Cincinnati Babyhead

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CB’s Favorite Performances : Andy Robinson – Scorpio

Andy Robinson’s performance in this film never fails to grab me. The first time I saw it I thought this is one nasty piece of work. Andy goes for the jugular and doesn’t let go. Yeah he has nothing about him to like as a character. What’s his motivation? I didn’t give it much thought, he’s just one weird crazy violent guy who does bad things.

You dislike him so much that you want him to get his ass kicked or worse, you want Harry to take care of him. He gives us a perfect foil for the Dirty Harry character. Every scene he’s in he brings his energy. He’s a live wire and unpredictable. Nothing scarier than crazy. One minute he’s laying the boots to the cop and the next he’s screaming about his rights. He’s like the bad guy professional wrestler. Yeah, he’s a bad man.

The scene at the cross (“My that’s a big one”) and the scene at Keezar Stadium (“I have my rights”) are intense (And well filmed). Bottom line, Robinson committed to the role and if he didn’t the film wouldn’t have worked as well. I’ve seen it various times and Andy is always as bad as ever. He was one intense bad ass with some great soundtrack music behind him.

Andy, CB loved your work but I kinda liked it when you bought it. You were out of control man.

50 comments on “CB’s Favorite Performances : Andy Robinson – Scorpio

  1. greenpete58
    December 13, 2020

    Yeah, one of filmdom’s most chilling villains. Eastwood phoned in his performance, but Robinson lifted this movie above your standard antihero cop flick.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    December 13, 2020

    Hi. I took a look at his credits. He was in a million shows. The A Team. Kojack. L.A. Law. Many others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 13, 2020

      Another one of those puzzling things, why he didnt make it bigger in film. Stuck in TV land. Not a bad thing but you gotta know he had some more great performances in him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • PatrickWhy
        December 28, 2020

        Andy also went on to be the head of the Theater program at USC for several years and was a beloved teacher and colleague of many. A long and distinguished career.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 29, 2020

        Thanks Patrick. I heard about his teaching gig.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Phil Strawn
    December 13, 2020

    He might be the best villain in movie history. Everyone hated this dude, so we can assume he did a great job in his role. His lunacy showed in a few great scenes. When he robbed the liquor store and the owner shows his gun, ” oh please, I’m easily frightened,” then he whacks the guy. The other is when the two cops show up at the stadium and the shot shows his eyes only, you can see the craziness in his bug eyes. Yikes. Good review CB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 13, 2020

      Thanks Phil. Yeah that liquor store scene was good stuff from Robinson. the switch flicks in a second and you believe every bit of it. Scary thing is there people like that, turn on a dime.
      Just to show I’m not all about bad asses, one of the first bits I did on this “Fave Performances” was Patricia Neals work in Hud. Love it.

      Like

      • Phil Strawn
        December 13, 2020

        Patricia Neal, what a treasure she was. I thought she did a better turn than Newman, and I love his salad dressings. Hat’s off to McMurtry for writing such a good Texas novel, and then the screenplay. Spending many summers on my grandparents farm in the 1950s, a lot of what you saw in that movie was fact. Hoof and Mouth was a dreaded disease in cattle, and at that time there was no vaccine. I believe she played John Wayne’s nurse in the flick ” In Harms Way.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 13, 2020

        I agree on the Newman thing. She was made to ply Alma (In the novel she was black). We are already in the Mac club. Neal was so good.

        Like

  4. 1537
    December 13, 2020

    Good call CB, the macho elements of the Dirty Harry films really haven’t aged so well for me but I do remember Robinson’s turn here. I’m much more of a ‘Play Misty’ man myself – one of my all-time faves.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 13, 2020

      DH still has lots going on in it for me. Some great cinematography and the soundtrack is killer. But Andrew is the secret ingredient. Misty is a good one with Jessica taking over from Robinson. I guess when you play such strong wackjobs you either repeat yourself or disappear into obscurity.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. christiansmusicmusings
    December 13, 2020

    The degree of violence isn’t perhaps exactly for the faint-hearted, but undoubtedly Dirty Harry is one of Clint Eastwood’s defining performances. And the bad guy is a “great bad guy” who it rotten to the core!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 13, 2020

      Harry went on to make a few more films but not the same as this and I think a big reason was Robinson’s great work.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. EclecticMusicLover
    December 14, 2020

    Robinson really took evil to the next level in this film.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BuriedOnMars
    December 14, 2020

    He was also great in Charlie Varrick. He is not a full-on bad guy in it but a little more on both sides. And his recurring character on Deep Space 9 was one of the best things about that show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 14, 2020

      I remember talking with you about Varrick. Havent seen it yet. On the radar because of him. Same Director as Harry. I never watched much TV but Robinson strikes me as one of those actors is god no matter what he’s in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BuriedOnMars
        December 15, 2020

        It’s funny because he never got listed as a central character in the opening credits, but you could tell the writers enjoyed writing for him as he was in a ton of episodes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 15, 2020

        No doubt he was a good actor and the writers would love that.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. keepsmealive
    December 14, 2020

    Bang on!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. hotfox63
    December 14, 2020

    “Dirty Harry” is action pure. I think, the part of “Scorpio” was originally supposed to played by Audie Murphy, who died shortly before in a plane crash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 14, 2020

      There’s something I didnt know. That would have changed things dramatically. Casting is so important in a fil and makes or breaks the outcome. Robinson was perfect with his portrayal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        December 14, 2020

        That’s how things happen sometimes! We never gonna know how good Audie Murphy would have played this part.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 14, 2020

        I’m sure Audie would have brought his truth to the part. I remember Alec Guinness talking about the difference in his style of acting to Olivier’s. Something like a pencil sketch compared to a full colorful painting. I thought that summed up tastes pretty good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        December 15, 2020

        Interesting. Audie Murphy liked the idea that a World War II hero playing such a vicious killer. He thought it would shock audiences to see him playing against type. But as you know it all ended up in another way…

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 15, 2020

        It would have been interesting to see what he did with the role.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        December 16, 2020

        After Murphy died the filmmakers also briefly considered James Caan for the scorpio-part. Anyway, I think that this kind of machismo in movies like “Dirty Harry” who solves the problems with his ’44 Magnum is a bit out of date. Nic Pizzolatto and other writers/producers show today a more subtle masculinity.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 16, 2020

        There’s still a variety on how that idea is portrayed. Remember the take I did on ‘Order Of Disappearance. Skarsgard was the everyman Dirty Harry. I go for both as long as it’s well done.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        December 17, 2020

        Yep, “Order Of Disappearance” is good entertainment. I watched the film because of Bruno Ganz, who compensates the whole thing with his stoic calm and coolness.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 17, 2020

        We are both in the Bruno fan club.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Jim S.
    December 14, 2020

    Haven’t seen this flick in a hundred years. You’ll be thrilled to know that it came out during what I would call the post-hippie era in the States. From this movie on, my sister pegged Eastwood as some sort of right-wing fascist and will never watch his movies. Loved the book ‘Bridges of Madison County’, won’t watch it ‘coz he’s in it. So dumb I think. Yet at the same time, her film buff credentials are otherwise solid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 14, 2020

      We get our roadblocks. I have a few people I wont watch but it’s not political. On the other hand i can watch Andy’s performance all day. His character was one guy that needed to get lead poisoning. Lalo Schifrin’s music is perfect Doc. I want him to write my theme music.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        December 14, 2020

        I don’t have a lot of ’em movie-wise. My wife can’t stand Cruise. I actually think he’s pretty good when they give him something besides those ‘Top Gun’ things. And with you, Lalo will be Mission Possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 15, 2020

        CB only talks about the things he digs. Maybe I should start another take page and go the opposite. Nah fuck that shit. Boring plus I dont want to rain on any bodies parade. I cant get Lalo’s “Scorpio” music out of my head.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    December 15, 2020

    Brilliant! Great scenes from a real “classic” film. No doubt CB, a great choice. A hero has to have a worthy villain, for sure…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 1dancequeendq
    December 15, 2020

    Is this Scorpio movie that Lalo Schifrin created the soundtrack?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tony
    December 17, 2020

    I could watch Dirty Harry again and again and still walk away happy. I don’t know how it was received on release (as I was still some 8 years or so shy of being born) but I think it’s moved well away from its reputation as an overly violent film to being an absolute classic. It almost feels like the kind of burning brooder that Michael Mann used to make

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 17, 2020

      Agreed. I seen it on it’s release and it was a big screen experience. The cinematography and the soundtrack where enhanced in that setting. Certainly left an impression. Then there was Andy.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Tony
    December 17, 2020

    Apparently the “my that’s a big one” was an adlib and had to be reshot because it caused so much laughter amongst the crew when he came up with the line

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 17, 2020

      I could see that happening. That’s funny. The crew were probably getting off on watching Robinsons antics.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. badfinger20 (Max)
    January 2, 2021

    I have watched this movie at least 3 times in the past year. Damn, he was so twisted in this movie. In the last scene near the water you saw and felt it in his face.
    I don’t know what happened career-wise for him after this but I would imagine a lot of lunatic roles…but man he was brilliant in this. Yea Eastwood is Eastwood but this guy’s role made him stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 2, 2021

      One of the comments said he want on to teach theater at USC. I wish I could have seen him get more good roles. He is a good actor. Andy nailed this role. Good film.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. the press music reviews
    January 16, 2021

    “Do we understand each other?” Scary good role. Great read CBH.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 13, 2020 by in 1971 film, Andy Robinson, Dirty Harry.

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