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The Dead Pool (1988)

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


Buddy Van Horn


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


Inspector Harry Callahan, or "Dirty Harry" as he is known from the previous four movies in this franchise, 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


Dirty Harry Just Learned A New Game


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

13 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dirty Harry in The Dead Pool See more »


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,071,330, 17 July 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When Clint Eastwood made this movie, he was the Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. This movie was the third and final movie that he made during his mayoral term. The others being Heartbreak Ridge (1986) and Bird (1988). See more »


After the restaurant shootout Detective Quan is seen going through one of the shooting victims he finds "The Dead Pool" paper. In California is if unlawful for anyone to touch the decedent without the express permission of the Coroner or Medical Examiner. See more »


Suzanne Dayton: [hysterical with grief and restrained by uniformed officers] No! No!
[Samantha and her camera crew surround Suzanne, the camera is inches from her face]
Samantha Walker: [to her cameraman] I said keep shooting, right in there.
[Callahan, angry, wades into the melee]
Harry Callahan: Back off with that camera!
Samantha Walker: Hey! I can film whatever I want! Keep shooting!
Harry Callahan: I said knock the camera off...
[something unintelligible as he wrestles the camera away and hurls it as far as he can. It bounces down some steps and breaks apart]
Samantha Walker: Smart.
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 »


Referenced in Dirty Harry (1990) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Harry's last entry in which he is sent to stop a vicious murderer killing celebrities
12 June 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Rock-hard and taciturn Harry Callahan is called once again , this time when occur rare deaths of celebs registered on a black pool . But also Callahan's name appears on the list . Being the first suspect a terror cinema director (an effective Liam Neeson) filming a picture titled ¨Hotel Satan¨. Two-fisted Harry and his new partner cop (Evan Kim who did all his own stunts including the martial-arts fighting) try to track down a vicious murderous . Harry Callahan strides grimly throughout streets San Francisco in pursuit of the cruel baddie . Then the killer hijacks a TV journalist (Patricia Clarson) . Silly and exciting scenes when the murderer sends a toy-car directed by remote control and strapped to an explosive onto the streets of San Francisco pursuing the cop couple . Whatever your reservations about Harry's expeditious methods we know he'll always vanquish , shooting in cold blood with his Magnum 44 pistol (in fact, it is titled the second entry : Magnum force) and abusing on civil rights .

Fifth and last entry in Harry's series is less gripping and inferior its predecessors . Tension , action-packed , crisped edition , suspenseful , thrills abound in this stirring outing . Although there are lots of action and entertainment this time doesn't feature Callahan's classic lines such as ¨Do you feel lucky¨(on Dirty Harry) or ¨Go ahead make my day¨(on Sudden impact ) ; however , here he also says some original sentences . When Clint Eastwood made this movie, he was the Mayor of Carmel, California , the picture was the third and final of three films Eastwood made whilst he was the Mayor of Carmel ; the others were Bird (1988) and Heartbreak ridge (1986) . The car chase sequence was inspired by the one in the earlier Steve McQueen movie Bullit (1968) . There was an intention to top that car chase with this film , reportedly, the sequence is Clint Eastwood's favorite from the movie . Permission was given to film in San Francisco, despite protests from citizens who thought Harry Callahan was not a good representative for the city . Jim Carrey does a brief and sympathetic apparition as a rock star . Jim Carrey, at the time still an unknown actor , was billed as "James Carrey" . Being first of two Clint Eastwood movies which feature a then unknown Jim Carrey , the second would be a cameo in Pink Cadillac (1989) where Carrey is briefly seen . And brief appearances from David Hunt , Michael Goodwin , Shawn Elliott and Justin Whalin . This was the only Dirty Harry movie not to feature Albert Popwell , an ordinary actor of the series . Thrilling musical score by Lalo Schifrin , a great musician , usual of the seventies who composed all Harry Callahan's series , and including an anti-climatic soundtrack on the main titles made by means of synthesizer . Good and evocative cinematography by Jack N. Green , Eastwood's habitual . The motion picture was regularly directed by Buddy van Horn who made with Eastwood other action films and it was the least successful of the five Dirty Harry films at the box-office . Rating : 5,5 . Acceptable and passable .

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