:
1. Main Title
2. The Cop
3. Harry's Ostinato
4. Magnum Force
6. The Crooks
7. Harry's New Friend
8. The Pimp
9. Rogue Gun
11. Warm Enough?
13. Last Dance in Sausalito
14. The Faceless Assassin
15. Potrero Hill
16. The Bullet
17. Execution Squad
19. Early is Late
Soundtrack Available: Unknown
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"Clint Eastwood is back in 'Full Force' as Dirty Harry in Magnum Force."
|Dirty Harry is back...|
|"What does a girl have to do to go to bed with you?"|
|"Either your for us or against us"|
|Finally drawing his gun!|| |