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Read This: Clint Eastwood's 1977 Thank You Letter to Critic Andrew Sarris for 'Dirty Harry' Article

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 13, 2014 at 12:10PM

Check out this unearthed 1977 letter from Clint Eastwood to film critic Andrew Sarris, wherein Eastwood thanks Sarris for his Village Voice article on the "Dirty Harry" franchise, titled "Is Harry Too Dirty?" Eastwood gets to expound on the perceived messages in his films, complaining that ones with anti-capital punishment agendas like "Hang 'Em High" got little media attention, while vigilante crime classic "Dirty Harry" and its sequels -- which are about, in his words, "concern for the victim" -- results in Pauline Kael calling "fascism."
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Clint Eastwood is "Dirty Harry"
Clint Eastwood is "Dirty Harry"

Check out this unearthed 1977 letter from Clint Eastwood to film critic Andrew Sarris, wherein Eastwood thanks Sarris for his Village Voice article on the "Dirty Harry" franchise, titled "Is Harry Too Dirty?" Eastwood gets to expound on the perceived messages in his films, complaining that ones with anti-capital punishment agendas like "Hang 'Em High" got little media attention, while vigilante crime classic "Dirty Harry" and its sequels -- which are about, in his words, "concern for the victim" -- results in Pauline Kael calling "fascism." 

By February of '77, three of the five Dirty Harry films would have come out -- 1971's "Dirty Harry," 1973's "Magnum Force" and 1976's "The Enforcer."

Dirty Harry letter


This article is related to: News, Clint Eastwood, Clint Eastwood, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.