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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.


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)


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


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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

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, California. The picture was the third and final film that he made during his mayoral term--the other two were Heartbreak Ridge (1986) and Bird (1988). See more »


When Johnny Squares is lip syncing to "Welcome to the Jungle", he's clearly getting many of the words wrong. Johnny is withdrawing from drug use and is affecting his ability to sing in time with the music. See more »


Harlan Rook: Now you've locked yourself in, asshole!
Harry Callahan: Yeah. Just you and me, asshole.
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 »


Featured in Eastwood... A Star (1992) See more »


Written by Axl Rose, Slash, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan
Performed by Guns N' Roses
Courtesy of Geffen Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Awesome solid fifth underrated Dirty Harry action flick!
13 December 2015 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

The Dead Pool (1988) is Clint Eastwood's most underrated and the fifth final flick in the "Dirty Harry" series. I love this movie and I think is better than The Enforcer. It is one of my personal favorite action movies of all time. It is the last Dirty Harry movie and it is well done with action sequences and great music opening theme. This was the third film I saw in my youth as a child. The first and the second movie were Dirty Harry and Magnum Force. I grew up with this film.

The scene where Rook (David Hunt) kills with a knife Walker's (Patricia Clarkson) cameraman scares the hell out of me. Evan C. Kim as Al Quan also did a great solid job Harry's partner since than I don't see him in the film business anymore. I don't agree with critics this film is bad, which is not. I have always loved this movie, I even saw the VHS tape in 2003 on a sale sadly I didn't bought it, but I have now whole collection on Blu-ray disc. Patricia Clarkson was in my opinion much better than the actress Sondra Locke.

I love the theme music in the opening scene and I love this action flick. This is the first time I see Jim Carrey in this flick as Johnny Squares who gets murdered in his trailer which the killer fills him with drugs. Liam Neeson is also in here as Peter Swan the movie director who becomes the murder suspect in this flick on a dead pool list of people who also Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) becomes the target as him self in it.

This movie was directed by Buddy Van Horn who directed previously Any Which Way You Can (1980) the sequel to Every Which Way but Loose (1978) Clint Eastwood films and Pink Cadillac (1989). The Dead Pool is the fifth and final installment in the Dirty Harry film franchise. The 1988 sequel finds Inspector Callahan (Clint Eastwood) trying to solve a series of murders that appears to be linked to a list of celebrities that were deemed likely to be dead in the near future. The film's cast included Liam Neeson, Evan Kim as well as the feature film debut of Jim Carrey. I think this movie is close to The Rookie (1990) another Clint Eastwood flick that Clint directed it him self and I love it. Because Michael Goodwin who plays the character Lt. Ackerman, the last name Ackerman was later used in Charlie Sheen's character The Rookie (1990). Both of the movies are each other like and they are both good. Just in The Rookie Clint plays different character than Harry Callahan. The basic plot about, this film, is more about a psychopath killer who stalks Hollywood stars including the director and making his own movies. The film does have a plot wholes, like the killer was revealed by the end of the movie and his motives. Just trough whole movie the actor David Hunt is shown by the end of the movie.

This great last chapter in the career of Inspector Harry Callahan can not be missed! You have got to check out the remote controlled car chase...reminiscent of that great Sunday drive scene in "BULLITT", with Steve McQueen! Look for the great Jim Carrey acts to GUNS N' ROSES' Welcome To The Jungle, as a junkie rock star...side splitting stuff!! Eastwood delivers the goods in his last appearance as the San Francisco cop who took care of the bad guys...HIS WAY!! BANG...with that .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson hand-cannon!! Be sure to add this movie to your collection. I got the DIRTY HARRY 5 film collection on Blu-ray !! I recommend this movie as well as the others!!

The Dead Pool is a 1988 American action film directed by Buddy Van Horn, written by Steve Sharon, and starring Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan. It is the fifth and final film in the Dirty Harry film series, set in San Francisco, California.

Back in the day, Roger Ebert called this final Dirty Harry film the best since the original. I'll take it a step further: I think it's the greatest Harry film of all. And he even gets the girl at the end! An awesome end to one of the greatest film series in history...Please just don't let them start remaking these films! I'll have to smother myself! Anyway this movie is great and none, I repeat NONE of the Dirty Harry movies are bad, they are all great and I love them all. This movie deserves 9 from me. This is my fourth favorite film in the series, the last one will be The Enforcer.

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