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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?


Clint Eastwood plays a veteran of the Korean War in this film. In the documentary Biography: Clint Eastwood: The Man from Malpaso (1994), Eastwood states how [in real life] he didn't go to the Korean War, saying that he "was one of the lucky ones". See more »


When Highway is in a bar near the beginning of the movie, he watches a performance of "the Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah". However the "Ayatollah", whose singing is amplified, doesn't appear to have a microphone. See more »


Highway: Shut your face, hippie!
Corporal 'Stitch' Jones: Hippie?
[whispers in ear]
Corporal 'Stitch' Jones: There haven't been hippies in centuries. Are you freeze-dried or doing hard time?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


References Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) See more »


Recon Rap
Written by Mario Van Peebles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Action and comedy in a military setting
28 October 1998 | by (Beaufort, SC) – See all my reviews

This is an enjoyable, if somewhat cartoonish, adventure. Eastwood plays Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway, a career United States Marine who won the Medal of Honor at Heartbreak Ridge in Korea. As he approaches retirement, Gunny Highway takes on the task of transforming a bunch of misfits into a tough Reconnaissance Platoon in time for the 1983 invasion of Granada. The film is uneven, with some moments that are brilliant and others that are embarrassingly bad. The film does not contain an accurate portrayal of Marine Recon, but it does deliver excitement and a good dose of humor. Besides, Clint Eastwood as a salty old Gunny is something that had to happen!

15 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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