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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971)

Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971)

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Released 20-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Dirty Harry's Way
Featurette-Dirty Harry: The Original
Interviews-Cast & Crew-10
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1971
Running Time 98:18
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (64:10) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Don Siegel

Warner Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Harry Guardino
Rene Santoni
Andy Robinson
John Vernon
John Larch
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Lalo Schifrin

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is a remastering of Dirty Harry ('tis the season for remast'rin'...).  I refer you to our review of the original (here) for a synopsis of the plot.

    The original disc was not too bad, all things considered. The movie was made in 1971, so it's 30 years old. Normally I'd expect that to mean that we get lots of  film artefacts, somewhat washed-out colours, and so-so sound. The original disc was better than that. This remastering is rather better again. And they've added some good extras to the disc.

    This was the first movie of its kind, and it had a dramatic impact. It invented a new kind of police hero, and a new genre of police thrillers. So successful was the original that it spawned four sequels - kinda funny for a film that ends in the way that this one does...

    When I first got a DVD player, I made a list of the movies I wanted to collect. The Dirty Harry series was high on that list. When the original version of this disc came out I leapt at it, and was not overly disappointed. Alright, I was a little disappointed. Since then, I've been waiting for the remainder of the films to be released. The wait is over: all of them are being released together. In Region 1 they are being released as a box set. Here they aren't, but that's OK - it means you can buy them gradually, rather than having to front up with all the money at once.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    This movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio.

    The image is razor-sharp, with slightly reduced shadow detail. There is no low level noise. The night-time scenes, which are plentiful, have a lot of unrelieved black, but that is OK, as that is true to the source material.

    Colour is surprisingly good for an early 70s film. Many films of this era show faded colour. This one does not. Greens and blues come up well. Reds are nearly as good - blood is very bright red. A lot of the colour looks a little drab, but that is production design rather than a failing in the rendering. For a simple example, look at the yellow swimsuit that appears in the opening scene - bright and colourful.

    The transfer is excellent, but the movie is 30 years old. So it is inevitable that we get a few film artefacts. They are most noticeable on shots with a lot of sky - they show up strongly against the sky. Aliasing is prevalent, and I'd attribute that to the sharpness of the transfer - if they'd backed off the sharpness a little they may have reduced the aliasing. There is some minor noise on backgrounds, but that is almost unavoidable with MPEG encoding. There are no obvious MPEG errors. 

    The subtitles are fine. They're white with a black border, in a simple sans serif font, placed over the bottom of the picture. They are accurate enough, and well-timed.

    The disc is single-sided, dual-layer, formatted as RSDL. The layer change is at 64:10. It is placed on a still shot with nobody in view - not easy to see.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    We get a choice of soundtracks; English, French, and Italian. The English soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384 kbps - that's what I listened to. The other two soundtracks are Dolby Digital mono at 192 kbps.

    The dialogue is clear and understandable. There are no visible audio sync problems.

    The score is a classic Lalo Schifrin effort. Very 70s, and that's exactly what it should be. It is not as memorable as the music from Shaft, but it fits well.

    The surrounds don't get a lot of use, although they had fun with the helicopter in the scene where the helicopter spots Scorpio on the rooftop (why is it always helicopters?). The subwoofer isn't used heavily, but it does get some exercise.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The original R1 disc had extras, but they were all text-based, to fit them onto a single layer with the film. The original R4 had no extras at all. The extras on this disc are mostly video, because of the extra space afforded by an RSDL disc.


    The main menu is static, with music. It is much more attractive than the previous menu.

Cast and Crew

    A simple list of the main players, nothing more.

Original Documentary - Dirty Harry's Way (6:48)

    A short featurette about the movie - an extended trailer, of the sort they used to have prior to the development of the "making of". It includes segments from the film, but they are horribly grainy and scratchy.

New Documentary - Dirty Harry: The Original (29:45)

    A documentary made last year, it covers the entire series of Dirty Harry movies, with some emphasis on the first one. It is presented by Robert Urich, and features interviews with a lot of people, including Arnold Schwarzenegger. It makes some interesting points about the influence of Dirty Harry on films that followed.

Interview Gallery

    This is a list of interviews with ten people (all of whom feature in the new documentary - they clearly shot both at the same time). The interviewees are:

Trailer (3:20)

    A trailer presented in about 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced. Has a memorable comment, saying that Dirty Harry is a movie about two killers - the one with a badge is Harry. 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The original R1 was a doubled-sided disc (pan-and-scan on one side, wide screen on the other), cramming the movie and text-based extras onto a single layer. The original R4 was a single-sided, single layer disc - like having the widescreen side of the R1, but without the extras (because of the extra space occupied by PAL instead of NTSC). The remastered R1 is not yet available (it gets released on the 12th of November 2001). This new R4 offers a significantly better transfer, good extras, and the luxury of spreading the movie across two layers. I'm guessing that the new R1 will be similar.


    This is a very good remastering of an influential film - this is the version I want to collect.

    The video quality is very good, especially considering the age of the film.

    The audio quality is good, but doesn't really take advantage of the 5.1 mix. That's OK - the original soundtrack was mono.

    The extras are good.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, October 22, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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