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Heat (1986)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  13 March 1987 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,009 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 5 critic

Las Vegas is the backdrop for all the torrid action of heat, as Burt Reynolds plays the soft-hearted bodyguard who's out to protect his friends.

Directors:

(as R.M. Richards) , (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Heat (1986)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mex
...
...
...
...
...
...
Baby (as Joe Mascolo)
Alfie Wise ...
Felix
...
...
Osgood
Joanne Jackson ...
Millicent
Joe Klecko ...
Kinlaw
...
Tiel (as Pete Koch)
Joseph Bernard ...
Pit Boss
Barry Polkowitz ...
Hot Shot Dealer
Edit

Storyline

Reynolds plays an ex-soldier-of-fortunish character in Vegas, taking "Chaperone" jobs, fighting with the mob, and trying to get enough money together to move to Venice, Italy. Written by Ron Plumley <Ron@PeachNet.EDU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It doesn't get any hotter. [Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Las Vegasi zsaru  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$34,493,095 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Altman bowed out as the original director because US Immigration denied a visa to Altman's Canadian cameraman, Pierre Mignot. See more »

Quotes

[His qualifications.]
Mex: Well, I've been knocked down, blown up, lied to, shit on, shot at, I'm not a virgin except in my heart, nothing much surprises me anymore except what people do to each other. I'm a licensed pilot, I lectured on economics at Yale, and I can memorize the front page of the New York Times in five minutes, and repeat it back to you in five weeks. I was National Golden Gloves Champion three years in a row and I'm fluent in four languages. And... I lie a lot!
See more »

Connections

Remade as Wild Card (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Floorwalker
Composed by Dennis Wilson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Burt's finiest hour, but certainly interesting
30 June 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

1986's much-troubled Heat is pretty much the moment Burt Reynolds stopped being a star. Despite making barely a handful of decent movies, for much of the 70s he was the biggest star in America (but not in the world due to his reluctance to fly abroad to promote his movies), but by the 80s a combination of too many bad choices and too much bad publicity – not least the rumors he was dying of AIDs after his severe weight loss after a jaw injury on City Heat – had him edging closer and closer to the straight-to-video bin. On paper a William Goldman script directed by Robert Altman seemed a good idea. It didn't work out that way. Altman managed to get out of his contract before shooting after vicious arguments with producer Elliot Kastner only for Reynolds and replacement director Dick Richards to come to blows – literally, with Reynolds knocking him unconscious. Not an uncommon event on Richards' sets, allegedly, and such was the director's popularity with the crew that they drew a chalk outline around his unconscious body, but the star hit him a little TOO hard, damaging his eyesight and leading to costly legal action. The film ended up being completed by Jerry Jameson, no stranger to jumping on sinking ships after taking over Raise the Titanic after Stanley Kramer walked. The film opened first in France several months before a disastrous US release with a happier ending, while overseas distributors Cannon released the film to video. Ever since it's been particularly difficult to find.

It has to be said that it's no great shakes, though by Reynolds' standards it's not bad. The plot's fairly simple: bodyguard and gambling addict Nick Escalante dreams of leaving Las Vegas only to fall foul of the heir apparent to an out-of-town mob when he helps a girl he brutally beat up take her revenge on him. Yet there's a lot less action than you might expect from the synopsis – only three scenes, in fact, and only one where he gets to display his mastery of the improvised Edged Weapons that gave Goldman's source novel its original title. Instead it's generally more of a character piece, with much of the running time devoted to his interaction with software millionaire Peter McNicol, who wants to learn how to be a tough guy and who gradually sees beneath Escalante's armor. There are echoes of his cop from Hustle in Reynolds' character: instead of Paris, he dreams of escaping to Venice but is too far gone with Vegas fever to leave. Even when he wins enough money to leave, he can't resist gambling it all away (it's tempting to think that this is what originally appealed to Altman: the Vegas on show here is a slightly sleazy circle of Hell where winning brings only emptiness but which no-one really wants to leave). It does go some way to stretching his range with an intriguing opening sequence where he displays such a convincingly malicious redneck side to his persona that it's a shame he never really got a proper bad guy role in a decent film, while his first verbal confrontation with the undersized mobster is strikingly well written and performed.

Overall it's hard to make much of an argument for it being a lost or overlooked classic, but it's certainly much more interesting than most of the films that ushered in the straight-to-video era of its star's career. Platinum's Region 1 DVD offers a decent fullframe transfer of the US version complete with that unconvincing happier ending but no extras.


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