Since setting up this blog I have posted a number of movie guides, which help to clarify the viewing order of long-running film franchises. Thanks to all the reboots, remakes, and reworkings, it can get a little confusing, so the point of these guides is to streamline things a little.

As a general rule of thumb, I tend to focus on movie series that either contain confusing timelines such as X-Men or that experience regular reboots, such as Batman. Today I’m focusing on something a little different – the Dirty Harry films.

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures

If you grew up watching the Dirty Harry series then no doubt you can list all five movies in order of release. Heck, you probably know what gun “Dirty” Harry uses and you can probably reel off many Dirty Harry quotes.

However, if you’ve never followed the Dirty Harry films, or they have simply passed you by, then you might be wondering what is the best viewing order. You see, unlike many film franchises, the Dirty Harry films are not numbered and do not carry similar titles!

While ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan appears in every movie, always played by actor Clint Eastwood, only one film is named in his honour.

Confusing, right?

Yes, it can be.

So, what is the best viewing order for Dirty Harry?

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures

If you want to watch the Dirty Harry films in order, you need to view them as follows:

  • Dirty Harry (1971)
  • Magnum Force (1973)
  • The Enforcer (1976)
  • Sudden Impact (1983)
  • The Dead Pool (1988)

Yep, it’s as simple as that – five films in that order.

All five films are currently available to purchase on digital, DVD and Blu-ray. Amazon has the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry Collection Blu-ray boxset available, and this includes all of the movies, from Dirty Harry through to The Dead Pool.

I own this boxset myself and it is great to see the movies presented in high definition and sounding great! Each movie includes a handful of special features, including commentaries, documentaries and featurettes.

And now to answer a couple of general questions which tend to crop up regarding the Dirty Harry films.

Is The Gauntlet a Dirty Harry film?

If you’ve ever found yourself asking this question, then don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a common question which stems from the fact that The Gauntlet sees Clint Eastwood take on the role of a tough cop in a ’70s-era action movie, which also stars Sondra Locke – Eastwood’s co-star in Sudden Impact.

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures

But for those asking the question, no, The Gauntlet is NOT a Dirty Harry movie. It is simply another action film featuring Clint Eastwood.

Did Clint Eastwood direct Dirty Harry?

While Eastwood is an accomplished director, who did direct an entry in the Dirty Harry series, he did NOT direct Dirty Harry. Don Siegel was the director of Dirty Harry.

Eastwood directed the fourth entry in the series, Sudden Impact.

What are the most famous Dirty Harry quotes?

I’d say there are two very famous quotes from the Dirty Harry movies and they are:

“You’ve got to ask yourself a question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry

and

“Go ahead, make my day.”Harry Callahan in Sudden Impact

And finally, a question that often crops up…

How would you rank the Dirty Harry movies?

This comes down to personal preference but the general consensus is that Dirty Harry is the best movie in the series, with Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact and The Deadpool following.

Rotten Tomatoes list the films as follows:

  • Dirty Harry 93%
  • Magnum Force 82%
  • The Enforcer 79%
  • Sudden Impact 57%
  • The Deadpool 57%

Oh and before I wrap things up, if you’re wondering what gun does “Dirty” Harry use, then it is a .44 Magnum – which according to Harry Callahan is “the most powerful handgun in the world.”

And now you know, punk!

I hope you’ve found this post useful. If so, let me know in the comments section below. You can also use the comments section to tell me about your love for the Dirty Harry movies. Which is your favourite? Do you wish Eastwood had made more Dirty Harry films? Whatever your thoughts, please let me know.

Until next time, happy viewing!

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