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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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$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

The titles and taglines for some of the horror movies directed by Peter Swan (Liam Neeson) mentioned in the film and displayed on movie posters included: HOTEL SATAN ("You check in. You die."); NIGHT OF THE SLASHER ("Evil Hands are Happy Hands"); WITHOUT THE DEVIL ("How does this grab you?"); HELL WITHOUT THE DEVIL; NIGHT OF THE HANGMAN (script only shown) and SHADOWS OF THE DEAD ("Everyone should be afraid of the dark"). See more »

Goofs

Around the 64 minute mark when a car is follow the jogging Callahan through the gateway and stopping to the inner yard, the film crew can be seen reflecting off the chrome bumper. The soon following shot of the two men getting out of the vehicle reveals a completely empty courtyard. 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

For its German VHS release in the late 80s, the film was cut by 13 seconds to secure a "Not under 16" rating. These cuts were waived in 2008 when the complete film was re-rated "Not under 16". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere: Episode #1.1 (2004) 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

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User Reviews

"Enjoyable."
17 November 2004 | by jamesraeburn2003See all my reviews

Tough San Fransisco cop "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is on the trail of a psychopathic killer who is obsessed with the works of British horror film director Peter Swan (Liam Neeson). Swan has developed a macabre but harmless game called "The Dead Pool", in which he drew up a list of local celebrities whom he believed would all die in nasty seemingly accidental ways. These include his harshest film critic Molly Fisher (Ronnie Claire-Edwards), drug addict rockstar Johnny Squares (Jim Carrey) and Inspector Callahan himself. The demented film buff proceeds to murder the people on the list one by one in horrific ways which correspond to Swan's movies. Callahan finds himself not only tracking down this crased psychotic, but also has to contend with various attempts on his life organised by a disgruntled crime boss whom Callahan put away and a new colleague, a Chinese American karate expert called Inspector Al Quan (Evan C Kim).

THE DEAD POOL is Eastwood's fifth and final incarnation as Dirty Harry to date. The series always reworked the seemingly routine premise of Callahan's unorthodox approach to police work, his dislike of workplace politics and his relationships with work colleagues. However, these are essential characteristics to the series no matter how much our film critics moan about them. A bit like how much the same old smutty seaside postcard humour is valuable to the Carry On films. If the filmmakers abandoned them they would lose out at the box office. THE DEAD POOL in itself has all the characteristics of it's predecessors and the action is plentiful and Eastwood is superb as always in one of his most famous roles. One of the best set-pieces involves a car chase through the streets of San Francisco with Callahan and Quan being chased by no other than a radio control car, only this is more than a harmless kid's toy, it's a bomb! The film is also memorable for featuring future stars Liam Neeson (who is excellent as the arrogant filmmaker) and Jim Carrey as the ill-fated rockstar before he went into making those overblown comedies like DUMB AND DUMBER.


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