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City Heat (1984)

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A slick private eye and tough police lieutenant--once partners, now bitter enemies--reluctantly team up to investigate a murder.



(story) (as Sam O. Brown), (as Sam O. Brown) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Caroline Howley
Primo Pitt
Ginny Lee
Dehl Swift
Leon Coll
Lonnie Ash
Troy Roker
Jude Farese ...
Dub Slack
Fat Freddy
Jack Thibeau ...
Garage Soldier
Counterman Louie


Kansas City in the 1930s: private investigator Mike Murphy's partner is brutally murdered when he tries to blackmail a mobster with his secret accounting records. When a rival gang boss goes after the missing records, ex-policeman Murphy is forced to team up again with his ex-partner Lieutenant Speer, even though they can't stand each other, to fight both gangs before KC erupts in a mob war. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When a hotshot cop and a wise-guy detective get together... the heat is on! See more »


Action | Comedy | Crime


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 December 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kansas City Heat  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$38,300,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Blu-ray Edition)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie has been described as a parody of gangster films of the 1930s which starred the likes of Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. Many of these gangster movies were produced by Warner Brothers, the studio that made this picture. See more »


This first time Murphy (Burt Reynolds) visits his apartment, he switches on his 1930s era radio, which instantly begins playing music, as a modern one would. This is incorrect - a radio of that era contained vacuum tubes, and it would have taken the radio several minutes to "warm up" before any music could be heard. See more »


Mike Murphy: [the phone rings again after Murphy hangs up on his girlfriend, but Murphy makes the mistake in thinking it is his girlfriend calling him again] Ok, I'll come over and buff your body and put a nice glow to your cheeks.
Lt. Speer: And I'll bring a nice foot to your ass.
See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


Let's Do It
Written by Cole Porter
Sung by Rudy Vallee
See more »

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User Reviews

Not Totally Enough Here
14 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Like the old saying goes, bigger is not always better. Apparently sticking two actors with the highest star power was not the best idea for City Heat. It's not a bad idea, but it's not a great one. There are SOME good moments in this movie but there is a lot missing. Because of this the bad outweighs the good by far, which can make this a frustrating film to watch.

We know this much; Mike Murphy (Burt Reynolds) and Lieutenant Speer (Clint Eastwood) are acquaintances on some level. In what way - we're never really told. That's already one step in the wrong direction. If you're making a buddy cop movie, you have to give some kind of background of the main characters. Otherwise, the viewer will have no clue why the two characters are at odds half the time.

Much of the time I was trying to figure out what Reynold's character was up to. Every time the screen shifted to Eastwood I finally caught up with what was happening. I'm not really sure how but that was one of the frustrating parts about this movie. It was like Reynold's was there only for fluff and laughs. I'll admit Reynold's did make me laugh at times but it was just for that specific moment. Clint Eastwood also has funny parts. Just like any Eastwood movie, he has his own way of doing things and he does that in this movie too. But these occurrences didn't really change my opinion of this movie; although I wish it had.

To make things even more awkward was that this film barely had a soundtrack. I mean even the silliest of soundtracks sound better than nothing. There were times where I was watching action sequences in this movie where I only heard a "biff" or "baff" and an occasional gunshot. Music can change the whole feeling of a certain scene and without it I felt like I was watching anything very exciting. I was bored with it. Even when it comes to the most stupid action scenes in a movie, there was at least music to back it up. There was almost nothing here. I felt that there was nothing to be excited about. I was just watching a film with no emotion. That is really nerve racking for me. I need to feel something while watching a movie. City Heat just never took off for me and it is truly unfortunate. I was expecting a lot more.

City Heat is just another buddy cop movie with no real life in its characters. The action scenes can be boring with no music in the background and its characters are short of laughs due to the sloppy screenplay.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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