The Dead Pool (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Mystery  |  13 July 1988 (USA)
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Dirty Harry Callahan must stop a sick secret contest to murder local celebrities, which includes himself as a target.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Evan C. Kim ...
Al Quan
Michael Currie ...
Captain Donnelly
Darwin Gillett ...
Anthony Charnota ...
Christopher P. Beale ...
D.A. Thomas McSherry (as Christopher Beale)
John Allen Vick ...
Freeway Reporter #1
Patrick N. Van Horn ...
Freeway Reporter #2 (as Patrick Van Horn)
Sigrid Wurschmidt ...
Freeway Reporter #3
Johnny Squares (as James Carrey)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Dirty Harry Just Learned A New Game


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dirty Harry in The Dead Pool  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$37,903,295 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(4 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of three 1988 Clint Eastwood movies. The films are Bird (1988), The Dead Pool (1988) and Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988). See more »


After the killer attacks the cameraman in the garage, he gets in the news van and holds up a bloody knife to Samantha. In the next scene when they are in the shipyard building and he holds the same knife up to Samantha's throat, there is no blood on the knife. See more »


Harry Callahan: Do you have any kids, lieutenant?
Lt. Ackerman: Me? No.
Harry Callahan: Lucky for them.
See more »


Featured in A Moral Right: The Politics of Dirty Harry (2008) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Undone by a weak ending
31 December 2010 | by (Savannah, GA) – See all my reviews

Warning: Contains spoilers

The "Dirty Harry" series ends with a whimper thanks to a weak ending. Why conceal the identity of the killer when he turns out to be a subsidiary character who is built into the story in the last half hour?

Patricia Clarkson makes for a bland leading lady (despite a knockout figure) and has little chemistry with Eastwood. So, placing her in jeopardy creates no suspense. Also, having Harry surrender his legendary sidearm doesn't fit well with previous installments, since he has a clear head shot with the killer. Finally, having Harry find the harpoon gun shown in a previous scene is just a little too incredible.

Buddy Van Horn, as a director, is no Eastwood, but he does a pretty good job. Most of the stunts are quite good and the cinematography is excellent. Lalo Schifrin's score is bouncy, but forgettable.

Too bad, as a little script reworking would have made for a very good "Dirty Harry" effort. As it is, however, "The Dead Pool" is the weakest of the "Dirty Harry" series.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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