18 April 1999 | bwaynef
Before "Dirty Harry"...
With less violence and the addition of a comical bent, "Coogan's Bluff" became the inspiration for the long running TV series "McCloud" starring Dennis Weaver. For director Don Siegal, it was, like the same year's "Madigan," another early examination of the maverick police officer that would reach its zenith with 1971's "Dirty Harry." For Eastwood, it's an interesting blend of the genre for which he was best known at the time--the western--and of the urban crime thrillers with which he would achieve superstardom. This one isn't as exciting as "Dirty Harry," and the fish out of water theme (ala "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town") helps to excuse some of the more unpleasant aspects of the character's law and order at any cost mentality, but "Coogan's Bluff" has an abundance of smart-a** humor to make it memorable. Eastwood is very effectively cast, and it is to his credit that he was willing to play such an unlikable and offensive SOB at this relatively early stage of his big-screen career. (Can you imagine Gregory Peck in this role?)