Friday, 6 February 2009

Magnum Force 1973


Magnum Force is the first in a series of sequels to the 1971 film Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood returning as maverick cop Harry Callahan. The film was released in 1973 and directed by Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in TV's Rawhide and the feature film Hang 'Em High. The screenplay was written by John Milius (who provided an uncredited rewrite for the original film) and Michael Cimino. This film features early appearances by David Soul, Tim Matheson and Robert Urich as the vigilante traffic cops.
Carmine Ricca (Richard Devon), a known organised-crime kingpin, drives away from a court case where he was declared not guilty for a massacre. Soon after, a motorcycle traffic cop stops Ricca’s car and begins to write out a ticket for the driver, saying he had "crossed the double-line". Suddenly, the cop pulls his service revolver, a .357 Magnum, shoots all four men in the car, then calmly drives off.


Below: How Magnum Force would have opened when seen in UK cinemas with its original X certificate

To view the original trailer, click below:
             
As a point of interest, the original company logo (at the time of the film's release) was that of Warner Communications Inc, a great moving logo, which was sadly replaced on later prints with the standard (and static) WB 'shield in the sky' logo. For me, the Warner communications logo was the only way to open the movie, so for that reason alone, I've included a picture here. It is after all, a vital part of Magnum Force's History...

To hear Lalo Schifrin's terrific main title theme click below:
            
Magnum Force 1974 UK Quad poster 30 x 40
Magnum Force Re-Release UK Quad Poster 30 x 40
Magnum Force Blue Quad design - which curiously had no credits
Magnum Force 1974 Clint Eastwood David Soul Original Australian Day bill poster

Magnum Force 1974 Clint Eastwood David Soul Original Large French poster

Magnum Force 1974 Clint Eastwood David Soul Orig Turkish 1 sheet 27x40

Magnum Force 1974 Clint Eastwood David Soul Orig Yugoslavian

Below: Magnum Force 1974 Clint Eastwood David Soul Swedish Insert

Magnum Force 1974 Clint Eastwood Very Rare Original set of Turkish Lobby Cards x 8 (9” x 13.5”)
Magnum Force 1974 DVD Clint Eastwood stars in the sequel to the classic Dirty Harry, superb.


Magnum Force 1974 Extremely rare Mint condition rolled original U.S. Half sheet one of the best

Magnum Force 1974 Hero Cop Yesterday and Today Original Featurette Super 8mm format
To view this original featurette, click below.
             
Magnum Force 1974 JAPAN LD beautifully designed packaging from Japan makes this Laserdisc very appealing. Only Panned and Scanned, but as I recall, it contains the original Warner Communications Company opening (as shown at the top of page).




Magnum Force 1974 Japan Original Thick fully illustrated colour Brochure

Magnum Force 1974 LD Remastered sequel on NTSC Laserdisc.

Magnum Force 1974 FOH set x 8 UK
Magnum Force 1974 Lobby set x 16 German
Magnum Force 1974 Lobby sets A and B x 16 French (with deleted scenes) 12 /16 shown
Magnum Force 1974 Mini lobby set x 8 USA



Magnum Force 1974 Original U.K. Film tie-in Paperback

Magnum Force 1974 Original U.S. Film tie-in Paperback

Magnum Force 1974 Original Radio Spots 60, 60, 60, 60, 30, 30, 10secs

Magnum Force 1974 Original Trailer super 8mm format (To view see top)

                                  
Above: Here's a nice trailer reel from our friends GRFilmFarm1 which includes a collection of 5 (YES 5!) very rare Dirty Harry / Magnum Force Double Bill TV Spots (they start from 3 mins in). Thanks as always guys, we really appreciate the use of these.
Magnum Force 1974 Original Warner Brothers Press release
Magnum Force 1974 10 x 8 Press Stills b/w x 48 (Inc very rare deleted scenes)
Magnum Force 1974 Soundtrack NEW Complete release from Aleph records CD 033, excellent.

Magnum Force 1974 UK Original Press book
Magnum Force 1974 US Original Large Press book
Some great additional Magnum Force Collectables:
Below: The U.S. 1 sheet Magnum Force Poster

Below: The International 1 sheet Magnum Force Poster

Below: An Original Revised Final Draft Script for Magnum Force
Below: The U.S. Lobby card set for Magnum Force size 14 x 11








Below: The Italian Insert Poster

Below: Magnum Force 1973 Italian 2 - Folio 39 X 55

Below: Original Italian Fotobusta set for Magnum Force
Below: Here's the superb U.S. Insert poster

Below: The German A1 design poster for Magnum Force

Warner Brothers released this rather special promotional poster for the release of Magnum Force Size 20 x 28

Below: The Argentinean Magnum Force Poster Size 29 x 43

Here's a super Magnum Force poster design from Italy Size 26 x 36


Above and Below: 2 Magnum Force Japanese B2 poster designs

Below: Another Rare Jap design poster for Magnum Force

Below: The very rare Magnum Force International 3 sheet poster Size 41 x 81
Below: The New Zealand Daybill poster (Blue Style) for Magnum Force
Below: Magnum Force Rare Finnish Poster
Below: Austrian program for Magnum Force (re titled) again, with deleted scene (bottom right)
Below: Here's a couple of rare images, taken from cut sequences from Magnum Force

Below: Here are some great shots including some very nice behind the scenes stills. I found these on the web, so thanks go to the original uploader.











Below: Clint and Director Ted Post during the filming of Magnum Force



Original Reviews
Newsweek, Jan. 7, 1974

Magnum Force is about a group of young, personable, attractive and overzealous young men who abuse the power entrusted to them by committing crimes in the name of law and security at the direction of their superior. the story of Watergate? Only metaphorically, because the young men in question are rookie patrolmen inspired by San Francisco's police commissioner and disillusioned by what they see as a permissive court system. So they take the law into their own hands- killing off every variety of alleged criminal, from Mafiosi to any lesser crooks whose life-style offends their strong streak of Puritanism.



It is a measure of how far the social barometer has swung that Dirty Harry- yes, the same Dirty Harry of 1971's pro law-and-order blockbuster- is the man who finally wipes out these fascistic vigilantes. It takes some slippery writing by co-screenwriters John Milius and Michael Cimino and a lot of manipulation by director Ted Post to persuade us that Clint Eastwood, as Harry, isn't dying to don a patrolman's uniform and join this chummy group of sharpshooters. For, as Post and his screenwriters stack things, the victims of police extermination are painted as sweaty, gross, arrogant, hedonistic vermin, deserving of everything they get. But in this latest post-Watergate movie, there are no good guys- only bad, worse and worser. It is a cynical, hopeless, corrupt world in which Dirty Harry suddenly finds himself forced into moderation. Of course, Harry still believes that cops ought to rub out killers as soon as they pull their guns- but systematic liquidation outside the law? That's where he draws the line. -Paul D. Zimmerman

Variety, Dec. 12, 1973
Magnum Force is an intriguing follow up to Dirty Harry of two years ago, in that nonconformist S.F. detective Clint Eastwood now is faced with tracking down a band of vigilante cops headed by Hal Holbrook, his nominal superior and career nemesis. The story contains the usual surfeit of human massacre for the Yahoo trade, as well as a few actual thoughts. Ted Post directed adeptly, and Robert Daley produced professionally for Eastwood's Malpaso Co. indie. The Warner Bros. release should perform smartly in the general action market.


In Harry, there was a script loaded in favour of the end justifying the means by those pledged to law enforcement, a contemporary attitude which has been the cause, and not for one moment the effect, of protective civil liberties decisions. The interesting twist in Magnum Force, is that Eastwood stumbles on a group of bandit cop avengers, all of whom have that advertising agency and Hitler Youth look characteristic of most witnesses before the Ervin Watergate committee. The lot thus forces Eastwood to render a judgement in favor of the present system.


John Milius and Michael Cimino get script credit herein, from a Milius story based on the characters and situations created for Harry by Harry Julian Fink and R.M. Fink. Second-unit director Buddy Van Horn and Carey Loftin's action-sequence staging contribute many highlights.


Eastwood and new partner Felton Perry are helping investigate a number of bloody murders of local crime leaders, but the evidence finally begins to point at four rookie cops- David Soul, Tim Matheson, Robert Urich and Kip Niven- who eventually tip their hand to Eastwood. Holbrook attempts to discredit Eastwood (Perry is bombed to death) but in the hulk of an old aircraft carrier docked in a scrapyard, Eastwood eliminates them all.

Mitchell Ryan plays an older disillusioned cop killed by the Holbrook gang, and Christine White is Ryan's long-suffering wife who fumbles a pass at Eastwood. Adele Yoshioka gets closer to Eastwood than anyone, in either film.
Frank Stanley's fine Panavision-Technicolor lensing milks the urban outdoors of S.F. and environs. Lalo Schifrin's moody score is both restrained and appropriate. Ferris Webster supervised the editing to 122 minutes. The pacing caroms about with what seems to be an overly obvious pre-planning for the eventual televersion, undoubtedly with some dialogue and situation trims. All performances and production credits are good. -Murf.


Magnum Force (1973)
'Magnum Force': Police Story Is Sequel to 'Dirty Harry'
By NORA SAYRE, New York Times
Published: December 26, 1973

Let's hear it for hypocrisy—or at least, for our old national tradition of hypocrisy refined. Before World War I, sexy scenes were fine onstage as long as they occurred in biblical shows; later, Cecil B. DeMille exploited the same formula in movies. Now, we can enjoy the lushest baths of violence on the screen in the name of law and order. Of course the principle is ancient. Yet it gains more sophistication with each decade.
Yesterday's Christmas package, "Magnum Force," which was unwrapped at the Criterion Theater and the 86th Street East, is a sequel to "Dirty Harry." Harry (Clint Eastwood) is the policeman who kills to protect the public from guns other than his own. The movie is a muddle of morality. "Somebody is trying to put the courts out of business" by rubbing out corrupt labor leaders, racketeers, and narcotics tycoons—the scum that flourishes in a liberal society where the courts fail to prosecute them. However, righteous policemen who kill "hoodlums" are "crucified by those young bastards at the D.A.'s office." Follow that verb.
Harry discovers that there's an execution squad within the police department. Hence it's his duty to bump off five policemen who are equally keen on liquidating him. (After a red herring slightly larger than a sperm whale, and music that precedes each killing with all the subtlety of the Valkyries' entrance theme, no audience is going to swoon with astonishment.)

Throughout, there's a stress on dear old hubris: Harry earnestly repeats that "a man't got to know his limitations." Thus, it's reasoned that the killings he commits are justified — "There's nothing wrong with shooting, as long as the right people get shot" — but murderers do have to be discriminating.
Since the Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, we've seen a predictable acceleration of violence as a substitute for sex. There's little joy between the sheets in "Magnum Force." But bullets in bare breasts are still acceptable. Topless murderees in a swimming pool or nudes stoned at "$900 an ounce" reinforce the morality: people who take off their clothes may have been asking for it. There's also a gratuitous murder of a prostitute, climaxed with a shot of her killer's face grinning through her spread legs.

Young men who hold up a store have "hippy-looking hair" and some skyjackers resemble folk singers. The police lieutenant who warns against brutality (Hal Holbrook, behaving rather like a petulant professor of humanities), turns out to be the most demonic death-dealer of all. Still, the movie strains for some liberal seasoning Harry's partner is black, and some young policemen suspected of oddness are defended for their talents: Harry says, "If the rest of you could shoot like them, I wouldn't care if the whole damn department was queer."
Mr. Eastwood's unshakable cool—as he dismantles a bomb or refuses a local anesthetic for seven stitches—makes me miss Richard Widmark's style in playing this kind of part. Mr. Widmark's eyes, which appeared to have been drilled into his head, often looked appalled—even frightened or frantic—in a desperate situation. But all that Mr. Eastwood can manage is a frown that suggests tension. The excitement is mainly in the camerawork, which is stunning—the sense of motion in space, as cars bowl over bridges or a helicopter rises, lends an exhilaration that's absent from the script.

You may pause before hastening your children off to this movie. But certainly policemen shouldn't see it. The picture merely thickens the soup of confusion about their role. However, "Magnum Force" might be interesting for caterers. Harry asserts that San Francisco airport "has the greatest burgers in town" — and that's a mystery which is never fully unraveled.


MAGNUM FORCE directed by Ted Post; screenplay by John Milius and Michael Cimino; story by Mr. Millus, based on the character created by Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink; director of photography, Frank Stanley; film editor, Ferris Webster; music, Lalo Schifrin; produced by Robert Daley; released by Warner Brothers.
At the Criterion Theater, Broadway at 45th Street and the 86th Street East Theater at Third Avenue.
Running time: 124 minutes.
This film is classified R.
The Cast
Harry Calahan . . . . . Clint Eastwood
Lieutenant Briggs . . . . . Hal Holbrook
McCoy . . . . . Mitchell Ryan
Davis . . . . . David Soul
Early Smith . . . . . Felton Perry
 
Below: An original newspaper advertisement for Magnum Force
 
Below: Magnum Force Rare Danish advertising
Below: A stunning publicity shot for Magnum Force
Below: 2 pieces supplied by my friend Kevin Wilkinson, featuring the clean artwork for the international US design and some rare alternative German artwork.

4 comments:

Travis S. McAfee said...

Hello, great site! Do you have any higher quality images of the behind the scenes pictures of Magnum Force? I am especially interested in the 10th down, black and white. Where did you get these?

Thanks

travismcafee@hotmail.com

Clint's archive said...

Hello Travis, thanks for your kind comments. While I own a great deal of the stuff on the site, unfortunately I don't own any original stills from the selection you mention, including the b/w shot, these have been kindly sent to me by other fans who have found them on the Internet and thought they would enhance the site. So keep a look out for me Travis! You certainly have very good taste!
Thanks again Bud,
TCEA

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for such an amazing blog and Magnum Force page in particular. It's my favourite Dirty Harry movie and one of my favourite movies of all time. I'm especially fascinated with the deleted scenes from Magnum Force and love how many photos from these scenes made it into posters and press for the film. I'd give anything to see footage of them.

What is your email address?? I have a piece of Dirty Harry memorabilia you may be interested in seeing which I'd love to share with this blog.

Clint's archive said...

By all means, please contact here in these comments if you would like to share something with us.