The Greatest Movie Badasses Of All Time: Dirty Harry

Clint Eastwood's cop doesn't need luck to land on our badass list.

The search for the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time is on! MTV News has asked accomplished filmmakers, actors and you, the audience, to vote for your favorites. Now we’ve tabulated the results and found our 10 finalists for the top spot. Who will reign supreme as the Greatest Badass of All Time? Find out on February 6 at 7:15 p.m. when MTV announces the winner live at New York’s Comic-Con and right here at MTV.com.

Until then, we’re profiling the 10 contenders for the Greatest Badass mantle every day, in alphabetical order. Check out our first contenders, “Star Wars” bounty hunter Boba Fett and “Alien” astronaut Ellen Ripley . Keep checking back to see if your favorite made the list!

Name: [movie id=”9306″]Harold Francis “Dirty Harry” Callahan[/movie]

Occupation: San Francisco Police Department inspector

Movie(s): “Dirty Harry,” “Magnum Force,” “The Enforcer,” “Sudden Impact,” “The Dead Pool”

Weapons: A Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum revolver, “the most powerful handgun in the world. [It] would blow your head clean off, so you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ’Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

Archenemy: Punks

Profile: A bullet between the eyes of generations accustomed to clean pop-culture cops like Jack Webb and Mr. Tibbs, [movieperson id=”78111″]Clint Eastwood’s[/movieperson] Dirty Harry burst onto the scene in 1971, unhesitant and non-repentant when it came to killing a criminal in cold blood. “When an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard,” he barked at the mayor when questioned over why he shot a man. “That’s my policy.”

Although constantly threatened with suspension and firing, the man got results — in “Dirty Harry,” he succeeded where real-life cops could not, taking down the “Scorpio Killer” (based on the never-captured Zodiac Killer); in “Magnum Force,” he thwarted an airline hijacking and took down a small army of vigilante cops. When Eastwood directed himself in 1983’s “Sudden Impact,” Harry went into a diner for a cup of coffee — but after witnessing a robbery and hostage situation, he found himself coining the immortal phrase, “Go ahead, make my day,” while holding his Magnum point-blank at a bad guy’s face. A few years later, President Reagan would threaten to veto tax-increase legislation with the same threat.

1988’s “Dead Pool” had Harry himself joining a grim, celebrity-fueled game in which participants tried to predict the deaths of famous people; the bad news is that the movie is the worst of the series, but the good news is that it gave us a young Jim Carrey playing an Axl Rose doppelgänger. Depending on how deeply you want to read into Eastwood’s current box-office hit “Gran Torino,” you might see him saying goodbye to Harry as the 78-year-old actor growls lines like, “I’ll blow a hole in your face and sleep like a baby.”

Although Harry was a cop in the same tradition as Eastwood’s Man with No Name, we do know a few basic things about Callahan. His wife’s killing at the hands of a drunk driver was a clear formative experience, as was his youth in the Potrero Hill section of San Francisco — an area once known for having difficult police/civilian relations. Harry is believed to have spent time in the Marines, and has an unfortunate knack for teaming with partners who end up either dead or in the hospital (he goes through eight partners in his five movies — all but two die).

This badass hates the system, despises red tape, but has a strong affinity toward his gun. Unapologetic one-liners pour out of Harry like a Red Bull-fueled Henny Youngman, and he has 43 dead criminals under his belt. We know what you’re thinking: “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement we’ve kinda lost track ourselves.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Dirty Harry.”

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