Coogan's Bluff

1968

Coogan's Bluff

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 17

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,757
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Coogan's Bluff Photos

Movie Info

Clint Eastwood stars as Walt Coogan, an Arizona deputy sheriff who has been sent to New York City to extradite escaped killer James Ringerman (Don Stroud). On arrival, he's forced to wait by NYPD detective Lieutenant McElroy (Lee J. Cobb), who informs him that Ringerman is recovering from a bad acid trip at Bellevue Hospital. After briefly flirting with attractive probation officer Julie Roth (Susan Clark), Coogan heads for Bellevue, where he's able to con the hospital's staff into releasing the criminal. The cop and the fugitive are on the way to catch a flight back to Arizona, when Ringerman's hippie girlfriend Linny (Tisha Sterling) and a large accomplice spirit the killer away, leaving Coogan unconscious. Luckily, Julie is the girl's probation officer, and Coogan manages to get her address from the woman's files while getting to know her better. He tracks the girl to a popular psychedelic club, whereupon, deciding she likes the deputy, she takes him back to her apartment for further interrogation. The first in a series of films on which Eastwood would collaborate with director Don Siegel, it features a memorable scene in which a battle fought with billiard balls and cue sticks suggests the birth of a new martial art. Although its seemingly innocuous scenes of sex and violence drew criticism at the time, it served as the source for television's considerably more benign McCloud, starring Dennis Weaver as the laconic fish out of water.

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Cast

Tisha Sterling
as Linny Raven
Betty Field
as Mrs. Ringerman
Tom Tully
as Sheriff McCrea
Lee J. Cobb
as Lt. McElroy
Rudy Diaz
as Running Bear
Louis Zorich
as Taxi Driver
Meg Myles
as Big Red
Marjorie Bennett
as Mrs. Fowler
Seymour Cassel
as Young Hood
John Coe
as Bellboy
Albert Popwell
as Wonderful Digby
Don Stroud
as Ringerman
Conrad Bain
as Madison Avenue Man
James Gavin
as Ferguson
Albert Henderson
as Desk Sergeant
Syl Lamont
as Room Clerk
Jess Osuna
as Prison Hospital Guard
Jerry Summers
as Good Eyes
Antonia Rey
as Mrs. Amador
Don Siegel
as Elevator passenger
Marya Henriques
as Go-Go Dancer
Kristoffer Tabori
as Elevator passenger
James McCallion
as Room Clerk
Diki Lerner
as Gay Boy (uncredited)
George Fargo
as Gay Boy (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for Coogan's Bluff

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

  • Story is of the clash between sophisticated law enforcement and frontier-style simplistics, which is perhaps one of the major internal American problems.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Even Siegel's somehow off-centre treatment of New York hippiedom is intriguingly wry.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The screenplay is so predictable in situation and so arch in its supposedly tough, blunt, wise talk that it turns into a joke told by someone with no sense of humor.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/5
  • Siegel knows what he wants and gets it.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Eastwood's performance as the flawed, headstrong superman has been terribly underrated, but he brings to the part of Coogan a sure knowledge of the man's obvious strengths and not so obvious failings.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • A satisfying police yarn with some really great, physically hefty location photography.

    Aug 21, 2014 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Coogan's Bluff

  • Oct 24, 2011
    Coogan: All right now, I don't like violence, Mr. Wonderful whatever your name is. You better drop that blade, or you won't believe what happens next, even while it's happening.  "Before "Dirty Harry"... there was Coogan." A pre-Dirty Harry team up of Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood is pretty much what you would expect. It is Clint Eastwood playing his Harry Callahan character even before that character existed. The movie is nothing special, but if you like Eastwood, and you like Siegel; you can't really go wrong with Coogan's Bluff.  I liked it for Siegel's cool ariel chase sequences and Eastwood's one-liners. Eastwood's character is a man of few words, fewer rules and many women. An Arizona deputy comes to New York in order to take a prison back with him. When he gets there he is told that the prisoner is in a hospital, tripping on LSD and that he will just have to wait. But he doesn't play by the rules, so he hatches a scheme to get him out and go to Arizona, but the culprit gets away and the rest of the movie I am sure you can guess.  The film is definitely fun. It has the standard cop plot, with some awesome camera work. It has its problems, like a horrible depiction of the hippy scene with some of the most cliche stoner behavior I have ever seen. But other than I few plot missteps it is still a good first collaboration between Siegel and Eastwood. It isn't as good as Dirty Harry or near the brilliance of Escape from Alcatraz, but entertaining all the same.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2011
    Coogan's Bluff is a well directed drama by director Don Siegel who would later collaborate with Clint Eastwood again with Dirty Harry and Escape from Alcatraz directs Eastwood who portrays Walt Coogan a Sheriff from Arizona tasked with bringing back a criminal into his custody in Arizona. For what it is, Coogan's Bluff is an entertaining film that is supported by a good cast of actors. However Clint Eastwood has made far better films than this. Siegel's directing is effective, and the cast do a good job in their roles. This is a good film that is a must see for Eastwood, and if you enjoy Eastwood in his prime, then give this film a shot. But be warned that the film is not as good as others in his career and Siegel would make a far better film with Dirty Harry, also starring Clint Eastwood. Enjoyable and with a compelling plot, Coogan's Bluff is a well crafted film that is a modern day Western and it works well enough for the viewer to be entertained for an hour and a half. At times the film does suffer, but is held together by a solid performance by Clint Eastwood. Aside from his Spaghetti Westerns, this is among his earlier works that shows how talented an actor Eastwood would become. If you're a fan of Eastwood's work, then give this one a shot, it's a well crafted film that has a good plot, good acting and good directing. As far as modern Westerns are concerned, Coogan's Bluff does the job right, and combines drama and a bit of action mixed with a cat and mouse plot to make it something memorable despite its flaws.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2010
    A historically retrospective crime drama with a terrific late 60's ambiance, and a young, buffed Clint Eastwood who delivers a solid performance as a tough, no-nonsense, womanizing Arizona deputy sheriff named Walt Coogan, who is sent to New York City to extradite James Ringerman, a sleazy hood wanted for murder, he is played superbly by Don Stroud who registers strongly in the role, the minute Coogan lands in New York City he begins to have trouble, first with incompetent police and their some-called departmental procedures, it seems that he will have to wait for Ringerman for however long it takes because he is recovering from a bad acid trip at Bellevue Hospital, but Coogan is not about to that, he cons a orderly into releasing Ringerman into his custody, on the way back to Arizona, Ringemanr's dangerous hippie girlfriend, well played by Tisha Sterling and a sadistic accomplice, nicely played by the late David Doyle help him escape from Coogan's custody, by knocking him out and leaving him unconscious, now Coogan's must hit the mean streets of New York City to fine Ringman, he is a fish out of water who runs into all manner of low-lifes and freaks along the way including a pair of dope-smoking hippies at a psychedelic hippie nightclub, in a highly amusing scene that gives a look at the cultural style of the late 60's. One of Coogan's favorite tactics to get information is to seduce young women, and Clint is a true ladykiller in that department, real smooth. There are fine supporting performances from Susan Clark, and veteran actors Lee J. Cobb and Betty Ford, this is the first collaboration between Eastword and his mentor and close friend Don Siegel three years before their legendary pairing on the classic cop-thriller "Dirty Harry." This quirky, quick-witted film is entertaining and very enjoyable. Highly Recommended. Note: "Coogan's Bluff" later evolved into the hit television series "McCloud," that starred the late Dennis Weaver.
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2010
    It's an hour and a half of pure man, starring Clint Eastwood. Coogan hunts men like game, sleeps with their women, kills people via poolball and chokes out anyone who gives him a dirty look. It's more violent and less honorable than Dirty Harry, but that's why it works so well. Don Siegel does a great job at bringing together this very exploitative cop movie, yet still making it seem like art rather than trash. Part of that lies in the great camerawork, score and structure. You're never left bored or unimpressed with this very original and very cool Neo-Western.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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