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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


Take Clint the street-smart cop . . . take Burt the wise-guy private eye . . . and then take cover! 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?


After director Blake Edwards was allegedly fired from this picture, a number of other directors were approached to direct the film until eventually Richard Benjamin was hired to direct. See more »


In the scene where Lt. Speer breaks into the mobster's home to get the slug upon which to run ballistics the mobster asks Speer if Speer has a warrant. The movie takes place prior to 1934 and the repeal of prohibition. There was no requirement for police to have warrants to search citizens' property or to seize such property until the 1940's. See more »


Little Red: [Murphy has just crashed through a bordello window on Little Red and her client, who's dressed as Little Red Riding Hood's Wolf in headmask and nightgown] Murphy!
Mike Murphy: Hi, Marie!
Little Red: What do you think you're doin'?
Mike Murphy: I'm about to do to a couple of hoods what you're about to do to the congressman.
See more »


Features Horse Feathers (1932) See more »


City Heat
Written by Irene Cara and Bruce Roberts
Sung by Joe Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

A Complete Disaster
12 June 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

City Heat (1984)

1/2 (out of 4)

Horrendous film about a cop (Clint Eastwood) and private eye (Burt Reynolds) who are investigating the same case. Turns out a man (Richard Roundtree) was trying to blackmail some mob boys but soon he's dead and it's up to our two superstars to crack the case. If you ever need proof that superstars aren't as important as a good screenplay then here it is. Apparently Blake Edwards was set to direct this movie but got fired sometime during the filming as he couldn't agree with the two stars on what this film should be. Perhaps this is the reason the movie is such a mess but whatever the reason it's doubtful you'll see a worst movie with Eastwood. Sometimes when you go into a movie with low expectations you find yourself enjoying it on a few levels but that wasn't the case here. Everything in this movie is horrid but the biggest problem I had is that I could never figure out what the hell I was watching. At times the tone is so serious that you think you're watching an actual thriller. At other times the material is so over the top that you feel as if you're watching some type of spoof. With Eastwood and Reynolds you appear to be getting a buddy picture yet they're hardly on screen together and when they are it isn't for too long. This is a really confusing movie in terms of its tone but perhaps Edwards was going for the spoof, got fired and the replacement director went for something more serious. Whatever happened the final result is a complete disaster and without question a major embarrassment. There's no denying that Reynolds was making some poor selections here and this is yet another. He seems really out of place here and gives a rather awkward performance that never gets the laughs he's going for. You somewhat would expect him to pick out a bad screenplay but for the life of me I can't understand how Eastwood would get involved in something like this. This material is without question the worst I've seen from him and it's hard to believe he'd sign on for something like this. He sleepwalks through the entire film and can't give it a bit of energy. Jane Alexander, Madeline Kahn and Rip Torn are all bland as well and Roundtree doesn't get to do much before getting knocked off. The film takes place in the 30s so we get all the old fashioned cars and outfits and while this is pretty on the eyes there wasn't a single frame where I actually felt like we were in the 30s. It's hard to find any direction here as each scene is just off the wall and comes off looking extremely tired and there's no energy to be found anywhere. As horrid as this movie is at the same time it's almost easy to recommend just so people can see how badly a movie can be even with strong talent. This is the type of film that makes you scratch your head and wonder what they were thinking but I'd love to hear Eastwood try to put a spin on this.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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