120 user 36 critic

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:
Roy Jennings
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.


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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,100,840, 7 December 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$79,000,000, 31 December 1987
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Prior to filming, Mario Van Peebles could not play the guitar, but took several quick lessons to convince Clint Eastwood that he could play the role of the wannabe rock star, Corporal "Stitch" Jones. See more »


During the "Match up" at the bear pit, dog tags are missing from all the participants. Even when Gunny and the Major strip to their t-shirts, no tags. See more »


Maj. Malcolm A. Powers: [approaching Highway] Just what the hell do you think you're doing?
Highway: Just enjoying the view, sir.
Maj. Malcolm A. Powers: Well, you disobeyed an order. I told you to stay in contact and not take this hill without me. Damn it! Get on your feet, Highway!
Highway: With all due respect, sir, you're beginning to bore the hell out of me.
[sees the helicopter landing and Colonel Meyers getting out]
Colonel Meyers: Who's in charge here?
Maj. Malcolm A. Powers: I am, sir. Major Malcolm Powers.
Colonel Meyers: Did you lead this assault?
Maj. Malcolm A. Powers: Sir, Leutenant Ring and Gunnery Sergeant Highway disobeyed...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


References Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) See more »


Recon Rap
Written by Mario Van Peebles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Clint's funniest
13 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

I had forgotten how funny this film really is. Shown on British TV last night, I found myself laughing like a loon all the way through it. Being a big fan of Eastwood, it's been quite a while since re-viewing this mini classic. And although it does take a drastic turn at the end, with a slightly misjudged comment on war, this is by far his funniest movie.

I also found that his character is his most interesting. A hard, no-nonsense gunnery sergeant who looks for advice in women's magazine is a dream characterization. And the one-liners are perfectly attacked.

I did find Mario Van Peebles character a little annoying, but then I suppose that was the whole point, and it's always good to see Marsha Mason, who I think is totally underrated as a screen actress.

But this is Eastwood's movie, through and through and a real delight. See it, but don't take the ending too seriously.

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