The Dead Pool (1988)

R | 91 mins | Drama, Mystery | 13 July 1988

Director:

Buddy Van Horn

Producer:

David Valdes

Cinematographer:

Jack N. Green

Editor:

Ron Spang

Production Designer:

Edward C. Carfagno

Production Company:

Malpaso Productions
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HISTORY

The Dead Pool marked Clint Eastwood’s fifth feature film appearance as San Francisco, CA, homicide inspector “‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan,” following Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), and Sudden Impact (1983, see entries). Although the actor also served as director on Sudden Impact, Eastwood passed directing duties on to Buddy Van Horn, who according to a 4 Aug 1988 LAT article, had worked as a stunt coordinator and second unit director on twenty-one Eastwood films since 1968.
       A 14 Jun 1988 HR production chart indicated that principal photography began in San Francisco on 17 Feb 1988. According to a 17 Jul 1988 LAT news brief, footage of “Peter Swan’s” fictional “slasher” films was compiled from clips of the previous Warner Bros. releases, Time After Time (1979), Cujo (1983), and It’s Alive (1974, see entries).
       A 15 Jul 1988 HR news brief announced that The Dead Pool took in opening-day earnings of $2,103,722 from 1,706 North American theaters, making it the highest-grossing Wednesday release in Warner Bros. history to that time. Although the Sep 1988 issue of Box reported successful a weekend total of $12.8 million, modern sources indicate that The Dead Pool was the least profitable installment of the “Dirty Harry” series.
       End credits state: “Rolling Stone used under license from Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc., owner of Rolling Stone Magazine.
       Actor Jim Carrey is credited onscreen as “James ... More Less

The Dead Pool marked Clint Eastwood’s fifth feature film appearance as San Francisco, CA, homicide inspector “‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan,” following Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), and Sudden Impact (1983, see entries). Although the actor also served as director on Sudden Impact, Eastwood passed directing duties on to Buddy Van Horn, who according to a 4 Aug 1988 LAT article, had worked as a stunt coordinator and second unit director on twenty-one Eastwood films since 1968.
       A 14 Jun 1988 HR production chart indicated that principal photography began in San Francisco on 17 Feb 1988. According to a 17 Jul 1988 LAT news brief, footage of “Peter Swan’s” fictional “slasher” films was compiled from clips of the previous Warner Bros. releases, Time After Time (1979), Cujo (1983), and It’s Alive (1974, see entries).
       A 15 Jul 1988 HR news brief announced that The Dead Pool took in opening-day earnings of $2,103,722 from 1,706 North American theaters, making it the highest-grossing Wednesday release in Warner Bros. history to that time. Although the Sep 1988 issue of Box reported successful a weekend total of $12.8 million, modern sources indicate that The Dead Pool was the least profitable installment of the “Dirty Harry” series.
       End credits state: “Rolling Stone used under license from Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc., owner of Rolling Stone Magazine.
       Actor Jim Carrey is credited onscreen as “James Carrey.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Sep 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1988
p. 3, 22.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 1988
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jul 1988
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jul 1988
p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
4 Aug 1988
Section VI, 6.
New York Times
13 Jul 1988
Section C, p. 22.
Variety
13 Jul 1988
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. Presents
A Malpaso Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Supv ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Leadman
Set dresser
Standby painter
Const coord
COSTUMES
Men's cost supv
Women's cost supv
Men's ward
MUSIC
Mus ed
Scoring mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Casting
Transportation coord
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Asst to Mr. Eastwood
Asst to Mr. Eastwood
Prod secy
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
First aid
Unit pub
San Francisco casting
San Francisco casting
Los Angeles casting asst
Craft service
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the characters created by Harry Julian Fink and R. M. Fink.
SONGS
"Welcome To The Jungle," written by Slash, W. Axl Rose, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin and Duff Rose McKageh, performed by Guns N' Roses, courtesy of Geffen Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
13 July 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 13 July 1988
Production Date:
began 17 February 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 August 1988
Copyright Number:
PA377512
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Panaflex Cameras and Lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29247
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Following the successful conviction of organized crime leader Lou Janero, lawyers and the media publicly credit the victory to renegade San Francisco, California, police inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan. To keep him out of danger from Janero’s vengeful colleagues, Harry’s superiors attempt to reassign him to a desk job in public relations, which they hope will capitalize on the department’s positive image. When Harry flatly refuses, Captain Michael Donnelly agrees to let him keep his current position if he cooperates with the media, and assigns novice detective Al Quan as his new partner. For their first case together, Harry and Al investigate the death of rock star Johnny Squares, who overdosed in his trailer while on location for a feature film. Harry questions the director, low-budget horror auteur Peter Swan, but Swan callously denies knowledge of Johnny’s well-known drug habit. Just then, KWSF News reporter Samantha “Sam” Walker arrives at the scene and aggresstively begins interfering with the investigation. Harry destroys her camera, but Sam promises to drop legal action against the city if he agrees to take her to dinner. That evening, Sam reveals her desire to do an in-depth profile detailing Harry’s career, but he views the idea as a shallow attempt to boost ratings and storms out of the restaurant. Later, on the news, Sam reports that Peter Swan and other members of his film crew have been involved in a morbid game called “The Dead Pool,” in which the participants bet on the deaths of local celebrities. Harry is annoyed that Sam did not consult with police first, as Swan’s list arouses suspicion for containing the names of both Johnny Squares and Harry Callahan. Sam apologizes, ... +


Following the successful conviction of organized crime leader Lou Janero, lawyers and the media publicly credit the victory to renegade San Francisco, California, police inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan. To keep him out of danger from Janero’s vengeful colleagues, Harry’s superiors attempt to reassign him to a desk job in public relations, which they hope will capitalize on the department’s positive image. When Harry flatly refuses, Captain Michael Donnelly agrees to let him keep his current position if he cooperates with the media, and assigns novice detective Al Quan as his new partner. For their first case together, Harry and Al investigate the death of rock star Johnny Squares, who overdosed in his trailer while on location for a feature film. Harry questions the director, low-budget horror auteur Peter Swan, but Swan callously denies knowledge of Johnny’s well-known drug habit. Just then, KWSF News reporter Samantha “Sam” Walker arrives at the scene and aggresstively begins interfering with the investigation. Harry destroys her camera, but Sam promises to drop legal action against the city if he agrees to take her to dinner. That evening, Sam reveals her desire to do an in-depth profile detailing Harry’s career, but he views the idea as a shallow attempt to boost ratings and storms out of the restaurant. Later, on the news, Sam reports that Peter Swan and other members of his film crew have been involved in a morbid game called “The Dead Pool,” in which the participants bet on the deaths of local celebrities. Harry is annoyed that Sam did not consult with police first, as Swan’s list arouses suspicion for containing the names of both Johnny Squares and Harry Callahan. Sam apologizes, explaining that she was eager to break the story after receiving an anonymous tip about the game. To make up for their previous outing, Harry invites Sam to dinner and agrees to reconsider her proposal. As they leave the restaurant, two of Janero’s hit men open fire. Harry kills both the assailants, and escorts Sam home before her colleagues in the media arrive. Furious over the incident, Harry visits Janero in prison and threatens to have him beaten by another inmate if the assassination attempts continue. Although Peter Swan publicly declares an end to the game, another person on his list—famous film critic Molly Fisher—is murdered in her apartment by someone claiming to be Swan. Harry and Al suspect Swan is being set up, with the killer using the director’s violent films as inspiration. Al searches Swan’s personal files and finds several pieces of mail from an obsessive fan named Harlan Rook. Swan recalls Rook acting like a stalker at several film festivals, which prompted the director to file for a restraining order. Harry returns to his desk to find an updated copy of The Dead Pool list, marked to suggest he is the next target. Harry spends the night at Sam’s apartment, but Rook tracks his movements. When Al picks up Harry the next morning, Rook rigs an explosive to a remote-controlled toy car and follows the detectives on their way to work. Harry notices the toy vehicle and speeds away, leading Rook on a high-speed chase through the city. However, the toy eventually catches up to them, and Al is injured in the explosion. At the hospital, Harry learns Rook was previously diagnosed with a disorder known as process schizophrenia, and searches his apartment. Among Rook’s vast collection of movie memorabilia, he finds a payroll stub indicating that Rook used an alias to get a job with Swan’s on-set security team. Meanwhile, Rook kidnaps Sam and intends to film her death in the bayside meatpacking plant Swan is using as a makeshift studio. Harry arrives, creating a distraction that allows him time to hide Sam in a closet and lure Rook out of the building. When Rook runs out of bullets, Harry emerges from the fog and fatally impales him using a harpoon cannon. As police and reporters swarm the crime scene, Harry reunites with Sam, and they walk away from the crowd. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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