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Heartbreak Ridge

Clint Eastwood , Marsha Mason , Clint Eastwood    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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The controversial, Reagan-era invasion of Grenada by U.S. troops is, oddly enough, at the center of this initially interesting story of a seasoned Marine sergeant (Clint Eastwood) routinely insulted by younger officers for being a symbol of the war that America "lost" in Vietnam. Looking for both a victory and a little redemption, Eastwood's character trains a squadron of scrappy pups and turns them into fighting grunts, just in time to follow White House orders and take the little island. Marsha Mason plays Eastwood's love interest, and Mario Van Peebles is funny as an undisciplined con artist who joins Clint's men and finally catches the spirit after getting his butt kicked a few times. --Tom Keogh

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eastwood Keeper Oct. 24 2003
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
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4.0 out of 5 stars My name is Gunnery Sargeant Thomas Highway.... Dec 14 2001
Format:VHS Tape
....and I've drank more beer, pissed more blood, and ....well, you get the idea. Like some other reviewers stated, this is almost a comedy -- it IS a comedy in many respects. This flick features many cartoonish characters: besides Eastwood's Tom Highway we have "Stitch" Jones (Mario Van Peebles), who's a guitar-playing shyster; Major Malcolm Powers, Highway's CO who thinks he knows everything and considers Highway outdated (gee, y'think this'll lead to a confrontation?); Lt. Ring, the oafish platoon leader who looks and acts more like a computer nerd than Marine; "Swede" Johannson, the Hulk-ish always-in-the-brig enforcer who gets his butt kicked by Highway; and then there's the cast of other Marines with nicknames like "Profile," "Fag-etti," "Ajax," "Colitis" and "Cojones."
Trying to make one feel patriotic about our action in Grenada doesn't work too well...especially when Highway and his buddy Chooz ponder how they are "0-1-1" in wars they were in. ("No wins, one loss -- Vietnam, and one tie -- Korea.") Getting that first victory -- in *Grenada??* Hmmm....something to be "proud" of. Maybe.
The one-liners alone make this movie worth repeated viewings -- that is, if you chuckle at men's locker-room humor, laced w/profanity. Van Peebles is hilarious -- he plays his role completely naturally from start to finish. If you don't laugh at his first encounter w/Eastwood on the bus then you must be dead! The action's pretty good too, if not entirely realistic, and, of course, Eastwood turns the lazy, spoiled "Marines" into battle-ready, gung-ho MARINES. (Plus, he gets to kick Major Powers' backside along the way!)
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1.0 out of 5 stars Minor detail: U.S. Army Rangers did the rescuing Oct. 11 2000
Format:VHS Tape
We seem to forget a major detail here; and Clint Eastwood should have known better: U.S. Army Rangers rescued the American medical students on Grenada in 1983, marine force recon didn't even do the beach reconnaissance missions, U.S. Navy SEALs did it. U.S. Army Rangers and 82d Airborne Paratroopers did most of the fighting/dying on Grenada and perhaps its fitting that Eastwood chose to title the film "Heartbreak Ridge" after an Army battle to steal glory for those that didn't deserve it. The main character, Gunny Highway and his Sergeant Major friend were in the U.S. Army in Korea when Highway won his Congressional Medal of Honor, then joined the marines afterwards. As a marine during the time this film came out it was highly embarrasing to try to make excuses for this film when there really are none ("Just pretend they are Army Rangers and enjoy the film"). Its one thing to be disappointed that the mc did not get much action in Grenada, it another to use Hollywood as a vehicle to take the exploits of U.S. Army Rangers/Paratroopers and falsely portray these deeds being done by marines, is this "improvising, adapting and overcoming"?. The blame has to be on Eastwood for not checking his facts and his screenwriter for factual integrity. All too often people begin to believe the movies for their view of reality; if its a good movie this is more than OK, if its "Heartbreak Ridge" it inexcusable.
The one good thing about the film is that Highway has to fight the official status quo in order to get combat-ready; and in a twist of art imitating life, the marines actually helped Eastwood film the movie on location (wrong location) at Camp Pendleton, California rendering official support for a film which is a LIE.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant action comedy Oct. 5 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Clint Eastwood has actually drawn some of the largest circles that a career hollywood star could ever, perhaps, in principle, draw. Starting out as a cowboy extra in the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, he circumnavigated the remaining years in the sixties and seventies in search of something deeper. The result was the Dirty Harry line of movies, and while this was a major success in terms of studio income, there is little doubt that Eastwood was privately taken aback with the tremendous impact of the role on suburban culture - by this, take it as read that the authentic city redneck character took flesh in all and every parallel medium at this point with a vengeance.
This left Eastwood holding up the empty T-shirt once again. Around the late eighties, it was unclear whether or not the studios had the stamina to re-create Eastwood in the incarnation he seemed to be demanding - and at this point the man truly becomes interesting.
Heartbreak Ridge was one result. This is more in line with the elemental essence of the Eastwood sense of irony and black humour. Knowing that the invasion of Central America was likely to be the most unreported calamity of the late twentieth century, like a true American, Clint decided to cash in with ideas which had been maturing during the hazy days of the third Harry film. The result is a series of astonishing comic book images with humour belonging to the fifth grade - but don't make the mistake of thinking that this suggests failure. This was brilliant writing, re-enacting every red blooded American wet dream about joining the corps.
See this movie if real life bores you - if you want to look back and regret all the days you were never a gym jock, or hanging around the big city leather bars.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great older movie. I like Clint Eastwood movies. Thanks
Published 2 months ago by Florence Whipps
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by Jay
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story of the focal point grenada
Here we have a story in which the focal point is also not shown till the end the invasion of Grenada. Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2012 by Anthony Marinelli
5.0 out of 5 stars bien
100% bonne qualitée et les produits sont bon service de livraison !très bien emballée envoyé de facon securitaire et professionnel
Published on Nov. 6 2011 by Daniel Monfils
4.0 out of 5 stars Essence of Clint Eastwood
I grew up on Eastwood movies from his Cowboy era to Dirty Harry and beyond. I have to say this movie is as good in its way as any of the previous. Read more
Published on April 10 2007 by bernie
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie is HORRIBLE
I'm not sure what has possessed the majority of reviewers here to laud this movie as if it were a classic. Plain and simple, it is a horrible movie. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2004 by K Scheffler
4.0 out of 5 stars from a marine
a lot of the other reviews say clint over did the gunnery sergeant role, i disagree as a marine myself he did an outstanding job as a lifer gysgt that believes in the marine corps. Read more
Published on June 15 2003 by Larry D. Thomas Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Eastwood's best character
Unfortunately, not his best film to go along with the tailor made Gunny Highway persona. Clint is in rare form and the one liners are hilarious. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2002 by Ghenghis
5.0 out of 5 stars Among Clint Eastwood's best!
In Heartbreak Ridge, Clint Eastwood brings the story of whipping a group of slacker marines into shape to life. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2002 by LMB
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoother than a prom queen's thighs...
Yeah, this is a film of completely over-the-top machismo and macho BS ("We've chewed a lot of the same dirt together, soldier. Read more
Published on June 5 2002 by Naturegirlj9
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