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Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Drama  |  5 December 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 27,979 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?


Despite the film's "Heartbreak Ridge" title, the picture was not about 1951's Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, but the campaign it covered was actually the 1983 American Invasion of Grenada. See more »


In the beginning of the film, when Highway stands to attention as the colors are being lowered at sunset, the bugle call being played is "Taps". However, the correct call is "Retreat". Taps is played later in the evening at Lights Out. See more »


Maj. Malcolm A. Powers: I want this battalion to be the class of the division. I expect my non-commissioned officers to lead by example. Public fighting and insubordination to civilian authority are not what I call good standards!
Highway: It was a minor altercation, sir.
Maj. Malcolm A. Powers: That seems to be a habit with you, Gunny! A year ago you hit an officer. I went to Annapolis with that man. You try that with me, Gunnery Sergeant Highway and you'll drag your butt in a sling for a month, you hear me, marine?
Highway: Yes, sir.
Maj. Malcolm A. Powers: I don't know what ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Eastwood on Eastwood (1997) 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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Excellent Eastwood movie
25 May 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

When I first started to watch Heartbreak Ridge, I expected another Clint Eastwood kicking but in some war movie. I was right, but I was wrong expecting this to be bad. Clint Eastwood is great as Tom Highway, a gunnery who must train troops and prepare for Grenada. He gives an excellent performance and he shows who his character really is and how good it is. Mario Van Peebles does really good as Stitch Jones. He shows his character well and I enjoyed it. The war part, which came mainly at the end, was cool enough. The directing was really good and all of the other actors were good.

Overall this movie is very cool and I recommend it to any Clint Eastwood fans. Rating 10 out of 10.

8 of 13 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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