Tagged: Clint Eastwood

Dirty Harry’s Brown Suit

Clint Eastwood in the climactic scene of Dirty Harry.

Clint Eastwood in the climactic scene of Dirty Harry.

After stuffing our faces and stomachs during the Thanksgiving holiday this weekend, it’s certainly appropriate that you’d want to return to work feeling like a badass. That’s what Clint Eastwood is here for.

Vitals

Clint Eastwood as Insp. Harry Callahan, frustrated San Francisco inspector

San Francisco, Summer 1971

Background

Having established his central look earlier in the film as a sport coat and slacks (gray herringbone and brown plaid), Dirty Harry throws a lateral for the final confrontation against the brutal “Scorpio Killer” by wearing a sharp, slim cut brown three-piece suit.

A brown 3-piece suit is a very traditional look, but the fit and styling of Harry’s suit is very contemporary and fashion-forward for 1971. The traditional suiting makes sense for Harry, a contrast to the more liberal film cops like Bullitt and their more fashionable wardrobes. While not outfitted in a frock coat and striped cravat, Harry still looks more old-fashioned next to Bullitt in his shooting jacket and polo neck jumper.

What’d He Wear?

Harry dresses warmly throughout the film, almost always wearing a jacket, trousers, and vest, so it makes sense that when he wears a suit, it would be a three-piece. Harry’s suit is brown, a strong choice for Harry that evokes a reliable and masculine look, blending in with the earth around him during the final scene.

Dry cleaning bills for a guy like Harry must be a bitch.

Dry cleaning bills for a guy like Harry must be a bitch.

Harry’s dark brown suit, unless someone knows better, appears to be polyester. This being 1971, polyester is a reasonable choice as the ’70s are often known sartorially as “the polyester decade”. If you don’t believe me, just watch Saturday Night Fever or Mean Streets. The length of the vents and the swelled edges on the lapels and pockets are also indicative of this era.

The suit jacket is single-breasted – Harry doesn’t seem like a double-breasted guy, does he? – with three very dark brown horn buttons down the front. Harry wears the center button fastened.

Harry's buttoned coat keeps his vest buttons and belt a mystery for viewers... a mystery that will likely never be solved.

Harry’s buttoned coat keeps his vest buttons and belt a mystery for viewers… a mystery that will likely never be solved.

The jacket has a welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, notch lapels, and a vertical seam down the rear center. The natural shoulders of the jacket look strong on Eastwood’s athletic profile.

Additional style touches include very long double rear vents and widely-spaced 2-button cuffs, which aren’t seen very much anymore.

"Hands up, Clint!"

“Hands up, Clint!”

Since Harry wears his jacket with the center button closed during the entire sequence, we only see the top and bottom of the vest. It buttons with a single-breasted style down the front and has swelled edges and a notched bottom.

The flat front trousers have belt loops and cuffed bottoms with narrow turn-ups that are possibly no longer than 1″ wide. Again, due to the jacket’s closure, we don’t see much of the waistline, but it looks like Harry wears a black leather belt. This would clash with Harry’s shoes, but:
a) We don’t really see the belt because of the jacket.
b) Do you think Harry Callahan gives a shit if his belt and shoes match?

On that note, Harry’s shoes are dark brown leather plain-toe bluchers, worn with a pair of dark brown socks that continue the leg line. Due to all of his running around in the quarry, Harry’s shoes accumulate a ton of dust and look much more like a dirty brown than a dark brown by the time he has Scorpio at gunpoint on the pier.

While I can't speak from personal experience, plain-toe bluchers seem to be the shoe to wear when riding on top of a school bus.

While I can’t speak from personal experience, plain-toe bluchers seem to be the shoe to wear when riding on top of a school bus.
And, of course, this is another great composite of Clint Eastwood holding a gun on himself.

Harry’s white dress shirt has fashionably – but not excessively – large collars, a front placket, and squared buttoned cuffs. His patterned tie is knotted widely – but again, not excessively wide – and has a very dark brown ground with a lighter red and brown floral pattern spotted throughout.

Harry's tie nicely matches the bruises on his face. Keep this in mind if you're in a more aggressive profession.

Harry’s tie nicely matches the bruises on his face. Keep this in mind if you’re in a more aggressive profession.

His accessories are the usual for him, including the black plastic Ray-Ban Balorama wraparound sunglasses and his stainless Timex analog watch with a round white face and an expanding bracelet.

His style is simple but classy, with a stainless watch and his Ray-Bans adding small but noticeable touches to an outfit.

His style is simple but classy, with a stainless watch and his Ray-Bans adding small but noticeable touches to an outfit.


Go Big or Go Home

At this point in Dirty Harry, it’s fair to feel bad for Harry. After all, he spent the bulk of the film doing what no one was able to do, chasing down the ruthless Scorpio Killer and finally catching up with him. Furthermore, Harry actually managed to make the brutal serial killer feel the pain he deserved, rather than just slapping the cuffs on him. Of course, Harry’s forced interrogation – standing on Scorpio’s wounded leg – and his disregard for Scorpio’s fourth amendment rights led to the killer being released. As Harry warns, Scorpio indeed strikes again, this time kidnapping a school bus full of children. The only thing that gets in his way is Dirty Harry.

While this is likely not a position you’ll find yourself in every day, Harry’s dedication to his work is admirable. No one watches Dirty Harry and says, “Boy, he was a little too rough with that serial killer!” We’re all on Harry’s side. Whether you’re a banker or a barista, bring that sort of passion to your work everyday.

How to Get the Look

Harry’s look is simple and smart. If you’re the type of guy that can pull off brown – I mean, a lot of brown – this is the suit for you.

  • dhsuit-crop1Dark brown polyester three-piece suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted jacket with notch lapels, 3-button front, 2-button cuffs, welted breast pocket, straight flapped pockets, and long double rear vents
    • Single-breasted vest
    • Flat front trousers with belt loops and cuffed bottoms
  • White long-sleeve button-down dress shirt with large spread collars, front placket, and buttoned cuffs
  • Dark brown patterned tie
  • Dark brown leather plain-toe bluchers
  • Dark brown dress socks
  • Black leather belt
  • Ray-Ban Balorama black plastic wraparound sunglasses
  • Timex wristwatch with an expanding stainless bracelet and a round white face
  • Light brown shoulder holster (RHD) for a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver

The Gun

Harry’s sidearm is his tool of justice and has become one of the most iconic weapons in film history. It is, famously, a .44 Magnum revolver. The Smith & Wesson Model 29, the weapon used by Harry, was first developed in 1955 and named two years later when S&W began numbering their models. Sales of the .44 Magnum were slow during its first 16 years, but when Clint Eastwood armed himself with one in Dirty Harry, sales jumped through the roof. Sporting goods stores that had previously only sold the Model 29 to a few hunters and sport shooters couldn’t keep the gun in stock.

A Smith & Wesson Model 29 with the barrel, as carried by Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

A long-barreled Smith & Wesson Model 29, as carried by Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. This image is on the incredibly resourceful IMFDB site.

Although the gun made an impression on viewers in Harry’s first scene, it was Harry’s handling of it in the final scene (“Do I feel lucky?”) that cemented the gun – and the character – in the minds of viewers. It also cemented a famous misquoting of the line (“Do you feel lucky, punk?”) in the mouths of viewers.

Although, staring down the barrel of this, audiences were probably a bit too intimidated to remember exactly what it was Harry said.

Although, staring down the barrel of this, audiences were probably a bit too intimidated to remember exactly what it was Harry said.

John Milius, who wrote the initial draft of the screenplay, recalls having the exact gun in mind for the film:

I remember that was one of the first movies where I made them give me a gun. I had this gun in mind, I knew where this gun was. I made them give me a $2,000 gun, I remember. I had to have the gun, and they said, “We’ll send for the gun.” I said, “No, you don’t understand. If I don’t have the gun today, when the gun comes here, I’ll have to stop everything just to look at it for a whole day, and that will slow everything up.” So they sent a limo for the gun, or a station wagon or something, for the gun. Brought the gun over, a wonderful gun. Unfortunately, I traded it off over the years. I looked at the gun for the rest of the day, then I started the thing and wrote it in 21 days. And that’s Dirty Harry.

It’s a shame that Milius, who firmly cemented the .44 Magnum’s place in cinematic history, was uncredited for his work, especially as Milius was the author of the “Do I feel lucky?” monologue. However, Milius received his due when he was given one of the Model 29s actually used in the production of Dirty Harry and Magnum Force. If you know anything about John Milius, you know that he’d probably rather have the gun than the credit anyway.

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSfkoFA7UCY

The Quote

I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “did he fire six shots or only five?” Now, to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But, being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow you head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question… “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

dhsuit-lucky1

Dirty Harry’s Brown Plaid Blazer

Clint Eastwood as Insp. "Dirty Harry" Callahan in Dirty Harry.

Clint Eastwood as Insp. “Dirty Harry” Callahan in Dirty Harry.

Vitals

Clint Eastwood as Insp. Harry Callahan, renegade San Francisco inspector

San Francisco, Summer 1971

Background

As mentioned in the previous Dirty Harry post, many travelers are fooled into thinking that San Francisco’s climate is reflective of California as immortalized by the Beach Boys. Instead, the city enjoys cooler Mediterranean-style weather with dry summers and mild winters.

Travelers unaware of the fact that they’ll be enjoying a summer with evenings that can dip into the 40s (Fahrenheit) are easily spotted by their brightly-colored hoodies emblazened with the name “SAN FRANCISCO” on the front, newly purchased from an enterprising street vendor rightly taking advantage of ill-informed tourists.

Harry Callahan defines his distinctive look in the early scenes of Dirty Harry, putting a patterned blazer over a sweater vest and tie, matching it all with a pair of comfortable and casual slacks. While the look may suggest “I failed as a writer and settled as a science teacher”, Eastwood’s gritty gaze and the .44 Magnum in his holster say different.

What’d He Wear?

Harry struts into the office on the second day of his investigation in a well-matched blazer, sweater vest, tie, and slacks.

The dark brown blazer has a triple overcheck in a lighter shade of brown. The jacket avoids ’70s excess by keeping the notch lapels to a standard width without swelled edges. The blazer has a 2-button front and 2-button cuffs, both sets in dark brown. The blazer also has double rear vents and slanted flapped hip pockets.

Underneath, Eastwood wears a soft lighter brown sweater vest with a V-shaped opening, placed high on his chest. The vest is paired with a standard white shirt with long point collars and buttoned barrel cuffs. The necktie is a dark chocolate brown ground with a large pink-and-white dot pattern. The large collars and wide necktie are Eastwood’s only concessions to ’70s excess. Likely aware of the fad and unwilling to battle with the costumers, Eastwood wisely wears a sweater vest to cover the “Hello, it’s 1971!” style of shirt and tie.

heres a caption about clint!

Forty years before sharing a stage with an empty chair, Clint worked with actual co-stars.

Eastwood’s flat front pants are mink-colored, appearing to gain an olive shade under the heavy police lights of a night scene. They have belt loops, a sharp crease down the front center of each leg, and cuffed bottoms. The belt is medium brown leather with a brass rounded clasp. This belt attaches to Harry’s large light brown shoulder holster, suspending his .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver just under his left armpit.

On his feet, Harry wears a pair of brown leather laced dress shoes and very thin black dress socks.

trousers

The glamorous side of police work.

Harry’s single accessory is his stainless Timex wristwatch with a thin expanding bracelet and round white face.

After a long day and night of unintentionally spying on large topless women and mocking a potential suicide jumper before punching him in the face, Harry switches out his shirt for another full day at the office. This shirt is the same style as the previous with long point collars and buttoned barrel cuffs, but is sky blue in color and worn without the sweater vest.

Harry knows when a sweater vest has been played out.

Harry knows when a sweater vest has been played out.

Go Big or Go Home, Hammerhead

To read about Harry’s American values and standards, check out the last Dirty Harry article. Right now, it’s essential to focus on the quintessential Eastwood road rage scene:

(Not the best quality, evidently some guy just filmed it from his TV…)

There’s just something great about Eastwood responding to some guy (MAN #2, according to the subtitles) as “Hammerhead” when you’ve heard so much worse from your dad.

How to Get the Look

DH-BrnPl1-PUBHarry dresses practically, leaving room for being diverse. If he gets a shirt dirty, he wants to be able to change it without thinking, “Oh, no, how will this ever match the tie I picked out?” Just picture Clint Eastwood standing in front of his closet, hand on hip, two seconds away from a tantrum because he just can’t find the right jacket for this outfit.

  • Dark brown (w/ lighter brown triple overcheck) single-breasted 2-button blazer with notch lapels, 2-button cuffs, slanted flapped hip pockets, and double rear vents
  • White button-down shirt with long point collars and buttoned barrel cuffs, or sky blue if the white one gets dirty
  • Mink-colored flat front slacks with side pockets, belt loops, and cuffed bottoms
  • Light brown V-neck sweater vest
  • Dark brown necktie with large pink-and-white dot pattern throughout
  • Brown leather belt with a brass squared clasp
  • Thin black dress socks
  • Brown leather laced dress shoes
  • Timex wristwatch with an expanding stainless bracelet and a round white face
  • Lawman Leather Goods light brown shoulder holster (RHD) for a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver

The Gun

We’ve been over this.

DH-BrnPl1-Gun1

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the movie and stay out of Clint Eastwood’s way.

The Quote

Now you know why they call me Dirty Harry. Every dirty job that comes along…

Dirty Harry’s Red Sweater Vest

Clint Eastwood as one of his most iconic roles, Dirty Harry.

Vitals

Clint Eastwood as Insp. Harry Callahan, renegade San Francisco inspector

San Francisco, Summer 1971

Background

Voted the “Greatest Movie Badass of All-Time” in a 2009 poll for MTV News, the character of Harry Callahan was originally much different. Although still a tough cop chasing a serial killer with a .44 Magnum, the role was originally envisioned as an older New York City policeman that was gunned down by a sniper during the finale. Offered first to Frank Sinatra, whose wrist injury from The Manchurian Candidate prevented him from firing the .44, then to John Wayne, who refused to accept one of Sinatra’s rejected roles and later proved his regret by starring in McQ, Clint Eastwood was finally offered the role.

One of my first posts was about a similar San Francisco inspector who plays by his own rules. However, Bullitt and Dirty Harry are two very different policemen: both have their own methods and are disliked by superiors, but where Bullitt is more free-wheeling and liberal, Callahan is shoot-first, ask-later and considerably anti-crime.

This change is reflected in their wardrobes as well. Bullitt prefers a casual look, layering a trench coat over a sportcoat and sweater. Callahan, the more conservative cop, wears a sportcoat and slacks also, but with a necktie and sweater vest. Interestingly, and perhaps not too coincidental, Rick Santorum sported sweater vests when he was an early contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Perhaps Santorum felt that channeling a conservative hero would make him more appealing? (And that’s as political as this blog will ever get.)

What’d He Wear?

As mentioned in the Bullitt post, San Francisco is not a place for T-shirts and shorts. Callahan smartly layers up with a sportcoat and sweater vest over his tie and slacks.

The sportcoat is a gray single-breasted herringbone tweed coat with dark elbow patches. There are 3 buttons in the front and 2 on each cuff. Harry often closes the middle button of the coat over his sweater. It has a long single vent in the back. Despite being from the 1970s, Harry’s sportcoat is not very dated, with only mild swelled edges and standard lapel sizes.

Harry’s best side must be his left side?

Harry’s sweater vest is a burgundy, which shines a bright red in some light. He matches it with a Guards necktie in burgundy and navy, with thick left-shoulder-down-to-right-hip British-style stripes. His shirt is a pale blue with button cuffs and a spread collar.

Clint Eastwood won the Academy Award for Best Steely Gaze in 1971.

Evidently, Harry is very choosy about his pants, a pair of slim cut charcoal wool trousers with side pockets, belt loops, and cuffed bottoms. After getting some buckshot in his leg, Harry is given the option to have his pants cut off or painfully remove them himself. When the doctor warns him that the latter option will hurt, Harry shows that a BAMF can be frugal as well: “$29.50, let it hurt.” That would be just under $170 in 2012 dollars.

Strangely, although buckshot damaged his leg and got his blood on his $29.50 pants, there were no rips or damage at all to the actual pants. Movie magic?

Harry wears a black leather belt with a gold clasp. It is this belt that assists with Harry’s most famous piece of attire: the massive light brown leather shoulder holster for his Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver. The holster was made by Bucheimer-Clark and copies made by Lawman Leather Goods are still for sale on their page (http://www.lawmanleathergoods.com/close.html).

If you’re not wearing your shoulder holster when you go to your doctor’s, you’re DOING IT WRONG.

On his feet, Harry wears a pair of black leather dress shoes with laces and black socks.

Harry’s few accessories are minimalist, practical, and good quality. His Timex watch is stainless with a thin stainless expanding bracelet and a white face.

The recoil from Harry’s .44 gives us a look at his watch, cuffs, and elbow patches. Aren’t we lucky, punks?

Finally, the most stylish part of Harry’s wardrobe are his Ray-Ban Balorama sunglasses. Still manufactured, Harry wears these classic black sunglasses with gray polarized lenses when investigating the opening crime scene.

Harry in his Ray-Bans.

Go Big or Go Home

One word that can be used to describe Harry is American. He has a clean and classic American look, even wearing red and blue like the American flag. His gun – and a big one at that – is a Smith & Wesson, an American manufacturer dating to the 1850s. His car is a midnight sapphire 1968 Ford Custom, a no-frills sedan with a powerful V8 engine that would beat any standard four-cylinder rice-burner on the roads today.

And, of course, this opening sequence introduces us to Harry’s “usual lunch” – a hot dog on a bun. Despite its German origins, hot dogs are now regarded as an American staple, seen at picnics, ballgames, and cookouts.

To be “Dirty Harry” Callahan, you just need to be American.

The best opportunity Dirty Harry has for relaxation is when buckshot is being removed from his leg. Naturally.

How to Get the Look

Harry manages to pull off this look – very prep school and conservative in other settings – like a BAMF would and not just because he’s Clint Eastwood. He walks with confidence and assurance, wearing what he does because it is practical and comfortable and not to make a fashion statement. The unpopular choice of a sweater vest is also offset by the .44 Magnum strapped to it.

  • Gray herringbone tweed 3-button sportcoat with notch lapels, slight swelled edges, jetted breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, a long single vent, dark right and left elbow patches
  • Pale blue button-down shirt with a spread collar and 1-button barrel cuffs
  • Charcoal pleated slacks with side pockets, belt loops, and cuffed bottoms
  • Burgundy red sweater vest
  • Guards necktie in burgundy and navy, with thick left-shoulder-down-to-right-hip British-style stripes
  • Black leather belt with a gold clasp
  • Black dress socks
  • Black leather laced dress shoes
  • Ray-Ban Balorama sunglasses
  • Timex wristwatch with an expanding stainless bracelet and a white face
  • Bucheimer-Clark light brown shoulder holster (RHD) with a sewn yoke, tension screw, and narrow belt strap, to carry a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver

The Gun

Dirty Harry’s Smith & Wesson Model 29, a .44 Magnum revolver with an 8 ⅜” barrel, is his iconic weapon quoted as “the most powerful handgun in the world”. The .44 Magnum cartridge was initially developed by Elmer Keith for Smith & Wesson. The Model 29 was introduced the same year as an item in Smith & Wesson’s large N-framed series. The official “Model 29″ nomenclature was designated two years later. The Model 29 is a double action revolver with a six-round cylinder and has been offered with 3″, 4″, 5″, 6″, 6½”, 8⅜” and, later, 10⅝” barrel lengths. It had value amongst handgun enthusiasts and some hunters throughout the first sixteen years of its existence, but with Dirty Harry‘s release in 1971, it became wildly popular and shops had trouble keeping it in stock.

A Smith & Wesson Model 29 with the 8 ⅜”barrel, as carried by Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

In this first film, Harry carries his 6 ½”-barreled S&W Model 29 in a light brown leather Bucheimer-Clark right-handed draw shoulder holster with a sewn yoke, tension screw, and narrow belt strap. The rights were purchased by Jerry Ardolino in the 1970s after the company folded. Lawman Leather Goods produces a high quality similar holster although it has a laced yoke, no tension screw, and a wide “cobra head” belt strap. The rumors of an 8 ⅜” barrel or different caliber models being used in “Dirty Harry” are untrue, although 8 ⅜” barrels were used in some publicity photos. (Thanks to Jim Tusing and Max Simmons, two great followers of this blog, for the information.)

From the imfdb article on Dirty Harry:

As the script originally called for a Smith & Wesson Model 29 with a 4″ barrel, this eventually proved troublesome for the filmmakers, since the Model 29 was no longer in production at the time. Before shooting began, Eastwood contacted Bob Sauer (then a representative for Smith & Wesson) to acquire the gun for the film. It was a challenge, but Fred Miller at the plant had a couple assembled from parts eventually. To better familiarize himself with the weapon’s handling and recoil, Eastwood took one to a gun range and fired live rounds through it. Unlike the gun in the script, the only barrels acquired for the guns in this film were the 8 ⅜” barrel and the 6 ½” barrel. Both can be seen used in some scenes. The blanks it fired were custom made since the 5-in-1 blank didn’t fit the chambers. It is said scriptwriter John Milius as presented with one of the actual guns used in the film as a gift later on. As for Harry’s line in the film about the .44 Magnum being “the most powerful handgun in the world”, one should note that even in the 1970s, the .44 Remington Magnum cartridge had been eclipsed in size and power by the .454 Casull round, however, the first widely available commercially sold revolver chambered for the 454 Casull would not come for another ten years, so his statement for the time frame is accurate.

Harry’s use of the .44 Magnum Model 29 was both iconic and influential; the next James Bond film after Dirty Harry, Roger Moore’s first outing in Live and Let Die in 1973, featured Bond wielding the massive Model 29 during the finale, worn in a similar shoulder holster as Harry’s.

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the movie.

The Quote

You’ve heard it a million times, probably bastardized, but here it is:

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

Harry never actually says “Do you feel lucky, punk?” in this scene.
Do you feel stupid for always quoting it that way, punk?