Dead Bang

Dead Bang is a 1989 American action thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Don Johnson, Penelope Ann Miller, William Forsythe, Bob Balaban, and Tim Reid. Johnson's character, based on real-life LASD Detective Jerry Beck, tracks the killer of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy and uncovers a plot involving hate literature, white supremacist militias and arms trafficking.


On Christmas Eve in Los Angeles, a dispatched LASD Sheriff is shot dead by an armed robber, who early on robbed a convenience store and also killed its African-American owner. The alcoholic, hard-driven LASD Detective Jerry Beck is tasked with the investigation. While examining police records he comes across a person of interest named Bobby Burns, who has recently been paroled from a four-year robbery sentence. He and a parole officer go to Burns' home only to find his college student brother, John, who claims he has not seen Burns and is only staying for the holidays. A man suddenly flees the house and Beck captures him after a chase on foot; he turns out to be one of Burns' friend who is also on parole from committing armed robbery. The man tells Beck that he last saw Burns driving a maroon Ford Ranch Wagon en route to Bakersfield.