Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Go ahead, make my day

From 1971 to 1988 Clint Eastwood played the character Harry Callahan in a series of five movies which have come to be called the Dirty Harry series. Even today more than 35 years later they are a great deal of fun to watch.

In the films he plays a police officer who has to operate by his own sense of right and wrong. But in the end Good always triumphs over evil. Just like in most good fairy tales or religions.

In all of the movies Harry carries a 44 magnum revolver. Harry claims that it is the most powerful handgun ever made. This is not 100% technically correct, but it is certainly true in the normal sense of practical day-to-day reality.

In the film Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood made one of the most quoted speeches in modern times:

“I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, what with all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you gotta to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?”

Just as an aside, I currently own three revovlers. The Ruger Super Redhawk 44 magnum is a six shooter. But the other two revolvers, a very light weight titanium alloy 38 special and the Taurus 44 magnum are both five shooters, not six shooters.

The manufacturer has done this because of the small size of these handguns and the incredible pressure generated by the 38+P special and 44 magnum rounds when they are fired. By going to a 5 shot design they are able to make the metal walls a little thicker, and thus better able to cope with the extremely high pressures these large rounds generate.
The sixth most famous quote in movie history was made by Harry Callahan in the 1983 film Sudden Impact where he said “Go ahead, make my day.”

You Tube scene - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m9pjJ6A9UM
Wikipedia article on Make My Day - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_ahead%2C_make_my_day.
Ruger Super Redhawk revolver -