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The Most California Movies of All Time


Dirty Harry (1971)Dirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Dirty Harry (1971)Dirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Clint Eastwood plays the title characterDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his localeDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. GoshDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Dirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Vertigo (1958)Dirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.where the film’s played on a loop until closing time. Few films capture both the grandeur and the mystery of the cityDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.the film also takes us outside the city to the Redwoods and Mission San Juan Bautista for the ghostly feeling of history creeping unpleasantly into the present.; Credit: Courtesy Universal PicturesDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.The Big Lebowski (1998)Dirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.something rarely mined in film. NoDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.others just like gunsDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.thoughDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Eagles-hating Venice stonerDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Eagles-hating Venice stonerDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Only in California would a surfer gang hatch a plot to rob banks. One of the chase scenes even spills over into a mall (what used to be the Fox Hills Mall and is now Westfield Culver City). In real lifeDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.we do have a surfer gangDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.I’d encourage you to watch this Kathryn Bigelow classic again to see how well it holds up and how unnecessary a remake was.; Credit: Courtesy 20th Century FoxDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Inherent Vice (2014)Dirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.almost any Paul Thomas Anderson movie could be on this list: MagnoliaDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Punch-Drunk LoveDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.There Will Be Blood. The only director who loves California as a location more than Anderson is possibly Robert Altman. Inherent Vice earns a spot on the listDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.because it isn’t just set in Los Angeles; it’s a re-creation of the city’s historyDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.as a noir-ish stoner detective tracks some criminal characters across the entire city.; Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. PicturesDirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.Mi Vida Loca (1993)Dirty Harry (1971) Watching 1970s Chevys catch some air on the hills of San Francisco never gets old. In this film, Clint Eastwood plays the title character, an SFPD officer who bucks the rules to solve his case — yeah, this film really pioneered that archetypal cop. Director Don Siegel makes great use of his locale, having his cops chase a psychotic killer along the city’s rooftops and all the way up to San Francisco’s highest geographical point, Mount Davidson. I get pangs of nostalgia every time I see the scenes of the killer making calls to all the payphones in the city. Gosh, remember payphones? (Alternate movie would be Bullitt, of course.); Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros.

From the hills of San Francisco to the streets of Los Angeles, the Golden State plays a central character in many films throughout cinematic history. Sure, the film industry is based here, but our region's pastoral landscapes, beautiful beaches and gritty urban expanses make for an irresistible backdrop for filmmakers everywhere. To commemorate California's celluloid story, here are some movies that show some West Coast pride.