Timeline: 1971

John Milius is one of the all time great Hollywood writers. Also known for Apocalypse Now, Conan the Barbarian, 1941, Red Dawn, Clear and Present Danger, and most recently the TV series Rome, Milius will perhaps best be remembered as one of the uncredited writers of the early 1970s cop thriller Dirty Harry, unforgettably played by Clint Eastwood.

What many people do not realize is the amount of influence Clint Eastwood had on the making of what is now a classic serial killer movie. He chose the director (Don Siegel), he got Smith & Wesson to assemble the big bad ass Model 29 for him, he moved the setting from New York to the iconic San Francisco (city and home of the very real Zodiac killer on which the story is loosely based), did all his own stunts, and was influential in getting Andrew Robinson to play the part of Scorpio, the film’s haunting serial killer.

But it is John Milius who gave the film its most memorable scene, voted #51 on the American Film Institute’s list of greatest 100 all time movie quotes. After a bank robbery job that’s gone bust, Dirty Harry stands above one of robbers, gun in hand, and speaks these immortal words: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

The rest is movie history. The full scene can be watched here: I FEEL LUCKY!

Share