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Comedy - Police

City Heat (1984)

Duration1h 33m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG, Most others: 15
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorRichard Benjamin
Writers/ScriptBlake Edwards as Sam O. Brown, Joseph Stinson
StarringClint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Jane Alexander, Madeline Kahn, Rip Torn, Irene Cara, Richard Roundtree, Tony Lo Bianco 
RatingsIMDb:  5.5 by 8,903 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 22%
(This is my 1200th post)

 Elevator Pitch: It is 1933 in Kansas city. Two underworld gangs, a private eye, Mike Murphy, and a police detective, Lieutenant Speer, are on the track of a number of ledgers containing important information. Both the detectives have something for Addy, the private eye’s secretary, and Mike himself is involved with a socialite Caroline Howley. One of the gangs takes Caroline hostage, demanding the ledgers as a price for her release setting both detectives firstly on the track of the ledgers themselves and then together they put in place a plan to rescue the woman. 

Content: No sex or nudity, but a lot of drinking and a bit of smoking. It is apparent that the two detectives dislike each other. There are many shoot outs where, despite the gunfire exchanged with pistols, machine guns and in one case a shot gun, no-one is killed. Then there is an exchange of fire in a warehouse where all the villains are dispatched.  Also a lot of fisticuffs, particularly during the rescue of the socialite, which is one of the few fun scenes.

A View:  No-one liked this movie, actually not even the actors or the writer who chose to conceal his name. Roger Ebert said “How do travesties like this get made”.  One of the theories is that everyone knows that the film is not a goer, but once they have started down the road they are more interested in protecting their salaries than protecting the studio’s investment.  In this case on an estmated budget of $25 million, four million of which was Clint Eastwood’s salary, it might have broken even. It is billed as a “comedy-drama”, but there are so few laughts it is not really worth your time, even for nothing.

Additional Info: Burt Reynolds was hit in the face with a metal chair on day one, and so was unable to eat solid food for the duration of the shoot. 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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