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Heartbreak Ridge


A hard-nosed, hard-living Marine gunnery sergeant clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 6.5/10 (15,345 voted)

Clint Eastwood

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill

1983. Tom Highway is a well-decorated career military man in the United States Marine Corps, he who has seen action in Korea and Vietnam. His current rank is Gunnery Sergeant. His experiences have led him to become an opinionated, no nonsense man, who is prone to bursts of violence, especially when he's drunk, if the situation does not suit him, regardless of the specifics or people involved. Because of these actions, he has spent his fair share of overnighters behind bars. Close to retirement, one of his last assignments, one he requested, is back at his old unit at Cherry Point, North Carolina, from where he was transferred for insubordination. He is to train a reconnaissance platoon. His superior officer, the much younger and combat inexperienced Major Malcolm Powers, sees Highway as a relic of an old styled military. Highway's commanding officer, Lieutenant Ring, the platoon leader…


Clint Eastwood

Gunnery Sgt. Tom 'Gunny' Highway

Marsha Mason


Everett McGill

Major Malcolm A. Powers

Moses Gunn

Staff Sergeant Webster

Eileen Heckart

Little Mary Jackson

Bo Svenson

Roy Jennings, Palace Bar Owner

Boyd Gaines

Lieutenant M.R. Ring

Mario Van Peebles

Corporal 'Stitch' Jones

Arlen Dean Snyder

Sergeant Major Choozoo

Vincent Irizarry


Ramón Franco

Private Aponte

(as Ramon Franco)

Tom Villard


Mike Gomez

Private Quinones

Rodney Hill

Private Collins

Peter Koch

'Swede' Johanson

… the scars run deep.

Release Date: 5 December 1986

Filming Locations: Agua Dulce, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000


Gross: $79,000,000

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Prior to filming, Mario Van Peebles could not play the guitar, but took several quick lessons to convince Clint Eastwood that he could play the role of the wannabe rock star, Corporal "Stitch" Jones.


Revealing mistakes:
(At 01:46) When the "dead" Cuban soldier is rolled over, you can see his left hand open and close.


Just about cleaned you out. Sure makes you feel good, don't it, Gunny? Helping Uncle Sam battle dirty drawers.

You pump the neighbor's dog again, Jakes, or are you always slack eyed and silly in the afternoon.

Looks like you could use a little lift, Highway. Why don't you suck on one of these. Smooth as a prom queen's thigh only not quite as risky. Havana cured. Gotta pal over in Guantanamo in supply. We do each other favors. I've got lots of friends. Of course, I could always use another friend.

User Review

"Why don't you just sit there and bleed a while before you taste some real pain"

Rating: 6/10

Classic Eastwood and great fun from mid-'80s as produced and directed by the
fine man himself. I have to say this is an ideal role for Clint, like Dirty
Harry Callahan in the army. I truly love his exaggerated macho-characters
because they're so amusing and provide so much fun for a Clint-fan like
myself. In here he's a real monster: unpitying, blunt, tough and almost
sadistic but like most of Eastwood's characters he isn't all that cold, even
Sergeant Tom Highway has his sensitive side. In this case he reads women's
magazines and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife.

Script is filled with obscene language and lots of hilarious, legendary
one-liners that kept me laughing pretty hard. Of course I understand why
critics don't necessarily like "Heartbreak Ridge". We don't have to watch
and wait far to find out what the flick is all about, first scene tells it
all. This movie is shameless and far from being intelligent but that doesn't
mean it's boring. What the hell, it entertains and finally that's what
counts. Quote from the film: "You can rob me, you can starve me…and you
can beat me and you can kill me. Just don't bore me."