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The Dead Pool (1988)

Dirty Harry Callahan must stop a sick secret contest to murder local celebrities, which includes himself as a target.

Director:

Buddy Van Horn

Writers:

Harry Julian Fink (characters), Rita M. Fink (characters) (as R.M. Fink) | 4 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Harry Callahan
Patricia Clarkson ... Samantha Walker
Liam Neeson ... Peter Swan
Evan C. Kim Evan C. Kim ... Al Quan
David Hunt ... Harlan Rook
Michael Currie Michael Currie ... Captain Donnelly
Michael Goodwin ... Lt. Ackerman
Darwin Gillett Darwin Gillett ... Patrick Snow
Anthony Charnota Anthony Charnota ... Lou Janero
Christopher P. Beale Christopher P. Beale ... D.A. Thomas McSherry (as Christopher Beale)
John Vick John Vick ... Lt. Ruskowski (as John Allen Vick)
Jeff Richmond ... Freeway Reporter #1
Patrick N. Van Horn Patrick N. Van Horn ... Freeway Reporter #2 (as Patrick Van Horn)
Sigrid Wurschmidt Sigrid Wurschmidt ... Freeway Reporter #3
Jim Carrey ... Johnny Squares (as James Carrey)
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Storyline

Harry Callahan - or Dirty Harry as he is known from the previous four movies in this series - is investigating a strange betting game. A list of local celebrities has been handed out, and bets are being taken on who will be the first to die. Things start to get interesting when the name 'Harry Callahan' appears on the list. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dirty Harry Just Learned A New Game


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dirty Harry in The Dead Pool See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,071,330, 17 July 1988

Gross USA:

$37,903,295

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,903,295
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)| Dolby Digital (5.1)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Durk Pearson: Uncredited, Clint Eastwood's friend and one of the movie's story writers as a man in the pirate tug nightmare scene. See more »

Goofs

When Johnny Squares dies, his hand is down on his chest. On the next scene when the police are there, his hand is up against his chin. See more »

Quotes

Peter Swan: Do you mind, gentlemen? I happen to be at a funeral.
Harry Callahan: Like to talk to you about your list.
Peter Swan: It's no big secret. Most of the cast and crew knew about it. I didn't tell you because the dead pool is just a harmless game.
Harry Callahan: Sounds pretty sick to me.
Peter Swan: Let me tell you something, Callahan. People... people are fascinated with death and violence. That's why my films make money. They're an escape, a vicarious release of fear. Same thing with this game. Nobody takes my films *or* the dead pool seriously.
Harry Callahan: Well...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

To get a '18' rating in 1988, 12 seconds were removed from the UK version by the BBFC with edits made to images on a TV screen combining footage of a woman screaming in a car and a shot of a woman being attacked by a dog (the latter of which was stock footage from the 1977 film The Pack). In 2002 these cuts were waived. See more »

Connections

Follows Sudden Impact (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Written by Axl Rose, Slash, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan
Performed by Guns N' Roses
Courtesy of Geffen Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Pool Of Dead Critics
1 May 2006 | by jldmp1See all my reviews

This was altogether too simple for the critics back in '88 -- the whole idea was to point the barrel of the joke right back at the criticism.

Whereas the previous Dirty Harry features sat on a platform of utter contempt for bureaucrats and political correctness, here it's expanded to contempt for journalists, and especially the subspecies of 'media critics'. As if they couldn't make it clearer, a 'movie critic' is murdered, and treated as an occurrence of 'death of celebrities by threes'.

Yes, this is explicitly about movie making; the previous four movies suffered from poor supporting casts that only got in the way of the narrative. Here Van Horn deliberately employs good actors to play bad genre roles and thus turns the series on its head.

Along the way, we get a nice comment on "Bullitt", this time deflating the over touted car chase with a gag: an explosives laden model '63 Z06 (instead of a fastback Mustang, to drive home the point).

By this time, the .44 Magnum is treated as a character, with a 'voice' that rolls off the cityscape like thunder...the bad guys run at the mere sight of it. To put the icing on the 'man with the biggest gun' motif, Clint dispatches the villain with an earlier one liner ("you're S.O.L.") and a movie prop harpoon. The elaborate conflation of sexual double entendre, humor and cowboy justice went soaring over many heads. Arnold wishes he was half this funny in "Last Action Hero".

Ah, we miss Harry...but his retirement to Carmel was both serendipitous and necessary. By the end of this, he's killed off every cartoon bad guy left in the movie universe, paving the way for both the dimensional villains of "Die Hard" and its ilk, AND the hosannas bestowed on "Unforgiven".


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