A colleague here asked me the other day how I happened to be blogging about the 1971 feature film “Dirty Harry,” at which point I had to go back and remind myself of what had prompted the seeming divergence from typical sports memorabilia fodder.
Turns out, it was simply musing at Super Bowl time about the final NFL game held at Kezar Stadium, the 1970 NFL Championship Game when the Cowboys rained on our parade and defeated the 49ers. And I mentioned that the stadium had been prominently featured in “Dirty Harry,” with Inspector Harry Callahan kind of rudely treating the Scorpio Killer in the days when torturing a suspect was still ostensibly considered bad form.
As I typically do with these blogs, the story eventually found its way into a Sports Collectors Digest column, prompting this e-mail the other day.
I am a long time subscriber to your publication, and enjoy reading your column each week.
When I saw your comments about San Francisco, Kezar Stadium and “Dirty Harry,” I couldn’t resist writing you.
In the summer of 1971 I was going to camp in Upstate New York. I lived in New York City and was 10 years old. My stepfather, Andy Robinson, who was primarily a prominent New York stage actor at the time, had been hired by Clint Eastwood to play Scorpio in “Dirty Harry.” When camp ended, I went to San Francisco to be with my mother and stepfather, and to see the conclusion of the filming.
To cut to the chase, the director’s (Don Siegel) son was going to play the kid fishing at the end of the film but got sick at the last moment. So Don chose me to play the role from among a small group of kids that was on set. In the film, I am the kid grabbed while fishing and held hostage by Scorpio at the lake in the final scene.
Shooting of the ending took place for several days in the quarry location, and I witnessed first hand Clint give his final “six shots or only five” speech before he blows Scorpio away.
It was a fantastic experience, and I am proud of the connection to this truly classic film. Who knew at the time what an impact it would have and how its memory would last.
I have lots of original pictures, but no .44 Magnum. Think of the memorabilia!
I did not see the Kezar scene shot, but it was one of my favorites. The film was mostly shot chronologically I recall, thus when Harry throws his badge in the lake and walks away, I believe that was just about it.
Finally, for fun, here is a website that lists all of the major shoot locations from the film: http://dirtyharryfilminglocations.wordpress.com/.
I am a lot older now of course – you can see me at age 10 in this Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Harry.
– Steve Zacks
Not much I can add, except to note how cool it was to get his e-mail. You could even say it made my day.