It was with great excitement that I discovered 2 years ago that all of the 'Dirty Harry' soundtracks were released on CD. 'Sudden Impact', 1 of 4 soundtracks written for Inspector Callahan by Lalo Schifrin (who scored a lot of Eastwood's films), does not disappoint. It carries on in the tradition of the 'Dirty Harry' soundtracks, though the distinctive 1970's flavor that featured so prominently in the previous 3 soundtracks is absent (for self-evident reasons; the 80s were here!). The opening title is a lively, jazz-type melody featuring brass cues (trombones & trumpets) as the camera pans over San Francisco at night. Harry's theme, introduced in 'Dirty Harry', makes an appearance in 'Road to San Paolo', and again in 'San Francisco After Dark (end title)'. 'Robbery Suspect' is a lively, fast paced selection featuring flutes, brass & strings as the inspector starts a foot pursuit of a bank-robbery suspect, then commandeers a bus belonging to a retirement home to go after the suspect when the thief hijacks a meter-maid's motorcycle. 'Too Much Sugar' is a tense cue played as the inspector leaves his favorite coffee shop with a bad-tasting coffee, then turns around to discover a group of robbers are holding it up - leading to the film's most famous line; 'Go ahead - make my day'.
As usual, Schifrin makes no mistake in putting together a great, hard-hitting score for the tough-as-nails Inspector Harry Callahan. Soundtrack collectors (and Dirty Harry fans) will want to add this one to their collection.