Do You Feel Lucky, Punk? Clint Eastwood's Misquoted Dirty Harry Line, Explained

By Kellar Ellsworth
Source: IMDB

Dirty Harry is one of Clint Eastwood's great roles, and has given us lines like "Do you feel lucky?," "Go ahead, make my day," and "A man's got to know his limitations." But the line that established Harry Callahan as a cop with a flair for catchphrases was the first, in Dirty Harry (1971), which had something to do with asking a punk whether he felt lucky. The line is edgy, it's cocky, it's the kind of menacing taunt that Dirty Harry issues with the certainty that he's on the right side of the law and the other guy is a criminal scumbag.

The line occurs early in a movie that would go on to have four sequels -- it is the line that defines this character from the outset and ensures his success. The line is memorable, it is quotable, it is regularly parodied and ripped off. But the line is not "Do you feel lucky, punk?"