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Not a Pretty Face

February 14, 1988|Leonard Klady \f7

Don Johnson will use his "Miami Vice" hiatus to track a killer in Lorimar's "Dead Bang," which begins filming in April in L.A. before moving to Calgary. The screenplay by Robert Foster has Johnson dogging the murderer's trail from Hollywood to Colorado, with a surprising twist regarding the murderer's identity.

There's also a twist for Jerome Beck, L.A. Sheriff's Dept. homicide detective, whose real-life experience is the basis for the yarn: The cop in the movie is also named Jerry Beck. "It's very embarrassing," Beck told us. "I was pleased but surprised by the use of my name and the Johnson casting, because on my best day I don't look as good as Johnson on his worst day. I'd say Gene Hackman is closer to my physical type."

Beck met director John Frankenheimer several years ago and told him about the case. Frankenheimer optioned dramatic rights.

"Frankly, I've been nervously watching the papers to see when the news of my involvement would get out," Beck said. Other than a few chiefs reading the script to decide if the department's name can be used, said Beck, "No one here knows of the film."

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