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Dead Bang (1989)

A cop is gunned down on Xmas eve. Jerry Beck, the homicide cop given the job of hunting the killer, investigates some leads which bring him into contact with a group of white supremacy ... See full summary »


John Frankenheimer


Robert Foster (screenplay), Jerry Beck (story)


Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Johnson ... Jerry Beck
Penelope Ann Miller ... Linda
William Forsythe ... Arthur Kressler
Bob Balaban ... Elliot Webly
Frank Military ... Bobby Burns
Tate Donovan ... John Burns
Antoni Stutz ... Ray
Mickey Jones ... Sleepy
Ron Campbell Ron Campbell ... Crossfield
William Traylor William Traylor ... Elton Tremmel
Hy Anzell ... Captain Waxman
Michael Jeter ... Dr. Krantz
Tim Reid ... Chief Dixon
James B. Douglas James B. Douglas ... Agent Gilroy
Brad Sullivan ... Chief Hillard
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A cop is gunned down on Xmas eve. Jerry Beck, the homicide cop given the job of hunting the killer, investigates some leads which bring him into contact with a group of white supremacy extremists. In addition to the racists, Beck also has to contend with an unhelpful FBI agent. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You know the man at a glance. And he still carries a badge. DON JOHNSON is JERRY BECK. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Burns holster is an inside the waistband, Milt Sparks "Summer Special", along with a double magazine pouch, possibly from the same company. It is designed to be carried under the clothing. Behind the strong hip and held close to body. This method of carry is very common among police operating in plain clothes or under cover. See more »


Jerry Beck: Fuck you, Sherrif! And your french fries.
See more »


Referenced in Percy tårar (1996) See more »


Un Mundo Raro
Performed by Los Tres Diamantes (as Los Tres Diamantes)
Courtesy of BMG Ariola Internacional
See more »

User Reviews

"There's more out there, than death and taxes".
1 September 2012 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

Wow... what can I say? I wasn't much a fan of Don Johnson and didn't really care for the TV series "Miami Vice" (give me "Magnum P.I" any day). However John Frankenheimer seemed to be on somewhat of a run through the 80s with "The Challenge", "52- Pick-up", "Holcroft Covenant"... ah scrap that one. I guess he wasn't on much a run, but "Dead-Bang" surprised me just how much fun this durable, if offbeat pulp was. Predictable, but bold and ultra-fun law enforcement thriller. This was mainly due to Johnson's hard-nosed performance. Looking bemused and rather scruffy with a very witty script to work with as there were some hilarious lines of banter. The highlight would have to be Johnson's vomit sequence on a suspect after an exhausting chase and the unorthodox methods in getting the job done.

Jerry Beck is one burnt out L.A detective whose personal life is on the skids, so he lives for his job. Looking on a case involving the murder of a convenient store owner and cop, leads to something much bigger when he finds himself tailing a gang of murderous white supremacists to Colorado.

In all; it's dumb, crude, snappy and loud while containing white supremacists using automatic weapons but like a good Frankenheimer feature the violently hard-hitting action was well-staged, well-framed with its camera angles and it moved at a fast clip. The story is taken from Beck's true-life exploits of his novel, where we are taken for one hell of a ride as Frankenheimer really pushes it to the brink. When it came to showing off the film's firepower, it's an outrageous assault and ballsy in its execution.

William Forsythe can be just as amusing playing uptight, than say crazy (watch "Out for Justice" for that) as the FBI agent who gets on the wrong side of Beck. Penelope Ann Miller also seems to walk onto set; sweet talks Johnson and beds him to suddenly disappear. Was I missing something there? Quite an unnecessary sub-plot involving her character. Also making appearances are Bob Balaban, Tate Donovan, Mickey Jones, Brad Sullivan (the exchanges between him and Johnson were a treat "You don't need a gun chief. Just tell them who you are."), Tim Reid, William Taylor and Michael Jeter finding himself at the end of a Woody Allen joke.

"F**k you Sheriff! And your french fries"

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English | Turkish

Release Date:

24 March 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead-Bang See more »

Filming Locations:

Alberta, Canada See more »


Box Office


$14,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,847,690, 26 March 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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