San Francisco is being terrorized by sniper Scorpio (Andy Robinson), who kills Diana Davidson as she swims in a pool. Police Inspector Clint Eastwood, nicknamed Dirty Harry, handles the investigation and coincidentally stops three blacks from accomplishing a bank robbery. Known for bringing bad luck to his partners, Eastwood reluctantly takes on young Reni Santoni on the orders of Lt. Harry Guardino. Scorpio promises to kill a black and a priest if the city doesn't give him $100,000. Nearly caught, he doubles the ransom and uses a 14-year-old girl as hostage. Eastwood follows Scorpio's instructions for the delivery, which results in Santoni's wounding. Eastwood's beating and Scorpio's suffering a knife wound. When Eastwood tracks down Scorpio to Kezar Stadium, he tortures the killer into revealing the girl's hiding place. She's found dead and Scorpio is released due to Eastwood's unorthodox procedure. Later, Scorpio takes over a school bus driven by Ruth Kobart. This time, Eastwood is able to finish the job by killing Robinson. Disgustedly, Eastwood throws away his badge.
Play up the Eastwood-Siegel collaboration and the Lalo Schifrin music. Make law and civic tie-ups.
Why do they call him Dirty Harry? Because he gets every dirty job in the book... Clint Eastwood bucks the establishment as the cop who catches Scorpio. Warner Bros. 103 mins.