Hearbreak Ridge (1986)
Made at the height of Ronald Reagan’s popularity as a president, this old-fashioned right-wing war actioner wears its macho chauvinist ideology on its sleeves.
Released just a year after Stallone’s revisionist Vietnam war film, “Rambo,” this picture provides sort of a justification for the Western involvement in the Grenada War.
Based on the formulaic and cliché’-ridden scenario by James Carabatsos, “Heartbreak Ridge” was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood as an aging, old-fashioned Marine Corps sergeant, who is out of step with the new military.
Eastwood’s Tom Highway returns to his old outfit as a gunnery sergeant, where he runs afoul of the more current style of the superior officers, who pereceive his methods and words (like “Gung Ho”) as silly and anachronistic.
However, through his tough tutelage and harsh discipline, Tom’s platoon is whipped into a first-rate fighting machine, favoring teamwork over such New Age slogans as “self-fulfillment.” Eastwood’s men prove their real mettle during the invasion of Grenada.
Oscar Nominations: 1
Sound: Les Fresholtz, Dick Alexander. Vern Poor, William Nelson
The Sound Oscar went to the Vietnam War film, “Platoon.”
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Released: December 5, 1986.
DVD: Oct 1, 2002
Running time: 130 Minutes.
Clint Eastwood as Tom Highway
Marsha Mason as Aggie
Everett McGill as Major Powers
Moses Gunn as Sgt. Webster
Eileen Heckart as Little Mary
Bo Svenson as Roy Jennings
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