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Lt. Neil Briggs

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Neil Briggs

Lieutenant Neil Briggs

You're a killer Harry... A maniac!
~ Neil Briggs to Harry Callahan

Lieutenant Neil Briggs is the main antagonist in the 1973 Dirty Harry film Magnum Force. He is the superior officer to Inspector Harry Callahan before betraying him.

He is portrayed by Hal Holbrook, who had also played Oliver Lambert in the film adaptation of the novel The Firm.


Briggs recruits some rookie cops named John Davis, Philip Sweet, Michael Grimes, and Alan Astrachan to be his personal execution team, killing criminals who were found not guilty. Briggs tries to order Callahan off of homicide until something bad happens. Upon thinking Frank Palancio was the mastermind behind the killings, Callahan and other officers were sent. The gunfight ended with the death of Palancio, Phil Sweet and others. When the bomb in Harry's mailbox didn't work (but one killed his partner Early Smith), Briggs arrive to collect Callahan.

On the way down to the station, Neil Briggs pulls out his gun on Harry revealing his evil colours, Callahan then knocks him out and heads out after Briggs' men. Harry then manages to kill the other evil cops in a bloody showdown on the San Francisco docks. As Harry is about to leave the scene, Briggs appears and threatens that he will use the Justice system to ruin Harry's career and life by prosecuting him for the deaths of his men and their victims. However, before Briggs is able to drive off, Callahan activates the mail bomb earlier meant for himself and tosses it onto the back seat of the car. As Briggs is driving away, seemingly triumphant, the bomb detonates, instantly killing the corrupt lieutenant in a huge explosion.

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