Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dirty Harry's America"Clint Eastwood, Harry Callahan, and the Conservative Backlash"$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joe Street

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061672

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061672.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 28 February 2020

Dirty Harry

Dirty Harry

San Francisco in the Nixon Era

(p.66) 3 Dirty Harry
Dirty Harry's America

Joe Street

University Press of Florida

This chapter pays particular attention to Dirty Harry’s representation of key themes discussed in the previous chapter, arguing that the film presents a refraction of San Francisco’s contemporary history. Once placed in its San Francisco context, Dirty Harry’s conservatism is revealed through links between real events and key scenes in the film. Key themes include the film’s impressionistic use of San Francisco’s geography; its representation of the counterculture, race, gender and sexuality; and the relationship between the city’s liberal elite, Callahan and the film’s principal villain. The chapter emphasizes Dirty Harry’s exploration of the methods used by criminals to manipulate legislation designed to protect their rights as American citizens. Its overriding argument is that the film’s ambiguities complicate and disrupt, yet fail to eclipse, the explicit and implicit conservative thrust of the film. Where a more nuanced film might have presented Callahan’s conservatism as the “least-worst” option in a complex world, Dirty Harry suggests that conservatism is the only genuine solution to the urban crisis.

Keywords:   Dirty Harry, San Francisco, Conservatism, Counterculture, Liberal, Rights, Urban crisis

Florida Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .