DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY CLINT EASTWOOD
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER- FRITZ MANES
MALPASO/ JAY WESTON PRODUCTIONS
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY CLINT EASTWOOD
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER- FRITZ MANES
MALPASO/ JAY WESTON PRODUCTIONS
Information From IMDb
Tom Highway is a well-decorated career military man in the United States Marine Corp, he who has seen action in Korea and Vietnam. His current rank is Gunnery Sergeant. His experiences have led him to become an opinionated, no nonsense man, who is prone to bursts of violence, especially when he's drunk, if the situation does not suit him, regardless of the specifics or people involved. Because of these actions, he has spent his fair share of overnighters behind bars. Close to retirement, one of his last assignments, one he requested, is back at his old unit at Cherry Point, North Carolina, from where he was transferred for insubordination. He is to train a reconnaissance platoon. His superior officer, the much younger and combat inexperienced Major Malcolm Powers, sees Highway as a relic of an old styled military. Highway's commanding officer, Lieutenant Ring, the platoon leader, is also a younger man who has no combat experience.
Written by Huggo
Clint Eastwood ... Sergeant Thomas Highway
Marsha Mason ... Aggie
Everett McGill ... Major Malcolm A. Powers
Moses Gunn ... Staff Sergeant Webster
Eileen Heckart ... Little Mary Jackson
Bo Svenson ... Roy Jennings, Palace Bar Owner
Boyd Gaines ... Lieutenant M.R. Ring
Mario Van Peebles ... Corporal 'Stitch' Jones
Arlen Dean Snyder ... Sergeant Major Choozoo
Vincent Irizarry ... Fragetti
Ramón Franco ... Private Aponte (as Ramon Franco)
Tom Villard ... Profile
Mike Gomez ... Private Quinones
Rodney Hill ... Private Collins
Peter Koch ... 'Swede' Johanson
Richard Venture ... Colonel Meyers
Peter Jason ... Major G.F. Devin
J.C. Quinn ... Quartermaster Sergeant
Begonya Plaza ... Private Aponte's Wife (as Begonia Plaza)
John Eames ... Judge Zane
Thom Sharp ... Emcee
John Gallagher ... Emcee
John Hostetter ... Officer Reese
Holly Shelton-Foy ... Sarita Dwayne
Nicholas Worth ... Jail Binger
Timothy Fall ... Kid in Jail
Jon Pennell ... Jail Crier
Trish Garland ... Female Marine Officer
Dutch Mann ... Bar Tough Guy
Darwyn Swalve ... Bar Tough Guy
Christopher Michael ... Marine (as Christopher Lee Michael)
Alex M. Bello ... Marine
Steve Halsey ... Bus Driver
John Sasse ... Bus Driver
Rebecca Perle ... Student in Shower
Annie O'Donnell ... Telephone Operator
Elizabeth Ruscio ... Waitress
Lloyd Nelson ... Deputy
John H. Brewer ... Sergeant Major in Court (as Sgt. Maj. John H. Brewer)
Michael Maurer ... Bouncer in Bar
Tom Ellison ... Marine Corporal
Russell Appling ... Dock Marine (uncredited)
Lazaro Ramos ... Marine (uncredited)
Tom Willett ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
James Carabatsos (written by)
Dennis Hackin uncredited
Joseph Stinson uncredited
Jack N. Green
The title "Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah" is also used to describe the feudal warlord Humungus in Mad Max 2 (1981)
A rumor grew that the scene where the Marines call in an air strike over a commercial phone line was based on an actual event. The rumor was investigated by the US Department of Defense and proven false. In the book "Night Stalkers" by Michael Durant, published in December, 2006, a story is related where U.S. Navy Seals trapped at the Governor's House on the island call the airport terminal on local phone lines to request air support. They had known in advance that their commander would probably be located there and took a chance that someone would answer the phone. It paid off. This incident later grew into the one depicted in the movie.
The sequence involving the bulldozer is based on a real event. The officer who actually did what Eastwood portrays was John Abizaid, at the time a Captain and a Ranger Company Commander. Abizaid recently retired as the Commander In Chief of Central Command, in charge of all U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East.
When Clint Eastwood filmed this movie he was the mayor of Carmel, California.
In the original script, Sgt. Highway was a career army officer. The U.S. Army read the script and refused to participate. The character was then changed to a Marine. The Marine Corps first cooperated, but upon viewing a first cut, quickly disowned the film.
In-Joke: During the film, Mario Van Peebles wears a T-shirt featuring a picture of the character Sweetback from Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971). Mario played Young Sweetback in the movie, which was made by Melvin Van Peebles, Mario's father.
The Marine Corps had planned to use this film to promote its "Toys for Tots" campaign, but, upon viewing, decided not to because of the language.
Prior to filming, Mario Van Peebles could not play the guitar, but took several quick lessons to convince Clint Eastwood that he could play the role of the wannabe rock star, Corporal "Stitch" Jones.
The US Defense Department originally supported the film, but withdrew their backing after seeing a preview in November 1986. Nevertheless, members of the Marine Corps have vouched for the film's authenticity.
Marks the 1000th film to be processed in Dolby "A" Stereo.
Profile's nickname comes from the military's policy of physicians issuing "medical profiles" to soldiers who are injured. The profile informs their commander that they are restricted to light duty until they recover. Malingering troops who abuse this policy by exaggerating their symptoms are frequently given the derogatory nickname "Profile."
The battle of Heartbreak Ridge was actually fought mostly by the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division. The battle became infamous, after the Division Commander ordered the 23rd Infantry Regiment and an attached French infantry battalion, to stage a disastrous frontal assault straight up Heartbreak Ridge. Sergeant Major Choozoo mentions that he and Gunny Highway later joined the Marines after leaving the Army's 23rd Infantry Regiment.
Continuity: Highway's cigar gains length during the prison fight.
Continuity: When Sgt. Highway orders his platoon out the first time it is supposedly 5 o'clock in the morning, yet the sun stands high above casting short shadows.
Continuity: The amount of beer in the glass given to Highway at the Globe & Anchor bar.
Continuity: When Highway and his platoon attack the hill in the end of the movie a tank is blown up by a helicopter, but in the next shot it's still intact.
Errors in geography: The final scene is supposed to be at Cherry Point, MCAS, North Carolina, but you can see hills in the distance; Cherry Point just has pine trees.
Revealing mistakes: When Highway is in a bar near the beginning of the movie, he watches a performance of "the Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah". However the "Ayatollah", whose singing is amplified, doesn't appear to have a microphone.
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Highway starts the marching cadence at the end of the 5:00 AM scene, the cadence doesn't match the footwork of the soldiers when they are marching away from the camera.
Errors in geography: Highway is supposedly reporting for duty at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, but the gate and am-trac display is Camp Pendleton, California.
Revealing mistakes: When Jones and Highway first met on a bus, Jones supposedly was soaking wet (it was raining hard outside). But when he sat down beside Highway, he's already dry.
Revealing mistakes: When Aponte turns over one of the dead Cubans at the bridge, the supposedly dead soldier moves his legs to make it easier for Aponte to roll him over.
Crew or equipment visible: In the opening shot, you can see the shadow of the helicopter that is holding the camera as it circles the prison.
Continuity: During the assault, the camouflage paint on Gunny Highway's face and other soldiers rubs off and is nearly wiped clean at times, but is later in place.
Continuity: When Highway encounters re-con platoon for the first time ("No speaka English" and "No abla") he pushes the hut door open with his left hand but in the next shot, from inside the hut, it's his right hand pushing the door open.
Factual errors: In the beginning of the film, when Highway stands to attention as the colors are being lowered at sunset, the bugle call being played is "Taps". However, the correct call is "Retreat". Taps is played later in the evening at Lights Out.
Revealing mistakes: At the beginning, when Gunny is in the prison in 1983, it's possible to see a calendar indicating Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 1983, but actually 20th July 1983 was Wednesday and 21st July was Thursday.
Continuity: When the Recon platoon departs the ship, they are in a UH-1N (two engine version) of the Huey. When the marines jump out of the helicopter, they are in a UH-1H (single engine version) of the Huey.
Factual errors: In several instances, the unit to which GySgt Highway is assigned is referred to as "Recon Platoon". If the unit is, indeed, 2d Reconnaissance Battalion as is assumed, there would be no "Recon Platoon". The entire battalion is "Recon". It is possible that the actual goof is in his assignment to 2d Reconnaissance Battalion. With the way the movie is written, it would make more sense for him to be assigned to the reconnaissance platoon of a Marine Corps infantry battalion, hence the rivalry with the apparently conventional 1st Platoon.
Factual errors: While chastising GySgt Highway on his altering of the ambush plan, Maj Powers mentions that the men belong to the 2d Marine Division, 8th Marine Regiment. 2d Reconnaissance Battalion has never been a subordinate unit of 8th Marine Regiment. This supports the notion that perhaps the goof is in Highway's assignment to 2d Reconnaissance Battalion.
Factual errors: Midway into the film Stitch Jones is surprised to learn that Gunny Highway is a Medal of Honor recipient. Yet up to this point Jones has had ample opportunity to observe the decoration on Highway's uniform. As the nation's HIGHEST military decoration it is placed on the left breast, first and highest above all others. Equally hard for any of the recon members to miss would be the sight of Highway's superiors (like Maj Powers) being obliged to initiate the salute to the lesser ranking Highway - a privilege, by tradition, extended to MoH recipients.
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Military personnel say "zero" instead of "oh" for the number 0 so Lt. Ring should not have said "oh" when reading off the coordinates for the air strike. This may have been intentional to show the character as being green in combat.
Revealing mistakes: When the Marines engage in the firefight with the Cuban soldiers, one of the "dead" Cubans jumps when the Marine who is next to him fires his weapon.
Continuity: During the Grenada scenes, the slings on the Marines' rifles disappear and reappear for no apparent reason. All of these rifles would have a sling!
Errors in geography: When the Marines are on the rifle range there are mountains in the background. There are no mountains within about 500 miles of Camp Lejeune, NC.
Factual errors: While scrambling around the barracks before the Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise, Jones mentions Aponte "getting his big cartoon face back here before he does time for doing 'A-W-O-L'". The Marine Corps does not use the term "AWOL". The Navy and Marine Corps analogue for AWOL is actually UA (Unauthorized Absence).
Plot holes: When the gunny is in jail with Cpl Jones, no one is referenced as having posted the corporal's bail, yet he casually walks out when the SgtMaj tells him to help the gunny walk out.
Errors in geography: The 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) is based out of Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. Most of the training scenes (pre-invasion) were filmed at Camp Pendleton, California.
Factual errors: When GySgt Highway gets on the bus at the beginning of the movie and takes off his Class A suit coat he is wearing a Class C short sleeve shirt. This should have been a long sleeve shirt and tie per Marine Corps uniform regulations.
Revealing mistakes: (At 01:46) When the "dead" Cuban soldier is rolled over, you can see his left hand open and close.
Anachronisms: During the rifle range scene, Jones shows up with a steel pot helmet in an attempt to tease Gunny Highway for being old. He is admonished and told to remove it and wear the standard issue Kevlar helmet instead. Since the film takes place in 1983, the steel pot helmet was the standard issue at the time, so Jones' wear of it would've been proper. Kevlar was not the standard issue helmet for Marines until 1985-86 (when the movie was filmed).
Factual errors: A Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps is never a range safety officer as depicted in the movie scene when the reconnaissance unit is supposed to be ambushed by a non-reconnaissance unit.
Plot holes: When the platoon is briefed at the start of the Grenada assault, they are told they are to recon ahead of the main assault; however, the assault is clearly underway and troops are ashore well before the platoon has been dropped.
Factual errors: The insertion method shown for the recon platoon in the Grenada assault is intended to be executed at night. It is clearly day when the platoon is dropped into the water.
Errors in geography: The final scene was supposed to be located at MCAS Cherry Point, home of Marine Air Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252). However, the insignia on the hangar is that of the VMGR-352 Raiders, revealing this scene to have been filmed at MCAS El Toro, California.
Agua Dulce, California, USA (roadside cafe)
Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, Oceanside, California, USA
Halfway House Café - 15564 Sierra Highway - Santa Clarita, California, USA
San Diego, California, USA
Swallows Inn - 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, California, USA (interiors)
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Wagon Wheel Bar, San Clemente, California, USA (exteriors)
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