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The Enforcer

3.5 2
Director: James Fargo

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Bradford Dillman


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The Enforcer (1951) arrrives on DVD looking better than it has in any home viewing format in decades, courtesy of Artisan Entertainment and Republic Pictures -- edits that cut out some of the most violent shots have been corrected and restored, and the Robert Burks' dark, moody cinematography has been given its maximum impact, every shot carefully transferred


The Enforcer (1951) arrrives on DVD looking better than it has in any home viewing format in decades, courtesy of Artisan Entertainment and Republic Pictures -- edits that cut out some of the most violent shots have been corrected and restored, and the Robert Burks' dark, moody cinematography has been given its maximum impact, every shot carefully transferred right down to the last frame. The audio is in good shape as well, especially David Buttolph's appropriately girm-toned, action-filled score which, at times, seems to anticipate the work he subsequently did on The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. The annotation is virtually non-existent, apart from a plot synopsis that fails to capture the ominous tone of the movie, and no reference is made to Raoul Walsh's uncredited contribution to the movie, directing all of the action and violent sequences. But the 87 minute film has been given a generous 18 chapters, and onr bonus feature, the original trailer, which assembles many of the most violence sequences from the film together with some hardboiled blurbs. As for the content, fans of Humphrey Bogart may find it a little strange, his playing a prosecutor -- something he hadn't done since his pre-starring days of the 1930's, in pictures such as Marked Woman -- but he brings a lot of energy to the role, and it does allow him to work within the confines of the modern police procedural story; The Enforcer, after all, owes more to Dragnet than it does to earlier Bogart crime pictures such as High Sierra or Dead Reckoning. The disc opens on a simple single-layer menu that's easy to maneuver around and opens automatically on start-up.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The third entry in the Dirty Harry action film series is one of the most underrated. The script by Stirling Silliphant and Dean Riesner leans a bit too heavily on verbal humor at times, but delivers its surprisingly complex scenario in an easily followed style punctuated by plenty of action. Director James Fargo gives the film a steady pace that allows the dramatic moments room to breathe, but keeps the story moving forward an energetic pace. He also shows considerable kinetic flair in the action scenes; highlights include Callahan busting up a hostage situation with his police car and an exciting rooftop chase that climaxes with a hair-raising plunge through a skylight. The Enforcer is also notable for humanizing Harry Callahan through his dealings with his female partner, Kate Moore. His transition from grudging respect to true acceptance of his partner adds an unexpected element of touching emotion to the proceedings. Eastwood handles this transition in a skillful low-key fashion that makes the softening of his gruff character believable, and Tyne Daly handles her role as Moore with a deft combination of wit and nervous charm. Other memorable performances include Bradford Dillman as Harry's perpetually enraged superior officer and Albert Popwell's moody turn as radical leader (and unexpected Callahan ally) Big Ed Mustapha. The one real problem with The Enforcer is that it lacks a singular villain worthy of its formidable hero. The film's hippie villains, inspired by the Symbionese Liberation Army, lack the strength or depth to pose a memorable threat to the hero. Despite this problem, The Enforcer remains a brisk action programmer that is worth the time for Clint Eastwood fans.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital, monaural]

Special Features

All-new 2000 digital transfer; Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; "Harry Callahan/Clint Eastwood: Something Special in Films" behind-the-scenes documentary ; Production notes; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clint Eastwood Harry Callahan
Harry Guardino Lt. Bressler
Bradford Dillman Capt. McKay
John Mitchum DiGeorgio
DeVeren Bookwalter Bobby Maxwell
Tyne Daly Kate Moore
John Crawford Mayor
Albert Popwell Mustapha
Samantha Doane Wanda
Robert Hoy Buchinski
Jocelyn Jones Miki
M.G. Kelly Father John
Rudy Ramos Mendez
Bill Ackridge Andy
Joe Bellan Freddie the Fainter
Jan Stratton Mrs. Grey
Will MacMillian Lt. Dobbs
Jerry Walter Krause
Michael Cavanaugh Lalo
Dick Durock Karl
Robert Behling Autopsy Surgeon
Terry McGovern Disc Jockey
John Roselius Mayor's Driver
Brian Fong Scoutmaster
Chuck Hicks Huey
Fritz Manes Detective #1
Nick Pellegrino Martin
Bill Jelliffe Johnny

Technical Credits
James Fargo Director
Ira Bates Set Decoration/Design
Joe Cavalier Asst. Director
Joel Cox Editor
Robert Daley Producer
Jerry Fielding Score Composer
Les Fresholtz Sound/Sound Designer
Richard C. Glouner Cinematographer
Bert Hallberg Sound/Sound Designer
Gail Morgan Hickman Original Story
Fritz Manes Producer
Joe McKinney Makeup
Dean Riesner Screenwriter
S.W. Schurr Original Story
Charles W. Short Cinematographer
Stirling Silliphant Screenwriter
Allen E. Smith Art Director
Ferris Webster Editor
Glenn Wright Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Good Samaritans, Bad End [4:08]
2. Cityscape Credits [1:43]
3. Free Meal, No Ride [1:55]
4. Special Delivery [4:41]
5. Transferred [2:19]
6. Oral Examination Board [1:54]
7. Off. Kate Moore [3:23]
8. Munitions Warehouse Job [7:55]
9. War Casualty [3:27]
10. Terrorist Threat [:58]
11. New Partner [1:54]
12. Firing Range [1:38]
13. Her First Autopsy [3:17]
14. Chasing a Bomber [7:51]
15. Her End of the Log [1:05]
16. Big Ed Mustafa [6:01]
17. Under Arrest [1:46]
18. Seven-point Suppository [4:59]
19. Cold, Bold Callahan [4:23]
20. The Mayor Kidnapped [5:38]
21. Power to the People [2:24]
22. A Lead on Wanda [1:48]
23. Love Tussle at Tiffany's [2:58]
24. Back-room Negotiations [2:11]
25. Secrets in Church [3:41]
26. Assault on Alcatraz [4:27]
27. In the Line of Fire [2:57]
28. On Target [1:33]
29. A Life For a Life [1:26]
30. End Credits [1:57]


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The Enforcer 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SS70 More than 1 year ago
After the odd debacle of Magnum Force, The Enforcer places Harry Callahan back on firmer ground. This time out he's hunting a group of thieves who masquerade as revolutionaries, which is a scenario ready-made for Dirty Harry. As for the technical details, the transfer is awesomely clear, even on old 1/1.33 television sets. Of special interest is the featurette discussing the evolution of violence in cinema. While the first Dirty Harry film pushed the bounds of violence on the screen, by this time far more violent films were being produced by Hollywood, so holding Dirty Harry up as a poster child for cinematic violence is a bit misguided. I would recommend The Enforcer to anyone interested in Dirty Harry, Eastwood or mid-'70s cinema.