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Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Drama  |  5 December 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 27,965 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


Clint Eastwood is Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway, career Marine and combat veteran. He is a man whose life has been defined by war. Korea and Vietnam taught him how to survive. He won the Congressional Medal of Honor but found public apathy and military bureaucracy. He is a hard-drinking loner but he's trying to reorganize his life and understand the woman he loves. He is a traditionalist who has to shape up his ragtag troops and he'll get the job done. His integrity is unwavering. His past is Heartbreak Ridge. He is ready for another battlefield and his finest hour. It will come. 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 movie was made and released about three years after the events of the US Invasion of Grenada had occurred in 1983. See more »


(at around 46 mins) When the "dead" Cuban soldier is rolled over, you can see his left hand open and close. See more »


Sergeant Webster: This gonna go hard on all y'all if you don't cooperate.
Lance Corporal Fragatti: We ain't got nothing to say to you, Webster.
Corporal 'Stitch' Jones: Why don't you go on back to that faggot first platoon and
[imitating Highway]
Corporal 'Stitch' Jones: Don't go away angry. Just... just go away. You've been told.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in An Officer and a Movie: Heartbreak Ridge (2011) See more »


Recon Rap
Written by Mario Van Peebles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

one of the most HILARIOUS war movies ever!!
21 December 2004 | by (Liverpool, England) – See all my reviews

I have to say that I really enjoyed watching this movie.

The grizzled, maverick war veteran, Sgt. Tom 'Gunny' Highway must be one of Clint Eastwood's more comedic roles (apart from the 'every which way' films) He had me bursting out laughing every time he even opened his mouth. One particular line that had me in stitches was when he was telling a cadet to put his Kevlar helmet back on by 1900 hours 'or he wouldn't have a head to wear it on'-pure class!! I've always liked Clint for his tough no-nonsense roles. This one is no exception! As a matter of fact, there were plenty of 'laugh-out-loud moments in this film to keep everyone happy-like the smart-ass remarks from the punk cadets.

The showdown between Highway and 'The Swede' was highly enjoyable, too.

'Heartbrake Ridge' is certainly a lot more lighter and easier to swallow than the similarly-themed 'Full Metal Jacket'.

This film certainly passes as perfectly adequate, undemanding popcorn viewing.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Re: Highway's claim about 1-1-1 - how does it stand now? helica9
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
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