HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Heartbreak Ridge My Way Or The Highway
Year: 1986
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill, Moses Gunn, Eileen Heckart, Bo Svenson, Boyd Gaines, Mario Van Peebles, Arlen Dean Snyder, Vincent Irizarry, Ramón Franco, Tom Villard, Mike Gomez, Rodney Hill, Peter Koch, Richard Venture, Peter Jason
Genre: Comedy, Drama, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway (Clint Eastwood) is in jail overnight again for drunken brawling, and while he's in the cell he's regaling the other prisoners with tales of his war experiences one large man takes exception to him and challenges him to a fight. Highway has been fighting all his life and it doesn't take much for him to overpower his latest adversary and the next day he is up before the judge who lets him off with a fine, but gives him his final warning: no more drink-fuelled punch-ups or else. He has a new post to go to, the base where he began his training all those years ago, so surely he'll be able to reach retirement age in peace?

Seems as if Clint Eastwood has been defying his age ever since about 1980, proving to the moviegoers of the world that he still had what it took to be one of the biggest stars of all time, and would endure. In Heartbreak Ridge it was written into Vietnam War veteran James Carabatsos's script that his character would be about to quit his life in the Army because he was too old, not that this would prevent him from outrunning all those young whippersnappers in the rest of the cast. The message here is that the more advanced in years you are, the wiser you are and in Highway's case the tougher you are if you're a Marine.

Eastwood is helped immeasurably by some truly hilarious one-liners, showing that Highway could have made a great standup comedian; he could certainly have dealt firmly with any hecklers. Informing anyone who will listen that, say, "I can put a round in a flea's ass at 200 metres!" definitely raises his standing amidst the other soldiers, even if his new platoon have had it so easy up till now that they are extremely sceptical Highway will do them any good. The implication is that the pampered modern life in the eighties has made men soft and weak, so it takes an old dog to teach them some old tricks about surviving when push comes to shove.

Despite their protests, the marines are whipped into shape and end up being the best on the base, although the Major, Powers (Everett McGill), resents Highway and would like nothing better than to see him cut down to size. Naturally, the feeling is mutual, and the sergeant doesn't even bite his tongue around the major, as if he were too venerable to bother with anything as namby pamby as good manners. Where he does tread carefully, however, is with his ex-wife Aggie (Marsha Mason) who he is trying to get back together with, even going to the extent of reading women's magazines to understand more about relationships.

Yet the real love story here is between Highway and his marines, especially Corporal Stitch (Mario Van Peebles), a budding rock star, sort of a wisecracking Prince, who meets him on the road and makes the mistake of tricking his future sergeant into missing his bus to the base. There is a lot of antagonism between these two, though nothing too meanspirited, and their bond ends up being more convincing than the one between Highway and his ex, which unlike most of the film's clichés creaks like an old gate in the breeze. By the end the soldiers have been despatched to Grenada to gun down Cuban forces (and liberate their cigars), thus proving that Highway - and Ronald Reagan - were right all along and they have become superb fighting machines. Like Full Metal Jacket the next year, the humour carries it, but unlike that film, the U.S. Army here is nothing but beneficial. Eastwood knew his audience, and gave them what they wanted here with great style. Music by Lennie Neihaus.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3773 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Clint Eastwood  (1930 - )

Becoming a superstar in the late 1960s gave Clint Eastwood the freedom to direct in the seventies. Thriller Play Misty for Me was a success, and following films such as High Plains Drifter and The Outlaw Josey Wales showed a real talent behind the camera as well as in front of it. He won an Oscar for his downbeat Western Unforgiven, which showed his tendency to subvert his tough guy status in intriguing ways. Another Oscar was awarded for boxing drama Million Dollar Baby, which he also starred in.

Also a big jazz fan, as is reflected in his choice of directing the Charlie Parker biopic Bird. Other films as director include the romantic Breezy, The Gauntlet, good natured comedy Bronco Billy, Honkytonk Man, White Hunter Black Heart, The Bridges of Madison County, OAPs-in-space adventure Space Cowboys, acclaimed murder drama Mystic River, complementary war dramas Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima and harrowing true life drama Changeling. Many considered his Gran Torino, which he promised would be his last starring role (it wasn't), one of the finest of his career and he continued to direct with such biopics as Jersey Boys, American Sniper and The Mule to his name.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: