Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Drama  |  5 December 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 28,297 users  
Reviews: 115 user | 30 critic

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)
Tom Villard ...
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 Marine Corps had planned to use this film to promote its "Toys for Tots" campaign, but, upon viewing, decided not to because of the language. See more »


Highway is supposedly reporting for duty at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, but the gate and am-trac display is Camp Pendleton, California. See more »


Lieutenant M.R. Ring: [removing a staple from a bundle of reports] Gunny, did you know that I was Platoon Leader in my ROTC class in college?
Highway: I'll sleep a lot better at night knowing that, sir.
Lieutenant M.R. Ring: Thank you.
[pokes finger with staple]
Lieutenant M.R. Ring: Ow! What school did you go to?
Highway: Heartbreak Ridge.
Lieutenant M.R. Ring: Hmmm. I've never heard of that school.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The Eastwood Factor (2010) See more »


Secret Love
Written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Jill Hollier
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Vintage Clint!
4 August 2003 | by (Mexico City, Mexico) – See all my reviews

Clint Eastwood is at his best in the role of "Gunny Highway." This is mostly a really excellent flick about patriotic values, military camaraderie and old grizzled military veterans. Gunny Highway comes across as the exact fellow you would want covering your ass in any tough situation you could possibly imagine. And Eastwood plays him perfectly with steely resolve, devotion, humor and a healthy touch of irreverence. Its great to see the transformation of Highway's squad, as well as the final moment of judgment for the totally hateful, obnoxious and bureaucratic Maj. Powers. (Oh, if only such b*****ds would get their deserved comeuppance in real life in such a manner, what a beautiful world it would be!)

The only real fault is the attempt to compare a minor police action in Grenada with Vietnam and Korea, "I guess we're not 0, 1 and 1 anymore." I mean, give me a break, Korea and Vietnam went on for years and killed millions! Grenada involved a couple of hundred casualties over a couple of days. Please! But I suppose in 1986 the American people were desperate for some kind of heroes. Its just that that kind of jingoism would have been much more appropriate after Desert Storm than Grenada. That being said, its still a very good movie with a fundamental message about values, loyalty and comradeship that we could easily have more of these days, besides, Clint is just great!

31 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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