The outsiderness concept in the Dirty Harry Film

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Film

Document 1

In the film, Andrew Robinson, who is the mysterious killer uses a sniper rifle to kill a girl who was having some leisure time in rooftop swimming pool of a hotel. The police arrive in the crime scene to collect the body of the victim and that's when Harry Callahan finds a note which demanded that the city should pay the serial killer a hundred thousand dollars or otherwise he will continue to kill within the city. The note intended for blackmail was signed by "Scorpio", the serial killer. John Vernon who is the San Francisco mayor then asks the police to pursue and track down the serial killer who was out to destroy the innocent lives of the citizens of San Francisco.

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It was when he was having his lunch, that Harry Callahan counters an attempted bank robbery which was undertaken by three robbers. He undermines the rights of other citizens by constantly threatening the authorities that he will kill unless his demands are met. This instills fear among the citizens of San Francisco hence turning “Scorpio” to be a public enemy. From his character, it is clear that he can never be in peaceful coexistence with the authorities in the city and the citizens. He hence qualifies to be an outsider within the film. The outsider concept has been widely conveyed through various themes within the film of "Dirty Harry". No race is holier than the other race. Everyone can be a criminal not necessarily the black people.

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"Scorpio" was a criminal and there was evidence but Josef Sommer who was the district attorney claimed that "Scorpio's" rights were violated so they had to let him go. This is clearly ironical. Harry Callahan expected the attorney to convict Scorpio to prison, but instead he rules that Scorpio's rights were violated and he should be set free. He had no mercy for the black man despite his injury. As a police officer, he doesn't show any concern to the robber. He instead leaves the man alone to probably bleed to death. This is a brutal treatment of the black man. Obviously, policemen are supposed to arrest any criminals found and in case they are injured, they should be taken to a hospital.

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It confirms the existence of the “outsider-ness” concept in the film Dirty Harry. In the current world, gender is a very sensitive issue. Apparently, the developed societies in the entire world emphasis on the gender balance in every situation possible. In the film Dirty Harry, there is a bit of gender imbalance. No woman has played a key role in the film. The morality of women in the film Dirty Harry has been put into question. Nakedness can only be exposed to one's lover but not in a film that will be viewed by everyone especially children. It's against the moral norms of a society to expose one's nakedness to the world. Also in the film, homosexuality has been represented. It's evident from the black man who Scorpio wanted to kill.

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A high social class society has no such elements such as robbery. Those who attempted the robbery are people who belong to the low-class category of people. The authority in the film represented those of the high social class while the robbers represent those of the low class. Also, in the film, there is a lot of prostitution due to the high number of nightclubs that are found in the town of San Francisco. Rich people don't engage in prostitution to get some money because they already have. Behaviors that go against the will of the society may make one be considered an outsider within the said society. From the discussion above, Scorpio became an enemy of the society since he was all about killing people in San Francisco.

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