Clint Eastwood is Arizona deputy Walt Coogan, sent to New York city to escort a prisoner home. But the prisoner is not ready to be transferred back to Arizona and so Coogan cuts a few corners. However, this helps the prisoner escape and, after Coogan clashes with the Sherrif McElroy (Lee J. Cobb), he is ordered back to Arizona. But Coogan does not want to give up his pursuit of the prisoner and takes the matter into his own hands.
Clint Eastwood is Walt Coogan, a deputy sheriff from Arizona on the loose in the urban jungle of New York. Searching for a violent prisoner he has let slip ("It's got kinda personal now"), Coogan, in Stetson and cowboy boots, runs up against hippies, social workers and a bluntly hostile New York police chief played by Lee J. Cobb. It's a key film in the Eastwood oeuvre, the one in which his definitive persona first emerges, marrying the cool, laid-back westerner of the Rawhide
TV series and the Italian westerns to the street-wise, kick-ass toughness which would be further developed in the Dirty Harry
films. Directed by Eastwood's mentor, Don Siegel, Coogan's Bluff
has pace, style and its share of typical Eastwood one-liners (to a hoodlum: "You better drop that blade or you won't believe
what happens next"). Like all Eastwood's successful movies, it cunningly plays it both ways. Coogan represents the old-fashioned conservatism of the west in conflict with the decadence of city life. Yet he's the perennial outsider, hostile to authority, a radical loner who gets the job done where bureaucracy and legal niceties fail. The film was to be the inspiration behind the TV series McCloud
, in which Dennis Weaver took the Eastwood role. --Edward Buscombe
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.