There's movies that have more memory and love attached to them for me -- Lord of the Rings and Braveheart spring immediately to mind. But how many more grateful tears can I shed over LOTR? What can I say about Braveheart that my mom didn't?

So, I have to give props to a movie that is not only awesome in its own right, but is responsible for many of my pop culture loves. So this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for Inspector Harry Callahan. He pretty much invented the modern action movie, giving purpose to our Saturday afternoons. But even better, he was the pioneer of loose cannon cops. We have Harry Callahan to thank for Shane Black and Lethal Weapon, arguably, a franchise I love a lot more than Dirty Harry, but you can't appreciate one without the other. Plus, Callahan and Riggs are my dream boyfriends -- I dig a guy who can kick ass and take names, while sporting cool hair.

He was also the inspiration for my favorite comic book character, Wolverine -- sometimes blatantly so. He's probably inspired a lot more comics and graphic novels than I can count. Isn't The Dark Knight Returns basically just Dirty Harry in a Batsuit?

Plus, these movies always remind me of my dad. He's a cop, and I was introduced to the genre because of his fondness for it. If there was a drop in Denver's crime rate in the 80s and 90s, it was due to a combination of Harry Callahan and my dad, who carried a silver Magnum 45*. (The DPD wouldn't let him have a 44, but you have to love that my dad's a film geek in his own way.) A lot of criminals must have recognized it was the most powerful handgun in the world, because they only had to see it on my dad's belt, and their hands were up. Thanks, Inspector Callahan.

* My dad, upon reading this post, informs me he carried a Magnum 45, not a 357, so I've edited the post and link for accuracy. Sorry, Dad!