Heartbreak Ridge ()

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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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Cast verified as complete

Gunnery Sergent Thomas Highway
Major Malcolm Powers
Staff Sgt. Webster
Little Mary
Roy Jennings
Lieutenant Ring
Corporal Stitch Jones
Sergeant Major Choozoo
Aponte (as Ramon Franco)
Rodney Hill ...
'Swede' Johanson
Richard Venture ...
Colonel Meyers
Major Devin
Quartermaster Sgt.
Mrs. Aponte (as Begoña Plaza)
John Eames ...
Judge Zane
John Gallagher ...
Emcee (as Jack Gallagher)
Holly Shelton-Foy ...
Sarita Dwayne
Jail Binger
Kid in Jail
Jon Pennell ...
Jail Crier
Woman Marine Officer
George Hartmann ...
Bar Tough Guy (as Dutch Mann)
Darwyn Swalve ...
Bar Tough Guy
Marine (as Christopher Lee Michael)
Alex M. Bello ...
Steve Halsey ...
Bus Driver
John Sasse ...
Bus Driver
Student in Shower
Telephone Operator
John H. Brewer ...
Sgt. Major in Court (as Sgt. Maj. John H. Brewer)
Michael Maurer ...
Bouncer in Bar
Tom Ellison ...
Marine Corporal
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Russell Appling ...
Dock Marine (uncredited)
Michael George ...
Musician (uncredited)
John Clark McKinnon ...
Marine Trumpet Player (uncredited)
Dancer in bar (uncredited)
David Roth ...
Jail Booking Officer (uncredited)
William Walker ...
Sailor On Bus (uncredited)
Bus Passenger (uncredited)

Directed by

Clint Eastwood

Written by

James Carabatsos ... (written by)
Dennis Hackin ... () (uncredited)
Joseph Stinson ... () (uncredited)

Produced by

Clint Eastwood ... producer
Fritz Manes ... executive producer

Music by

Lennie Niehaus

Cinematography by

Jack N. Green

Film Editing by

Joel Cox

Editorial Department

Donah Bassett ... negative cutter
Michael Cipriano ... assistant editor
Jack Garsha ... color timer

Production Design by

Edward C. Carfagno ... (as Edward Carfagno)

Set Decoration by

Robert R. Benton

Makeup Department

Kathryn Blondell ... hair stylist (as Kathy Blondell)
E. Thomas Case ... makeup artist (as Tom Case)

Production Management

Fritz Manes ... unit production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

L. Dean Jones Jr. ... second assistant director
Michael Looney ... second assistant director
Paul Moen ... first assistant director

Art Department

Edward Aiona ... property master
William J. Foley ... lead man (as Bill Foley)
Kelly Hudson ... stand-by painter
Michael Muscarella ... construction coordinator
Robert E. Sessa ... set designer (as Robert Sessa)
Bill Gold ... poster designer (uncredited)
Mark Rich ... property master (uncredited)

Sound Department

Rick Alexander ... re-recording mixer (as Dick Alexander)
Neil Burrow ... sound editor
Scott Burrow ... sound editor
Teri E. Dorman ... sound editor
Jay Engel ... adr editor
Les Fresholtz ... re-recording mixer
Joseph Geisinger ... cable person
Dee Dee Goetz ... assistant sound editor
Ron Harris ... adr mixer
Robert G. Henderson ... supervising sound editor (as Robert Henderson)
David M. Horton ... sound editor (as D. Michael Horton)
Bruce Lacey ... sound editor
Alan Robert Murray ... supervising sound editor (as Alan Murray)
Bill Nelson ... sound mixer (as William Nelson)
Richard Oswald ... sound editor
Vern Poore ... re-recording mixer
Jules Strasser ... boom operator
Brooke Henderson Ward ... assistant sound editor (as Brooke H. Ward)
Greg Orloff ... foley mixer (uncredited)
John Roesch ... foley artist (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Chuck Gaspar ... special effects
Jeffrey A. Wischnack ... special effects technician (uncredited)


Buddy Van Horn ... stunt coordinator (as Wayne Van Horn)
Tom Ellison ... stunts (uncredited)
George Orrison ... stunt double: Clint Eastwood (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Ed Ayer ... best boy
Kirk Bales ... dolly grip (as Kirk E. Bales)
Mike Chevalier ... additional camera operator (as Michael Chevalier)
Danny Falkengren ... second grip (as Dan Falkengren)
Buzz Feitshans IV ... assistant camera: second unit
Bill Foley ... camera loader
Christopher Dunn George ... assistant camera (as Christopher George)
Jeff Gershman ... assistant camera: second unit
Larry Hezzelwood ... assistant camera: second unit
Cindy Kurland ... assistant camera
Marcia Reed ... still photographer
Douglas Ryan ... additional camera operator (as Doug Ryan)
Charles Saldana ... key grip
Stephen St. John ... camera operator
Marc Staton ... assistant camera
Baird Steptoe ... assistant camera
Tom Stern ... gaffer
Peter N. Green ... camera department intern (uncredited)
James A. Lundin ... genie operator (uncredited)
Víctor Pérez ... lighting technician (uncredited)

Casting Department

Christopher Gorman ... casting assistant
Phyllis Huffman ... casting executive
Tina Real ... extras casting: local (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Darryl M. Athons ... wardrobe: men (as Darryl Athons)
Deborah Hopper ... wardrobe: women (as Deborah Ann Hopper)
Glenn Wright ... costume supervisor

Music Department

Robert Fernandez ... scoring mixer (as Bobby Fernandez)
Donald Harris ... music editor
Lennie Niehaus ... conductor
Tom Boyd ... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited) / oboe soloist (uncredited)

Transportation Department

Keith Dillin ... transportation coordinator
Jack Grant ... transportation captain

Other crew

Marco Barla ... unit publicist
Bundy Chanock ... set medic
Judie Hoyt ... assistant to producer
Linda Sony Kinney ... production secretary
Cindy Lasher ... first aid (as Cynthia Lasher)
Michael Maurer ... assistant to producer / auditor
Lloyd Nelson ... script supervisor
Russell Appling ... military liaison (uncredited) / production assistant (uncredited)
James D. Dever ... technical advisor: military (uncredited)
Joe Hyams ... studio publicity executive (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Plot Summary

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. Highway finds that his team is a rag-tag bunch of slackers, who includes wannabe rock musician Stitch Jones, with who Highway had an inauspicious earlier meeting. The men in the platoon, who truly believe Highway is crazy, hate him, and don't understand why they have to follow his harsh training regimen when the United States is not currently at war. The major, who is all about efficiency regardless of combat readiness, has the same views of Highway. He is clear that he sees Highway's platoon solely as a training mechanism for his own elite squad trained by Highway's nemesis, Staff Sergeant Webster. Things for Highway and his platoon change when the United States enters into war in Grenada. Through it all, Highway tries to reconnect with his bar waitress ex-wife Aggie, he even clandestinely reading women's magazines to understand her better. Two primary obstacles stand in his way: Roy Jennings, Aggie's boss and current suitor who hates Marines, and Aggie's own remembrance of how dysfunctional their marriage was. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines ... the scars run deep. See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Le maître de guerre (France)
  • El sargento de hierro (Spain)
  • Перевал разбитых сердец (Soviet Union, Russian title)
  • Elitesoldaten (Denmark)
  • Gunny (Italy)
  • See more »
  • 130 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $15,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend United States $8,100,840, 07 Dec 1986

Did You Know?

Trivia The use of a credit card to place a long distance landline fire support is based on an actual event in the Operation Urgent Fury Grenada action. A U.S. Navy SEAL rescuing the governor general placed a calling card call to SOCOM which brought an AC-130 gunship to bear on an APC that was firing on them. See more »
Goofs Midway into the film Stitch Jones is surprised to learn that Gunny Highway is a Medal of Honor recipient. Yet up to this point Jones has had ample opportunity to observe the decoration on Highway's uniform. As the nation's HIGHEST military decoration it is placed on the left breast, first and highest above all others. Equally hard for any of the recon members to miss would be the sight of Highway's superiors (like Maj Powers) being obliged to initiate the salute to the lesser ranking Highway - a privilege, by tradition, extended to MoH recipients. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Heartbreak Ridge/Solarbabies/Little Shop of Horrors/Defense of the Realm (1986). See more »
Soundtracks Sea of Heartbreak See more »
Crazy Credits The opening Warner Bros. logo is black and white. See more »
Quotes Jail Binger: I don't like soldier boys.
Highway: Say what?
Jail Binger: If you wanna pop that puppy's can you don't have to grease him so hard, jarhead.
Highway: Well, it sounds like you're a man of experience.
Jail Binger: What the hell's that supposed to mean, grunge shit.
Highway: It means: Be advised. I'm mean, nasty and tired. I eat concertina wire and piss napalm and I can put a round in a flea's ass at 200 meters. So why don't you go hump somebody else's leg, mutt face, before I push yours in.
Jail Binger: Ain't gonna be so smart with your balls stuffed in your mouth, jarhead!
Highway: [hands cigar to the young man] Hang on to this, boy. I think war's just been declared.
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