More About Heartbreak Ridge
Clint Eastwood plays tough-as-nails marine sergeant Tom Highway in HEARTBREAK RIDGE. Highway is tough, but he's got his work cut out for him when he's assigned to whip a platoon of unruly new Marines into shape. He faces his own, often humorous battles with his ex-wife (Marsha Mason) and with his by-the-book commanding officers but still manages to teach his troops discipline and combat tactics. Eventually, their feelings toward him shift from resentment to respect, and all his lessons are put to use when the Grenada invasion unexpectedly brings the platoon into battle.
Main Cast & Crew
Clint Eastwood - Director
Mario Van Peebles
Arlen Dean Snyder
Clint Eastwood takes a revisionist approach to his tough-guy persona once again in HEARTBREAK RIDGE. As he had done in TIGHTROPE and PALE RIDER, and as he would do even more memorably in UNFORGIVEN, Eastwood probes beneath the surface of his prototypical character, a man who feels most at ease amid violence. HEARTBREAK RIDGE is a deft blend of service comedy, action film, and, most surprisingly, a genuine adult love story, as Sergeant Highway tries, with touching earnestness, to win back the affections of his ex-wife (Marsha Mason), after his devotion to the corps has kept them apart for too many lonely years. Meanwhile, he has to whip his inexperienced, undisciplined troops into shape. Highway often runs afoul of his own commanders, who resent his maverick ways and feel threatened by his combat experience and his chest full of medals. He gets the chance to prove his effectiveness yet again when his men are unexpectedly called to battle in Grenada. Like many of Eastwood's films, HEARTBREAK RIDGE is an underrated, solidly entertaining work.
Theatrical release: December 5, 1986. This film was primarily shot at Camp Pendleton, California. The Grenada segments were shot in Puerto Rico. There's a French documentary, CREVECOEUR, about the Korean War engagement the film is named for. Mario Van Peebles is the son of filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, who started the 1970s blaxploitation wave with his SWEET SWEETBACK'S BADASSSSS SONG, which marked Mario's acting debut. This was the first of many Clint Eastwood films on which Jack N. Green was the director of photography. He had previously worked as a camera operator on FIREFOX, HONKYTONK MAN, and SUDDEN IMPACT. "The Marines are looking for a few good men. Unfortunately, you ain't it."--Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood) sizes up his troops "We're friends, but don't expect us to swap spit in the shower."--Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway to his troops
"...Eastwood's performance is one of the richest he's ever given..." - 12/05/1986 New York Times, p.C3
"...HEARTBREAK RIDGE offers another vintage Clint Eastwood performance....Eastwood's direction stands out in sure pacing..." - 12/03/1986 Variety
"...The reward is a vintage Clint Eastwood performance....[He] does it all -- the physicality, the obscenities, the puzzlement in love and mastery in war -- better and more economically than almost any screen icon around..." - 12/05/1986 Los Angeles Times, p.C1