Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Una 44 Magnum per L'Ispettore Callaghan

I never really warmed up to Dirty Harry. Don't get me wrong - I love the 1971 film but I just can't relate to Eastwood's portrayal of the cop Harry Callahan, whose super-human, right-wing swagger puts me off. He's too mechanical (and righteous) as opposed to Gene Hackman's flawed Popeye Doyle in The French Connection - a film I consider a classic of early 70s American cop cinema. I tend to go back to Doyle more than I do Callahan. Doyle's swagger is human and The French Connection just feels real.

The Dirty Harry franchise became a parody of itself (even though Dirty Harry is itself a parody) and I find the sequels unwatchable, particularly Ted Post's drab Magnum Force. At least Harry, despite his conservatism, dukes it out with his own kind - ultra-conservative cops (albeit crooked).

Even though I don't care for Magnum Force, I think this poster - from Italy - is more spellbinding than the movie. What's great is how it captures the film but puts a sort of psychedelic spin on the proceedings. It certainly emphasizes Harry's appendage - his .44 Magnum. And I think the title, Una 44 Magnum per L'Ispettore Callaghan basically translates to "A .44 Magnum for Inspector Callahan," which hilariously deflates the power of the film's title: Magnum Force (BTW, Callahan in the Italian title is spelled incorrectly).

Ultimately, the movie simply can't live up to the swagger of its American title nor the wonkiness of this crazy Italian poster.

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