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Sudden Impact

R Released Dec 9, 1983 1h 57m Action Mystery & Thriller List
51% Tomatometer 41 Reviews 54% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings
Jennifer Spencer (Sondra Locke) was gang raped, but the crime went unpunished. Now she demands revenge, killing off the men that attacked her years before. The murders attract the attention of Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), who is on a forced vacation due to his violent approach to police work. The case gets complicated when Harry develops a relationship with Jennifer, and it's up to Harry to make the right decision when Jennifer's life is threatened for a second time. Read More Read Less
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Sudden Impact

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Critics Consensus

Sudden Impact delivers all the firepower -- and the most enduring catchphrase -- fans associate with the Dirty Harry franchise, but it's far from the best film in the series.

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Critics Reviews

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Harper Barnes St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sudden Impact can be fun, if you do not take it too seriously. But it is so unrelievedly brutal and ugly, particularly in the last part, that even hard-core Dirty Harry fans may find themselves recoiling from the experience. May 12, 2023 Full Review Variety Staff Variety This is the first entry in the series to have been directed by Eastwood himself, and action is put over with great force, if also with some obviousness. Mar 26, 2009 Full Review Time Out Eastwood the star needed a hit to bolster his flagging ratings; now that he's got it, maybe Harry will be put out to stud, with his Magnum. Jun 24, 2006 Full Review Eddie Harrison film-authority.com …annoyingly garbled morally…Eastwood is so busy subverting audience notions of who Dirty Harry is that he neglects to provide much fan service at all… Rated: 2/5 Feb 11, 2024 Full Review George Anderson Pittsburgh Post-Gazette It probably won't matter to audiences, enjoying the preposterous body count, that Sudden Impact takes Dirty Harry treacherously close to self-parody. May 13, 2023 Full Review Allan Ulrich San Francisco Examiner What it all comes down to is an exercise in manipulation for the Neanderthal sensibility. Rated: 2/4 May 12, 2023 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Aender S The best of the Dirty Harry movies. No coincidence, it's also the one fully directed by Clint Eastwood. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/16/24 Full Review James A Directed by Clint, this is easily the darkest and most unsettling Dirty Harry film. And overall, it is also the franchise's best movie. The story is memorable and effectively challenges Inspector Callahan's moral sensibilities...at least far more than the events of Magnum Force ever did. Worth your time. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/01/24 Full Review Alec B The bleakest of these movies but that feels appropriate given the subject matter. Also, Locke's haunting performance seriously elevates what could have easily been your basic exploitation fair. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/20/24 Full Review Matthew D "My sister and I will never forget." Director Clint Eastwood's neo-noir rape revenge action thriller Sudden Impact (1983) is brutally grim and dark in atmosphere. I like that it has a neo-noir feel, complete with a stunning femme fatale that you're rooting for her to get revenge on sickening rapist men. Eastwood's direction is excellent and delivers vicious shootouts. Dirty Harry firing off his giant revolver is so entertaining, especially when he's just killing off heinous men. Writers Dean Riesner, Joseph Stinson, Charles B. Pierce, and Earl E. Smith neatly comes up with a dark and brooding Dirty Harry neo-noir story of revenge on sick abusers of women. I had a lot of fun with Sudden Impact. Cinematographer Bruce Surtees will use these brightly lit wide shots for action sequences, then haunting close-up shots for Eastwood and Locke that are mesmerizing. I love the unique framing for the close-up shots that every shot feels carefully executed. Joel Cox' editing is slick with very tight cuts that make Sudden Impact's 117 minutes fly by quickly. The slow zoom-ins on Sondra Locke's face are striking. Clint Eastwood is awesome as tough and vengeful Inspector "Dirty Harry" Callahan. His huge long barrel .44 caliber revolver is so cool as he blows away mobsters and rapists with extreme prejudice. Eastwood's hard glares, menacing frown, witty comebacks, and surprising sympathy for women this time. Eastwood is enthralling and the main enjoyment of the Dirty Harry movies, and Sudden Impact is greatly elevated by his hard boiled performance. Eastwood ensures Dirty Harry is grim and mean as ever. Sondra Locke is gorgeous and enchanting as the woman out for revenge against the disgusting sleazes of San Francisco as the spree killer Jennifer Spencer. I like that she teams up with Dirty Harry for an ultra violent revenge fantasy that's far more satisfying than Eastwood's High Plains Drifter. Her piercing deep, black eyes are hypnotizing. It's like she's dead eyed from her abuse and can only kill men to hopefully reclaim herself. Pat Hingle is funny as the irritable Police Chief Lester Jannings, who is clearly corrupt as the rapists are all close friends of his son. Bradford Dillman is fun as the angry Captain Briggs. Albert Popwell is fun as Dirty Harry's black friend Horace King, who gets Harry a bulldog named Meathead. All the supporting men are loathsome as the creeps. Michael V. Gazzo is hilarious as mob boss Threlkis, who immediately has a heart attack, causing Dirty Harry to have thugs shooting at him throughout Sudden Impact. Composer Lalo Schifrin provides ambient moody jazz for his eerie film score. It sounds like a film noir score, which matches the neo-noir atmosphere of Sudden Impact. Sound designers Bub Asman, Rick Alexander, Alan Robert Murray, Les Fresholtz, Robert G. Henderson, Vern Poore, and Donald F. Johnson let gunshot noises ring out loud and clear with huge explosive echoing. Makeup artist Barbara Guedel makes Sondra look super pale and pretty. Hairstyling from Marlene D. Williams styles Sondra Locke with long platinum hair that's stunning. In short, Sudden Impact is a dark and crazy Dirty Harry sequel. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 12/02/23 Full Review Test T Overall, I really liked it. I like Dirty Harry's approach to police work and I loved watching him administer justice on the streets to the dismay of his long suffering superiors. It's as if he deliberately goes out of his way to cause mayhem at every opportunity which I found satirically very amusing. The supporting cast are very funny as well. The Mayer, police chief, cafe robbers, woman in the bar, pensioners on the bus, even the serial killer Jennifer and her rapist victims are all fun to watch. It's a shame it has to carry an 18 rating. My only criticism is that I would have liked all of the scenes to have been played out in daylight. For example, in the fairground scenes at the end I found it difficult to see some of what was happening. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 09/25/23 Full Review TWMax65 Idc what people say, this movie is awesome. Clint Eastwood delivers one of the best movie insults/threats of all time in the first 5 minutes, as well as the iconic line "Go ahead, make my day" in the next scene. So many awesome moments in this movie. The shot/scene with him at the carnival/docks where he faces all 3 bad guys in the dark shadow that covers his face from the distance is genius cinematography/directing/filmmaking. I even liked the villains and how they acted for who they were! As far as I'm concerned, this is a classic Dirty Harry movie that is on par with the original from 1971! Clint Eastwood has been, is, and will always be a legend on the big screen! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 08/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Jennifer Spencer (Sondra Locke) was gang raped, but the crime went unpunished. Now she demands revenge, killing off the men that attacked her years before. The murders attract the attention of Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), who is on a forced vacation due to his violent approach to police work. The case gets complicated when Harry develops a relationship with Jennifer, and it's up to Harry to make the right decision when Jennifer's life is threatened for a second time.
Director
Clint Eastwood
Producer
Clint Eastwood
Screenwriter
Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink, Charles B. Pierce, Earl E. Smith, Joseph Stinson
Distributor
Warner Home Vídeo
Production Co
Warner Bros., The Malpaso Company
Rating
R
Genre
Action, Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 9, 1983, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 57m
Sound Mix
Mono
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