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Heartbreak Ridge

4.4 out of 5 stars 494 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

There are no wars to fight. But Gunnery Sgt. Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood), a dog-faced relic of past wars, still has a lot of fight in him. Besides playing “Gunny,” Eastwood also directs and produces this tale of a Marine Corps lifer who, starting his last tour of duty before retirement, sees the bumpy road his life has taken become more complicated, due to feisty recruits (Mario Van Peebles among them), by-the-book officers and a salty ex-wife (Marsha Mason) to whom he's still attracted. Take the ridge – Heartbreak Ridge – and get a vivid, rough-and-ready entertainment from a top artist in top form.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill, Moses Gunn, Eileen Heckart
  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Writers: James Caradatsos
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood, Fritz Manes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ASLJOU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,357 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Heartbreak Ridge" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. G Watson VINE VOICE on June 16, 2005
Format: DVD
When this film came out, aeons ago, a sneering newspaper reviewer called it an the utltimate "OC" movie, "OC" meaning "of course." He was referring to the fact that there isn't a single character or situation in "Heartbreak Ridge" that could be called remotely original -- it's basically a 1980s version of every 1940s, '50s, & '60s war movie you ever saw. His evidence:

1 - crusty yet somehow loveable sergeant
2 - crusty yet somehow loveable sidekick
3 - pencil-pushing jerk senior officer
4 - green platoon leader
5 - woman from past
6 - bumbling soldier who needs to grow up
7 - assorted Cental Casting platoon members
8 - generic training sequences
9 - generic trial by fire
10 - predictable ending

All this is completely true. I just don't care. The stupid reviewer was too busy being smug to understand that the reason this story has been told so many times is because it is a classic, and classics are timeless. Especially under the tender care of Clint "Shoot First, Ask Questions Never" Eastwood.

"Ridge" is the story of Tom Highway (as in "My Way Or The..."), a bullet-scarred, gravelly-voiced Marine sergeant who has fought in three wars, won a bucketfull of medals, and is now facing mandatory retirement. Ol' Gunny Highway ain't takin' it too well, either -- he drinks, fights with the cops, and gets yelled at by his superiors. Banished to a supply billet, all he yearns for is one last chance to lead combat troops, and before you can say "of course," he's packed off to his old unit -- you know, the same one he was kicked out of years before, for insubordination and conduct unbecoming (you know, the usual Eastwood Offences).
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Format: VHS Tape
Yes, this film is about as formulaic as they come: a tough, no-nonsense, battle-tested sergeant turning a bunch of misfits into an effective fighting unit. On top of that, we are treated (again) to a romantic aspect of a story featuring a bitter, petulant ex-wife who still harbors emotional attachment to that no-good ex of hers.
Yet HEARTBREAK RIDGE delivers an entertaining story--along with some very amusing moments--thanks mainly to Clint Eastwood as the gravel-voiced Gunnery Sergeant Tom "Gunny" Highway. Sure, Eastwood brings brawn and plenty of knuckle sandwiches to this role, but also a fragile vulnerability that makes the character more three-dimensional. Eastwood carries this film, but that's no problem: those shoulders are plenty broad.
Marsha Mason as ex-wife Aggie gripes and complains at a healthy clip, while Mario Van Peebles as soldier "Stitch" Jones stands out from the rest of Gunny's dysfunctional Recon Platoon. HEARTBREAK RIDGE has action, drama, and plenty of laughs. Sounds like a winning Eastwood formula to me.
--D. Mikels
Comment 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Heartbreak Ridge was an army battle, fought in Korea by the 2nd (Indianhead) Infantry Division, I think. (If I'm wrong, don't shoot.) Apparently, the army refused to sponsor the film and so the writers changed a few lines and the Corps took it up (and later tried to backpedal). The only time this is mentioned is when the Sergeant Major and Pvt Peebles are in the Old Marine Hangout bar (we're never given a name, it sure isn't the Staff NCO club on base) and the SgtMaj gives the Pvt a small history lesson, mentioning that they went in the Corps after Korea.

The film is formula, pure and simple, with all the caricatures of old time war movies. The conflict between Gunnery Sergeant Hightower and the football hero Major is yet another of the neverending personality conflicts without which no military outfit can function - according to Hollywood. (If it was really like that, of course, no unit could get itself together enough to make it to the point of embarkation much less fight!)

However, the uniforms and equipment are authentic and worn properly. Even the ribbons and badges are correct as to time and place and worn as prescribed by regulations. The "Gunny fund" scene where Hightower bails out one of his men who is married and in money trouble is real enough. In the old days before base social workers, sergeants did what they had to and units took care of their own as best they could. I remember that in the 80's, ten years after the All Volunteer Armed Forces and enormous pay increases, every single married man in my platoon qualified for food stamps and other welfare programs. We were required to inform them of this and even arrange time for them to go off base to apply! (Young servicepersons below the paygrade of E-5 shouldn't marry because of their lower incomes.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In Heartbreak Ridge, Clint Eastwood brings the story of whipping a group of slacker marines into shape to life. Although Clint still packs plenty of great one-liners (which are hilarious), his character shows many other sides as well. The other characters are also very colorful, and display a great transition toward the end of the movie. A must-see for Clint fans as well as anybody else.
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Format: DVD
I don't take this movie as seriously as Saving Private Ryan, for example, but I don't think the movie takes itself so seriously, either. In fact, it is pretty darn funny in a subtle way. There is enough variety of characters as comic relief to overcome any factual inaccuracies in the film. It is the classic "New commander whips the boys into shape" story.
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