Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Drama  |  5 December 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 28,262 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?


In this movie, two characters are veterans of the real-life Battle of Heartbreak Ridge fought during the Korean War in 1951. Clint Eastwood's character, Gunnery Sergeant Tom 'Gunny' Highway, was awarded the Medal of Honor from this engagement. See more »


The insertion method shown for the recon platoon in the Grenada assault is intended to be executed at night. It is clearly day when the platoon is dropped into the water. See more »


Judge Zane: Thank you for your testimony, Officer Reese. Sergeant Highway, drunk and disorderly. Fighting in a public establishment. Urinating on a police vehicle?
Highway: Well, it seemed like the thing to do, sir.
Judge Zane: Just because there's no war going on does not give you the right to start one every time you get drunk. Now I'm taking into account your excellent military record and your commitment to the security of this great nation. But this is your last chance. One hundred dollar fine. Next!
Highway: [...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Psych: This Episode Sucks (2011) See more »


I Love You But I Ain't Stupid
Lyrics by Mario Van Peebles
Music by Mario Van Peebles and Desmond Nakano
Performed by Mario Van Peebles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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?

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Marines are the ICING on the military cake netwerk023
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Game - You know youve seen heartbreak ridge too much when... pauljfrain
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No room in the budget for a military advisor? rythm_method
Civilian jail? And court? keiser_shoese
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