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Eastwood Attends DGA 'Dirty Harry' Screening

30 May, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

(L-R): Jeff Baker, EVP and GM, WHV theatrical catalog; Clint Eastwood; Tim Matheson; Tyne Daly; Ronald J. Sanders, president of Warner Home Video.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Any time you ship more than 1 million discs for one franchise, on one street date, a party like this is in order.

Hundreds packed the Directors Guild of America's headquarters and theater May 29 to mark the June 3 Warner Home Video release of the remastered Dirty Harry on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Attendees started the night with cocktails, ended it with chocolate replicas of a .44 Magnum revolver, and went home with bragging rights: “Clint Eastwood and I watched Dirty Harry together.”

“What do you say to an audience that's coming to watch a 38-year-old movie?” said Eastwood, 77, before the screening. “Either I got into the wrong theater, or they have a certain nostalgia about this. I certainly do,” he said, receiving a standing ovation.

In addition to the deluxe DVD and Blu-ray editions of Dirty Harry, Warner also is releasing ultimate collector's editions of the entire Dirty Harry franchise, featuring all five films and a ton of exclusive bonus features, highlighted by a feature-length documentary of Eastwood.

“You have to ask yourself: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ joked Alan Horn, president and COO of Warner Bros. “I have to say, yes, I do. Because tonight we have the opportunity to celebrate one of the company's, one of the industry's, most successful franchises.

“Harry Callahan has made our day — and our bottom line.”

David Valdes, producer of The Dead Pool and Unforgiven; The Enforcer director James Fargo; and Dirty Harry composer Lalo Schifrin joined Hollywood stars and Warner Bros. executives in celebrating a film that inspired an entire genre of police cinema.

“It's tough for me to sit there and watch it,” Eastwood said. “Also, on the same token, it's great fun to relive some great moments in my existence.

“[Director] Don Siegel and I went up to San Francisco and worked out the locations for this story. It was not written for a specific city,” said Eastwood, who was born in San Francisco. “Don was an enthusiastic director, and we were both politically moderate guys who just thought we were making a detective story. But later on we were told that we were the vast right wing conspiracy.

“In that time, I guess, people didn't like the idea of a detective who was so dogmatic, he would go to all extremes to solve the case and get the criminal off the street, even if it meant nudging the department a little bit.”

Dirty Harry, which was shown to Cannes Film Festival attendees May 22, is earning special DVD and Blu-ray treatment in honor of Warner Bros. 85th anniversary.

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