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Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

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.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Major Powers
Sgt. Webster
Little Mary
Roy Jennings
Lieutenant Ring
Aponte (as Ramon Franco)
Rodney Hill ...


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, is also a younger man who has no combat experience, but is academically inclined and happy-go-lucky... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


... the scars run deep. See more »


Action | Comedy | Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 December 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El guerrero solitario  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$42,724,017 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title "Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah" is also used to describe the feudal warlord Humungus in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) See more »


While scrambling around the barracks before the Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise, Jones mentions Aponte "getting his big cartoon face back here before he does time for doing 'A-W-O-L'". The Marine Corps does not use the term "AWOL". The Navy and Marine Corps analogue for AWOL is actually UA (Unauthorized Absence). See more »


Lieutenant M.R. Ring: [bumps into Highway] Excuse me, sir. I mean, Gunny. Sergeant Major
Choozoo: Sir. This is Gunnery Sergent Thomas Highway. He's been assigned to Recon Platoon.
Lieutenant M.R. Ring: Oh, outstanding, welcome aboard. Well, I have to hightail it men. I'm late for pre-SCUBA school.
[looks at Highway's ribbons]
Lieutenant M.R. Ring: Lord!
Highway: His Mama know he's playing Marine?
Choozoo: By the way, he's Lt. Ring. Your platoon leader.
Highway: Thanks a lot.
Choozoo: You didn't think you were just gonna tilt nipple to a bunch of no rank fuzz butts did you?
Highway: I guess not.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening Warner Bros. logo is black and white. See more »


References Mod Squad (1968) See more »


A Very Precious Love
Written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Jill Hollier
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Why don't you just sit there and bleed a while before you taste some real pain"
19 December 2000 | by (Järvenpää, Finland) – See all my reviews

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."

44 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Marines are the ICING on the military cake netwerk023
How old was Gunny Highway? fatdaddync
Game - You know youve seen heartbreak ridge too much when... pauljfrain
Basic training or Recon midwffan
No room in the budget for a military advisor? rythm_method
Homo-eroticism, anyone? toofunkyjnh
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