Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dirty Harry's race for a life

Dirty Harry: the race begins
"All right, police officer, this is how we play. I bounce you all over town to make sure you're alone. No car. I give you a certain amount of time to go from phone booth to phone booth. I ring four times. You don't answer by the fourth ring, I hang up and that's the end of the game. The girl dies." With those instructions from a sniper named Scorpio, Detective Harry Callahan sets off to deliver $200,000 ransom to save a kidnapped 14-year-old girl in a suspenseful foot race through San Francisco in Dirty Harry (1971).

Filmed on location, Dirty Harry showcases many San Francisco landmarks, several of which are used in this sequence. The Google map below shows all of Harry's stops as he runs from phone to phone trying to keep pace with Scorpio's game. Click on the map markers to see a movie still of that location. Zoom into "street view" and you'll get to examine some of the surroundings seen in the film — the marina, Forest Hills Station, the hamburger stand at Aquatic Park, and the big cross in Mt. Davidson park where Harry and Scorpio ultimately meet, for better or worse. While an exact street route is never detailed in the film, the lines on the map show the minimum distance between locations, all but one of which Harry travels on foot.

View Dirty Harry's Race for a Life in a larger map

For more information on the shooting locations of Dirty Harry, see the excellent Dirty Harry Filming Locations.