Magnum Force (1985) from Tuna and CK Roach

Tuna's comments in white:

Magnum Force (1973) -- Sometimes screening movies is a pure joy. This is one of those times. We have a pretty damn good Dirty Harry Callahan yarn, and superlative nudity.

Harry is a Detective in San Francisco, and somebody starts blowing away the bad guys. We see early on that it is someone in a cop uniform with a police motorcycle. Harry's boss tells him it is a war among organized crime members, but Harry figures it out quickly. The film is full of chases through San Francisco, fights, and shooting. This film is somewhat interesting in that Harry is one of the least violent and most moral characters in the story. This was the second of the Dirty Harry films, and I liked it as much as the first.


An unknown actress shows breasts, buns, and some bush in good light

Adele Yoshioka appears nude in Harry's apartment, but she stays in the shadows and hides her breasts with her hair.

Suzanne Somers (Three's Company's Crissy) does a topless closeup in great light. She walks along a pool in a bikini, jumps in the water, takes off her top, bounces up and down a few times, then slowly turns from profile to facing the camera. We also get a good look as she is shot, and then a distant shot of her floating on her back dead

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic

The five "Dirty Harry" films:
  1. (7.59) - Dirty Harry (1971)
  2. (6.60) - Magnum Force (1973)
  3. (6.40) - The Enforcer (1976)
  4. (6.11) - Sudden Impact (1983)
  5. (5.71) - The Dead Pool (1988)
CK Roach's comments in yellow:

It is very rare that a sequel to a good movie turns out to be as good as the original. It is even rarer that such a movie is better than the original feature. Magnum Force is one of the few (I can count them on my fingers) movies that fits this category. The original film "Dirty Harry" introduces the character of "Dirty Harry Callahan", played by Clint Eastwood. This movie makes him almost real.

This film is an early John Milius screenplay directed by Ted Post. It probably represents the point in Clint Eastwood's career when he becomes a solid superstar.

What makes Magnum Force better than the original film? I believe the answer is the story. In the original film, we meet Harry and see how he shoots his way from scene to scene. The story develops around conflict with his boss while chasing a crazed serial killer. Unfortunately both the killer and the boss are simple "Cardboard Villains."

The sequel is far from this. Instead of the worn out "Conflict with the bad guy boss" story, we have something far more chilling. In this movie Harry is pitted against a group of rogue police officers that are systematically killing off the local mob leaders. This group also includes another bad guy boss (can't get away from it) played by Hal Holbrook, who is trying to keep Harry off of the trail of the rogue officers. When Harry begins to get close he is asked to join the death squad. To reveal any further will spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it.

Also in this movie we see a human side of Harry as he gets picked up on by a lovely Japanese lady named "Sunny".  Harry even saves her life by preventing her from opening a mailbox rigged with a bomb.

The movie also includes early performances by Robert Urich, David Soul, Tim Matheson and in an uncredited, pre-fame role, Suzanne Somers.

The DVD version includes some behind the scenes material, as well as the usual trailers. The transfer quality is only mediocre. Fortunately it is priced most places at under $15 so it is a good value.

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • domestic box office: $20 million


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a solid C, and thank God for the 70s, when any non-Disney film needed some nudity.

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