Heartbreak Ridge
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Heartbreak Ridge

130 min
Action | Comedy | Drama | War
IMDB rate:
Clint Eastwood
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins
Country: USA
Release Date: 1986-12-05
Filming Locations: Santa Clarita, California, USA
Budget: $15,000,000
Gross: $42,724,017 (USA)$79,000,000 (Worldwide)
Clint Eastwood
Marsha Mason
Everett McGill
Major Powers
Moses Gunn
Sgt. Webster
Eileen Heckart
Little Mary
Bo Svenson
Roy Jennings
Boyd Gaines
Lieutenant Ring
Mario Van Peebles
Arlen Dean Snyder
Vincent Irizarry
Ramón Franco
Aponte (as Ramon Franco)
Tom Villard
Mike Gomez
Rodney Hill
Peter Koch
'Swede' Johanson
Richard Venture
Colonel Meyers
Peter Jason
Major Devin
J.C. Quinn
Quartermaster Sgt.
John Eames
Judge Zane
Thom Sharp
John Gallagher
Emcee (as Jack Gallagher)
John Hostetter
Holly Shelton-Foy
Sarita Dwayne
Nicholas Worth
Jail Binger
Timothy Fall
Kid in Jail
Jon Pennell
Jail Crier
Trish Garland
Woman Marine Officer
Dutch Mann
Bar Tough Guy
Darwyn Swalve
Bar Tough Guy
Christopher Michael
Marine (as Christopher Lee Michael)
Alex M. Bello
Steve Halsey
Bus Driver
John Sasse
Bus Driver
Annie O'Donnell
Telephone Operator
Elizabeth Ruscio
Lloyd Nelson
John H. Brewer
Sgt. Major in Court (as Sgt. Maj. John H. Brewer)
Michael Maurer
Bouncer in Bar
Tom Ellison
Marine Corporal
Russell Appling
Dock Marine (uncredited)
Tom Willett
Bus Passenger (uncredited)
Did you know?
The obstacle course scene and helicopter rappelling scene were shot at 62 area (Camp San Mateo) aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. The obstacle course is shown filled with water when a few marines jump over. The "O" course was cleaned out by a regimental working party the day before the scene was shot. The Marines assigned to the detail, (I was one of them) completely cleaned out the hole of the weeds and vegetation that had grown over the years, using shovels and rakes, only to have the hole filled with water.
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The battle of Heartbreak Ridge was actually fought mostly by the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division. The battle became infamous, after the Division Commander ordered the 23rd Infantry Regiment and an attached French infantry battalion, to stage a disastrous frontal assault straight up Heartbreak Ridge. Sergeant Major Choozoo mentions that he and Gunny Highway later joined the Marines after leaving the Army's 23rd Infantry Regiment.
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In the original script, Sgt. Highway was a career army officer. The U.S. Army read the script and refused to participate. The character was then changed to a Marine. The Marine Corps first cooperated, but upon viewing a first cut, quickly disowned the film because of the foul language. The portrayal of Sgt. Highway, a Medal of Honor recipient, being disparaged by his commanding officer (Maj. Powers), has been deemed controversial by enlisted and former USMC members who consider this rude and insulting.
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Stitch Jones brings his electric guitar into the shower area at one point, and we hear electric guitar from it as he plays it. There's no sign of either a cord or amplifier.
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When the Recon platoon departs the ship, they are in a UH-1N (two engine version) of the Huey. When the marines jump out of the helicopter, they are in a UH-1H (single engine version) of the Huey.
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Midway into the film Stitch Jones is surprised to learn that Gunny Highway is a Medal of Honor recipient. Yet up to this point Jones has had ample opportunity to observe the decoration on Highway's uniform. As the nation's HIGHEST military decoration it is placed on the left breast, first and highest above all others. Equally hard for any of the recon members to miss would be the sight of Highway's superiors (like Maj Powers) being obliged to initiate the salute to the lesser ranking Highway - a privilege, by tradition, extended to MoH recipients.
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Marine: Just about cleaned you out. Sure makes you feel good, don't it, Gunny? Helping Uncle Sam battle dirty drawers.
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Corporal 'Stitch' Jones: [while under heavy fire] I wish I was back in New Jersey, man, watching the Flintstones!
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Highway: This is the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of your enemy; and it makes a distinctive sound when fired at you, so remember it.
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Could any USMC recon platoon in the 80's really have been so messed up and undisciplined?
Yes and no. It stretches credibility to think that an entire squad of recon Marines who are lacking an effective staff NCO to lead them would dare to have become so reckless and undisciplined in such a short time. Even without the leadership of a staff NCO who would be in pay grades E-6 through E-9, we would figure that the platoon leader being a 2nd or 1st lieutenant would have assigned a staff noncommissioned officer on an interim basis, at least until a permanent staff NCO could be assigned to take charge. So in essence this part of the script took a lot of liberties to create entertaining drama and to set up the impending conflict between Gun. Sgt. Tom Highway and his new recon unit of reckless and undisciplined Marines. Of course the unit got so reckless during the lull of peacetime and without being deployed to fight any real enemy so then we can imagine that they got so out of line due to the ongoing boredom of their situation. Plus nobody was available to take charge of them until they got Gunny Highway to take command.
Isn't RECON considered an elite Marine?
It was when I was in the "Crotch", mid to late 60's, my brother prior to that, my dad the 20's, the real old corp. Like Ebert points out, we've seen this in dozens of tough guy war films. Some of the scenes work but what I know is that to become a Marine Corps officer is every bit as hard a the enlisted mans training. Casting the young Lt. as a loose wuss was a huge technical mistake, can't believe it, I never saw any officer that was a candy ass; and this elite group of recon without disipline is really hard to fathom. To get to be in Recon is tantamout to wanting to be in todays more popular and recognized Navy Seals. Those grunts that we're defiant of authority would have got some retraining in a Navy Brig....
In the film is there any mention of all of the suicide bombing in Lebanon immediately preceding the invasion of Grenada that killed over 240 Americans and spurred an immediate retreat?
No, the Beirut barracks bombing is never mentioned in the film. As 220 of the American dead where Marines, it would be expected that news of this event would have been a major topic of interest, especially given that the barracks bombing was only two days prior to the Grenada invasion.
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Photos from cast
Rebecca Perle Begonya Plaza