⌛ Dirty Harry Film Analysis

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Dirty Harry Film Analysis



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Dirty Harry (1971) An In Depth Analysis \u0026 Discussion - Clint Eastwood

She kind of falls apart. In the film she's been through so much and she can't lose any more. It's just she's got this quiet acceptance of it. Richard Corliss of Time stated that "the Coen brothers have adapted literary works before. But No Country for Old Men is their first film taken, pretty straightforwardly, from a [contemporary] prime American novel. The writing is also notable for its minimal use of dialogue. Josh Brolin discussed his initial nervousness with having so little dialogue to work with:.

I mean it was a fear, for sure, because dialogue, that's what you kind of rest upon as an actor, you know? Drama and all the stuff is all dialogue motivated. You have to figure out different ways to convey ideas. You don't want to overcompensate because the fear is that you're going to be boring if nothing's going on. You start doing this and this and taking off your hat and putting it on again or some bullshit that doesn't need to be there. So yeah, I was a little afraid of that in the beginning. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised the novel adaptation. Good and evil are tackled with a rigorous fix on the complexity involved. Director Joel Coen justified his interest in the McCarthy novel. Because you only saw this person in this movie making things and doing things in order to survive and to make this journey, and the fact that you were thrown back on that, as opposed to any dialogue, was interesting to us.

Coen stated that this is the brothers' "first adaptation". He further explained why they chose the novel: "Why not start with Cormac? Why not start with the best? He believed that the author liked the film, while his brother Ethan said, "he didn't yell at us. The title is taken from the opening line of 20th-century Irish poet William Butler Yeats ' poem " Sailing to Byzantium ": [30]. That is no country for old men. The young In one another's arms, birds in the trees — Those dying generations — at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect. Richard Gillmore relates the Yeats poem to the Coens' film. It is also a lament for the way the young neglect the wisdom of the past and, presumably, of the old Yeats chooses Byzantium because it was a great early Christian city in which Plato's Academy , for a time, was still allowed to function. The historical period of Byzantium was a time of culmination that was also a time of transition. In his book of mystical writings, A Vision , Yeats says, 'I think that in early Byzantium, maybe never before or since in recorded history, religious, aesthetic, and practical life were one, that architect and artificers It is an ideal rarely realized in this world and maybe not even in ancient Byzantium.

Certainly within the context of the movie No Country for Old Men , one has the sense, especially from Bell as the chronicler of the times, that things are out of alignment, that balance and harmony are gone from the land and from the people. Craig Kennedy adds that "one key difference is that of focus. The novel belongs to Sheriff Bell. Each chapter begins with Bell's narration, which dovetails and counterpoints the action of the main story. Though the film opens with Bell speaking, much of what he says in the book is condensed and it turns up in other forms.

Also, Bell has an entire backstory in the book that doesn't make it into the film. The result is a movie that is more simplified thematically, but one that gives more of the characters an opportunity to shine. Jay Ellis elaborates on Chigurh's encounter with the man behind the counter at the gas station. Where the book describes the setting as 'almost dark', the film clearly depicts high noon: no shadows are notable in the establishing shot of the gas station, and the sunlight is bright even if behind cloud cover. The light through two windows and a door comes evenly through three walls in the interior shots. But this difference increases our sense of the man's desperation later, when he claims he needs to close and he closes at 'near dark'; it is darker, as it were, in the cave of this man's ignorance than it is outside in the bright light of truth.

In advance of shooting, cinematographer Roger Deakins saw that "the big challenge" of his ninth collaboration with the Coen brothers was "making it very realistic, to match the story I'm imagining doing it very edgy and dark, and quite sparse. Not so stylized. It's that order of planning. And we only shot , feet, whereas most productions of that size might shoot , or a million feet of film. It's quite precise, the way they approach everything.

We never use a zoom," he said. You're actually getting closer to somebody or something. It has, to me, a much more powerful effect, because it's a three-dimensional move. A zoom is more like a focusing of attention. You're just standing in the same place and concentrating on one smaller element in the frame. Emotionally, that's a very different effect. In a later interview, he mentioned the "awkward dilemma [that] No Country certainly contains scenes of some very realistically staged fictional violence, but In an interview with The Guardian , Ethan said, "Hard men in the south-west shooting each other — that's definitely Sam Peckinpah's thing.

We were aware of those similarities, certainly. Director Joel Coen described the process of film making: "I can almost set my watch by how I'm going to feel at different stages of the process. It's always identical, whether the movie ends up working or not. I think when you watch the dailies, the film that you shoot every day, you're very excited by it and very optimistic about how it's going to work. And when you see it the first time you put the film together, the roughest cut, is when you want to go home and open up your veins and get in a warm tub and just go away.

And then it gradually, maybe, works its way back, somewhere toward that spot you were at before. After watching this foolhardy but physically gifted and decent guy escape so many traps, we have a great deal invested in him emotionally, and yet he's eliminated, off-camera, by some unknown Mexicans. He doesn't get the dignity of a death scene. The Coens have suppressed their natural jauntiness. They have become orderly, disciplined masters of chaos, but one still has the feeling that, out there on the road from nowhere to nowhere, they are rooting for it rather than against it. Josh Brolin discussed the Coens' directing style in an interview, saying that the brothers "only really say what needs to be said.

They don't sit there as directors and manipulate you and go into page after page to try to get you to a certain place. They may come in and say one word or two words, so that was nice to be around in order to feed the other thing. I'll just watch Ethan go humming to himself and pacing. Maybe that's what I should do, too. Maybe it was because we both [Brolin and Javier Bardem ] thought we'd be fired. With the Coens, there's zero compliments, really zero anything. No 'nice work. And then—I'm doing this scene with Woody Harrelson. Woody can't remember his lines, he stumbles his way through it, and then both Coens are like, 'Oh my God!

We tried to give it the same feeling. The Coens minimized the score used in the film, leaving large sections devoid of music. The concept was Ethan's, who persuaded a skeptical Joel to go with the idea. There is some music in the movie, scored by the Coens' longtime composer, Carter Burwell , but after finding that "most musical instruments didn't fit with the minimalist sound sculpture he had in mind Sound editing and effects were provided by another longtime Coens collaborator, Skip Lievsay , who used a mixture of emphatic sounds gun shots and ambient noise engine noise, prairie winds in the mix.

The foley for the captive bolt pistol used by Chigurh was created using a pneumatic nail gun. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker states that "there is barely any music, sensual or otherwise, and Carter Burwell's score is little more than a fitful murmur", [45] and Douglas McFarland states that "perhaps [the film's] salient formal characteristic is the absence, with one telling exception, of a musical soundtrack, creating a mood conducive to thoughtful and unornamented speculation in what is otherwise a fierce and destructive landscape. But it is there, telling our unconscious that something different is occurring with the toss; this becomes certain when it ends as Chigurh uncovers the coin on the counter.

The deepest danger has passed as soon as Chigurh finds and Javier Bardem's acting confirms this and reveals to the man that he has won. Dennis Lim of The New York Times stressed that "there is virtually no music on the soundtrack of this tense, methodical thriller. Long passages are entirely wordless. In some of the most gripping sequences what you hear mostly is a suffocating silence. The idea here was to remove the safety net that lets the audience feel like they know what's going to happen. I think it makes the movie much more suspenseful. You're not guided by the score and so you lose that comfort zone. James Roman observes the effect of sound in the scene where Chigurh pulls in for gas at the Texaco rest stop.

As the scene opens in a long shot, the screen is filled with the remote location of the rest stop with the sound of the Texaco sign mildly squeaking in a light breeze. The sound and image of a crinkled cashew wrapper tossed on the counter adds to the tension as the paper twists and turns. The intimacy and potential horror that it suggests is never elevated to a level of kitschy drama as the tension rises from the mere sense of quiet and doom that prevails. Jeffrey Overstreet adds that "the scenes in which Chigurh stalks Moss are as suspenseful as anything the Coens have ever staged.

And that has as much to do with what we hear as what we see. No Country for Old Men lacks a traditional soundtrack, but don't say it doesn't have music. The blip-blip-blip of a transponder becomes as frightening as the famous theme from Jaws. The sound of footsteps on the hardwood floors of a hotel hallway are as ominous as the drums of war. When the leather of a briefcase squeaks against the metal of a ventilation shaft, you'll cringe, and the distant echo of a telephone ringing in a hotel lobby will jangle your nerves.

While No Country for Old Men is a "doggedly faithful" adaptation of McCarthy's novel and its themes, the film also revisits themes which the Coens had explored in their earlier movies Blood Simple and Fargo. Still, the Coens open the film with a voice-over narration by Tommy Lee Jones who plays Sheriff Ed Tom Bell set against the barren Texas country landscape where he makes his home. His ruminations on a teenager he sent to the chair explain that, although the newspapers described the boy's murder of his year-old girlfriend as a crime of passion, "he told me there weren't nothin' passionate about it.

Said he'd been fixin' to kill someone for as long as he could remember. Said if I let him out of there, he'd kill somebody again. Said he was goin' to hell. Reckoned he'd be there in about 15 minutes. And their impact has been improved upon in the delivery. When I get the DVD of this film, I will listen to that stretch of narration several times; Jones delivers it with a vocal precision and contained emotion that is extraordinary, and it sets up the entire film. In The Village Voice , Scott Foundas writes that "Like McCarthy, the Coens are markedly less interested in who if anyone gets away with the loot than in the primal forces that urge the characters forward In the end, everyone in No Country for Old Men is both hunter and hunted, members of some endangered species trying to forestall their extinction.

New York Times critic A. Scott observes that Chigurh, Moss, and Bell each "occupy the screen one at a time, almost never appearing in the frame together, even as their fates become ever more intimately entwined. Variety critic Todd McCarthy describes Chigurh's modus operandi : "Death walks hand in hand with Chigurh wherever he goes, unless he decides otherwise Occasionally, however, he will allow someone to decide his own fate by coin toss, notably in a tense early scene in an old filling station marbled with nervous humor. Jim Emerson describes how the Coens introduced Chigurh in one of the first scenes when he strangles the deputy who arrested him: "A killer rises: Our first blurred sight of Chigurh's face As he moves forward, into focus, to make his first kill, we still don't get a good look at him because his head rises above the top of the frame.

His victim, the deputy, never sees what's coming, and Chigurh, chillingly, doesn't even bother to look at his face while he garrotes him. Critic Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian stated that "the savoury, serio-comic tang of the Coens' film-making style is recognisably present, as is their predilection for the weirdness of hotels and motels". But he added that they "have found something that has heightened and deepened their identity as film-makers: a real sense of seriousness, a sense that their offbeat Americana and gruesome and surreal comic contortions can really be more than the sum of their parts". Geoff Andrew of Time Out London said that the Coens "find a cinematic equivalent to McCarthy's language: his narrative ellipses, play with point of view, and structural concerns such as the exploration of the similarities and differences between Moss, Chigurh and Bell.

Certain virtuoso sequences feel near-abstract in their focus on objects, sounds, light, colour or camera angle rather than on human presence Notwithstanding much marvellous deadpan humour, this is one of their darkest efforts. Arne De Boever believes that there is a "close affinity, and intimacy even, between the sheriff and Chigurh in No Country for Old Men [which is developed] in a number of scenes.

There is, to begin with, the sheriff's voice at the beginning of the film, which accompanies the images of Chigurh's arrest. This initial weaving together of the figures of Chigurh and the sheriff is further developed later on in the film, when the sheriff visits Llewelyn Moss' trailer home in search for Moss and his wife, Carla Jean. Chigurh has visited the trailer only minutes before, and the Coen brothers have the sheriff sit down in the same exact spot where Chigurh had been sitting which is almost the exact same spot where, the evening before, Moss joined his wife on the couch.

Like Chigurh, the sheriff sees himself reflected in the dark glass of Moss' television, their mirror images perfectly overlapping if one were to superimpose these two shots. When the sheriff pours himself a glass of milk from the bottle that stands sweating on the living room table—a sign that the sheriff and his colleague, deputy Wendell Garret Dillahunt , only just missed their man—this mirroring of images goes beyond the level of reflection, and Chigurh enters into the sheriff's constitution, thus further undermining any easy opposition of Chigurh and the sheriff, and instead exposing a certain affinity, intimacy, or similarity even between both. In an interview with Charlie Rose , co-director Joel Coen acknowledged that "there's a lot of violence in the book," and considered the violence depicted in the film as "very important to the story".

He further added that "we couldn't conceive it, sort of soft pedaling that in the movie, and really doing a thing resembling the book Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan commented on the violence depicted in the film: "The Coen brothers dropped the mask. They've put violence on screen before, lots of it, but not like this. Not anything like this.

No Country for Old Men doesn't celebrate or smile at violence; it despairs of it. But it's also clear that the Coen brothers and McCarthy are not interested in violence for its own sake, but for what it says about the world we live in As the film begins, a confident deputy says I got it under control, and in moments he is dead. He didn't have anywhere near the mastery he imagined. And in this despairing vision, neither does anyone else. NPR critic Bob Mondello adds that "despite working with a plot about implacable malice, the Coen Brothers don't ever overdo. You could even say they know the value of understatement: At one point they garner chills simply by having a character check the soles of his boots as he steps from a doorway into the sunlight.

By that time, blood has pooled often enough in No Country for Old Men that they don't have to show you what he's checking for. Critic Stephanie Zacharek of Salon states that "this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy 's novel touches on brutal themes, but never really gets its hands dirty. The movie's violence isn't pulpy and visceral, the kind of thing that hits like a fist; it's brutal, and rather relentless, but there are still several layers of comfortable distance between it and us.

At one point a character lifts his cowboy boot, daintily, so it won't be mussed by the pool of blood gathering at his feet He was still living in an ever-changing world, but that didn't stop him from taking aim and blowing criminals away who were out to harm others. This popular phrase is now practically part of the cultural lexicon, but Harry Callahan beat everyone to the punch decades ago. Not one to mince words, Harry was used to distilling people down to their core elements in a short space of time, or as a means to intimidate anyone he didn't like. Here, he makes an accurate, albeit crude analysis of the human condition, and why society has so much trouble getting along.

At the end of the day, everyone has their own opinion on how things ought to be done and run, but only the effectiveness of said methods really matters. Harry was known for doing whatever it took to get the job done, within reason. He acted on instinct and impulse, with property damage following in his wake. Fortunately, his instincts proved to be correct nine times out of ten, and his actions saved lives, even if they ended up violating the rules. Here, he makes a case for the need to deal with the more insidious elements of the criminal underworld by doing things nobody wants to talk about.

While Callahan was certainly not a vigilante, he knew that criminals never play by the same rule book as cops do. This quote is classic Callahan to a T. While his disenfranchised view of the law and day-in, day-out dealings with the worst elements of society must have taken its toll, Callahan never lost his sense of very dry humor. After taking out a couple of thugs, he phones up the local emergency line and utters this funny quote. It's the perfect thing for a man like Callahan to say and definitely sums up his view of criminals.

Laying insult to injury, he acts within the confines of the law in order to get them patched out when anyone else in his frame of mind might have simply pulled the trigger. In Harry's world, everything operated under a system of rationality and common sense. Commit a crime, and get punished. It was as simple as that. In Magnum Force, Harry utters this quote while discussing police marksmanship with another officer. It's simple and straightforward, which sums up Callahan's entire personality.

Harry had been involved in many scuffles over the length of his career, but he always knew when to draw a gun, and when to simply punch a suspect's lights out. When the former became an inevitable scenario, he didn't hesitate in pulling the trigger, knowing full well that in his mind, the shooting was entirely justified. Callahan wasn't the least bit concerned with the well-being of the Scorpio killer, and he realized that the current system of law was responsible for bogging down the case in so much legal red tape that it ended up costing the life of an innocent woman.

After successfully tracking and arresting Scorpio, Callahan thought he would serve jail time for the death of the young girl he kidnapped. Unfortunately, he was chewed out for the use of police brutality and denial of the Scorpio's rights, despite his psychotic and sadistic nature. Callahan uttered this quote with angry sarcasm while wondering why the legal system was more concerned about Scorpio's "rights" than the brutal death of an innocent young girl. This quote came courtesy of Magnum Force, which pitted Callahan against a group of rogue police officers who took a page from Hollywood vigilante revenge flicks and dispensed their own brand of justice.

It put him in a very precarious position since he himself loathed the system he was forced to operate within, and frequently bent the rules to get the job done. These cops crossed a line Harry would never have dreamt of, however. Quotes Dr. User reviews 56 Review. Top review. I give up - this is the worst ever! Dont get me wrong - i like bad movies - i like them a lot! I laughed - a lot even, but that was more in amazement than because of the humorous content - maybe because there is none.

Its like the director have deliberately purged the film of all content that could be considered humorous. The scenes are dragged out like someone with a stopwatch was telling the actors to 'hang in there - this scene is 10 minutes in the script The big hoot: the-singing-alien-scene is - although mildly amusing in the beginning - so long that the actors have serious trouble keeping the puzzled look, and actually started looking seriously bored halfway through the act.

So take the friendly advice of everyone but one of these fine critics - Do NOT watch this film - not even if you have a strong stomach. Details Edit. Release date July United States. United States. Naked space. Creature Features Mark Haggard Features. Box office Edit. Technical specs Edit. Runtime 1h 28min. Related news.

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