DIRECTOR: CLINT EASTWOOD
CAST: CLINT EASTWOOD, SONDRA LOCKE
The only one of the five “Dirty” Harry Callahan films in which Eastwood starred that he himself would direct, Sudden Impact is the movie in which Inspector Callahan finally meets his match—in the form of a female opposite number. Investigating a string of murders in the sleepy beach town of San Paulo, Callahan begins to romance a local artist, Jennifer (Eastwood’s frequent screen partner Sondra Locke), only to discover that he has been sleeping with his perp: Jennifer is the survivor of a gang rape, avenging herself on her assailants with a brutal efficiency that Harry can’t help but admire. Harry’s pursuit of his doppelganger will become, in critic Dave Kehr’s words, “a study in self-love become self-persecution,” as Sudden Impact reveals new depths in the Callahan character, also finding famous conservative Eastwood surprisingly simpatico with “Take Back the Night” feminist rage.