Heat (1995 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Mann|
|Produced by||Michael Mann
|Written by||Michael Mann|
Robert De Niro
|Music by||Elliot Goldenthal|
|Editing by||Pasquale Buba
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||170 minutes|
Heat is a 1995 American crime film written and directed by Michael Mann. It stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Val Kilmer. De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a professional thief, while Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, veteran L.A.P.D. homicide detective tracking down McCauley's crew. The central conflict is based on the experiences of former Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson and his pursuit in the 1960s of a criminal named McCauley, after whom De Niro's character is named.
The film is technically a remake of L.A. Takedown, a 1989 made-for-television film which was also written and directed by Mann; the director had been trying to get Heat made for over a decade, and created L.A Takedown as a simplified version after his efforts were unsuccessful. Heat was a critical and commercial success, grossing $67 million in the United States and $187 million worldwide.
Career criminal Neil McCauley and his regular crew — Chris Shiherlis, Michael Cheritto and Trejo - recruit a new man called Waingro on the eve of an armored car heist, stealing $1.6 million in bearer bonds from money launderer Roger Van Zant. During the heist, Waingro impulsively kills one of the guards, forcing them to kill the remaining two guards to make sure there are no witnesses. An infuriated McCauley tries to kill Waingro afterwards, but he escapes. Afterwards McCauley's fence Nate suggests they try to sell the bonds back to Van Zant, who in turn instructs his men to kill McCauley as a warning to other thieves. With backup from his crew, McCauley thwarts the ambush at their meeting and vows revenge.
Lieutenant Vincent Hanna of the L.A.P.D. Robbery-Homicide Division leads the investigation of the heist and learns McCauley's crew plans to rob a precious metals depository next. Hanna and his unit — Sergeant Drucker, Detective Sammy Cassals, Detective Mike Bosko, and Detective Danny Schwartz — stake out the depository, but when an officer inadvertently makes a noise, McCauley is alerted and abandons the robbery. Despite the police surveillance, McCauley and his crew decide to proceed with a brazen bank holdup with an estimated $12 million payoff. Hanna's unit is also investigating the serial killing of prostitutes, which puts them on the trail of Waingro, whose latest victim dies in Hanna's jurisdiction. Waingro has also approached Van Zant in search of work, and revenge against McCauley.
When Hanna discovers that his wife Justine is having an affair he moves to a hotel, while McCauley begins a relationship with a woman he met in a cafe, despite his innate caution and detachment. During a surveillance operation Hanna deliberately intercepts McCauley and invites him to coffee. Meeting face to face, each concedes to the other the problems of his personal life. Hanna decribes his concern for his depressed stepdaughter Lauren and the failure of his third marriage due to his obsession with work, and McCauley confesses that life as a criminal forbids attachment and requires mobility, making his relationship with his girlfriend Eady tenuous. Both men share a mutual respect but readily admit that neither will hesitate to kill the other if the circumstances demand it.
Trejo is compromised just hours before the bank robbery. In need of a new getaway driver, McCauley recruits Donald Breeden, an ex-convict working a dead-end job as a short order cook. Hanna's unit is alerted to the robbery by a confidential informant and surprises McCauley's crew as they exit the bank. Cherrito, Breeden, and several police officers, including Detective Bosko, are killed in the ensuing shootout. McCauley narrowly escapes with an injured Shiherlis, who had been shot in the shoulder by Detective Cassals, and leaves him with a doctor to treat his wounds. He tracks down Trejo, whom he finds at his home, beaten to a bloody pulp with his wife murdered. Trejo reveals that Van Zant's men called in the tip on the robbery from information Waingro provided. McCauley finishes off Trejo at his own request, then hunts down and kills Van Zant. He makes new arrangements to flee to New Zealand with Eady, who is now fully aware of his criminal activities. The police surveil Waingro in a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport, and Hanna attempts to bait McCauley into coming out of hiding by releasing Waingro's whereabouts to the network of bookies, bail bondsmen, and snitches he hopes will spread the word.
Shiherlis's wife Charlene is lured by her lover Alan Marciano to a police safe house, where Sergeant Drucker threatens to charge her as an accomplice and to send her son to a foster home if she doesn't betray her husband to the police. Charlene initially agrees, but, when Shiherlis shows up in disguise, she surreptitiously warns him about the police presence, and he slips through the dragnet. Hanna finds Lauren unconscious in his hotel room from a suicide attempt and rushes her to the hospital. As he and Justine wait in the lobby for the news of her recovery, they admit their marriage will never work. McCauley and Eady are en route to the airport when Nate calls with Waingro's location, and the temptation proves to be too much for the normally disciplined McCauley, who risks his assured freedom by detouring to exact his revenge. McCauley infiltrates the hotel, creates a distraction by pulling a fire alarm, and kills Waingro. Moments away from escape, he's forced to abandon Eady when he sees Hanna approaching in the crowd. Hanna chases McCauley into a field outside the LAX freight terminal, and mortally wounds him. He then holds McCauley's hand as he dies.
- Al Pacino as Lt. Vincent Hanna
- Robert De Niro as Neil McCauley
- Val Kilmer as Chris Shiherlis
- Jon Voight as Nate
- Tom Sizemore as Michael Cheritto
- Diane Venora as Justine Hanna
- Amy Brenneman as Eady
- Ashley Judd as Charlene Shiherlis
- Mykelti Williamson as Sergeant Drucker
- Wes Studi as Detective Casals
- Ted Levine as Detective Bosko
- Dennis Haysbert as Donald Breedan
- William Fichtner as Roger Van Zant
- Natalie Portman as Lauren Gustafson
- Tom Noonan as Kelso
- Kevin Gage as Waingro
- Hank Azaria as Alan Marciano
- Susan Traylor as Elaine Cheritto
- Kim Staunton as Lillian Breedan
- Danny Trejo as Trejo
- Henry Rollins as Hugh Benny
- Jerry Trimble as Detective Schwartz
- Ricky Harris as Albert Torena
- Tone Lōc as Richard Torena
- Begonya Plaza as Anna Trejo
- Jeremy Piven as Dr. Bob
- Xander Berkeley as Ralph
The film is based on Detective Chuck Adamson's pursuit of serial criminal Neil McCauley in the 1960s. According to the featurettes Pacino, DeNiro and the Conversation and The Making of Heat: True Crime, included in the special edition DVD, which includes a taped interview with Adamson, the scene of McCauley and Hanna in the restaurant was also based on a real life event. Adamson met the real McCauley in a coffee shop and openly discussed the possible course of future events. The scene in which McCauley abandons the precious metal heist after hearing a noise was also based on a real event. McCauley abandoned the score after one of Adamson's officers, positioned on the top floor of a building McCauley and his crew were breaking into, broke protocol to go to the toilet. McCauley heard, and withdrew.
Box office 
Heat was released on December 15, 1995 and opened #3 in the box office with $8,445,656 opening weekend in 1,325 theaters (behind Jumanji and Toy Story respectively). It grossed $67,436,818 in United States box offices, and $120,000,000 in foreign box offices. Heat was ranked the #25 highest-grossing film in 1995.
Heat was well received by critics, earning an 86% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 76 on Metacritic based on 22 reviews. Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ stars out of 4, writing: "It's not just an action picture. Above all, the dialogue is complex enough to allow the characters to say what they're thinking: They are eloquent, insightful, fanciful, poetic when necessary. They're not trapped with cliches. Of the many imprisonments possible in our world, one of the worst must be to be inarticulate — to be unable to tell another person what you really feel." Simon Cote of The Austin Chronicle called the film "One of the most intelligent crime-thrillers to come along in years", and called Pacino & De Niro's scenes together "poignant and gripping".
Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote that was Heat was, "A sleek, accomplished piece of work, meticulously controlled and completely involving. The dark end of the street doesn't get much more inviting than this." Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote a very positive review, "Stunningly made and incisively acted by a large and terrific cast, Michael Mann's ambitious study of the relativity of good and evil stands apart from other films of its type by virtue of its extraordinarily rich characterizations and its thoughtful, deeply melancholy take on modern life."
American Film Institute lists
The explicit nature of several of the film's scenes was cited as the model of a spate of robberies since its release. This included armored car robberies in South Africa, Colombia, Denmark, and Norway. For his film The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan drew inspiration in his portrayal of Gotham City from Heat in order "to tell a very large, city story or the story of a city".
Home media 
A "bare bones" edition of Heat was released on DVD in 1999, which didn't include any extra features. A two-disc special edition DVD was released in 2005, featuring an audio commentary by Michael Mann, deleted scenes, and numerous documentaries detailing the film's production.
The Blu-ray Disc was released on November 10, 2009, featuring a high definition film transfer, supervised by Mann. As well as approving the look of the transfer, Mann also recut two scenes slightly differently, referring to them as "new content changes". The special edition DVD is the original theatrical cut.
See also 
- "Heat (1985)". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
- George M. Thomas (27 February 2005). "He's a Goofy Goober; 'Heat'". Akron Beacon Journal.
- "Heat". Tcm.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "Reviews: Heat: Two-Disc Special Edition". The DVD Journal. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- Commentary by Michael Mann on Heat Two-Disc Special Edition DVD.
- "Heat (1995)". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- "Heat (1995)". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- "Heat Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Heat (1995): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Heat :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Heat, Austin Chronicle". Retrieved 2013-04-27.
- "Critic Reviews for Heat". Retrieved 2013-04-27.
- "Critic Reviews for Heat". Retrieved 2013-04-27.
- "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time". Empire. 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills Nominees
- AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
- "Just Blame The Heat". Free.financialmail.co.za. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- McDermott, Jeremy (2003-08-05). "Life imitates art in Colombia robbery". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "The big coup". Translate.google.com. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- Stax (December 6, 2007). "IGN interviews Christopher Nolan". IGN Movies. Retrieved June 3, 2008.
- Tuckman, Jeff (June 21, 1996). "Pacino and De Niro shoot up the screen in explosive 'Heat' On video". Daily Herald. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- Nichols, Peter M. (April 19, 1996). "Home Video". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
- "Heat Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "'Heat' Home Theater Forum Blu-ray review".
- "'Heat' Rewind DVD comparison".
- Heat at the Internet Movie Database
- Heat at AllRovi
- Heat at Box Office Mojo
- Heat at Rotten Tomatoes
- Heat at Metacritic
- Heat. Work and genre Jump Cut magazine, by J. A. Lindstrom, no. 43, July 2000, pp. 21–37
- De Niro and Pacino Star in a Film. Together, from The New York Times