Rakesh's movie talk
City Heat (1984)

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Directed by Richard Benjamin
Written by Joseph Stinson and Sam O' Brown (based on story by Sam O' Brown)
Starring Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Richard Roundtree and Madeline Kahn

City Heat charicature by the legendary Al Hirschfeld

Though this movie was made in the eighties, it features three of the hottest stars of the seventies; Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, and Richard Roundtree who played the cool cat, the original Shaft.


It would have been a perfect movie, except that it was not. I, for one, would blame the script. Something is not right here. Very Cluttered. Too many missed opportunities.


Here they are, all playing people in the right side of the law, Eastwood is a cop, Reynolds is his ex partner, now a private eye, and Roundtree is his partner who gets killed prematurely. It would have been a great adventure, with murder mystery to spice things up. But still something was not right.


You see, the production was riddled with problems. For one, Blake Edwards was attached to the project, contributing the script first. Then, he withdrew, replacing his name in the credit as Sam O’Brown (and reviews I read asked me to check out the initials). Richard Benjamin took over and I guess that when he came on board, he must have had an half-assed script to work on and a deadline to meet.


All the complaints aside, this film is, in many ways, has its own moments. You will love the Eastwood/Reynolds banter. Reynold’s forte is comedy and here he is at the top of his game. Eastwood is Eastwood, and he does his best to send up his Dirty Harry persona. Well, he didn’t have to work to damned hard for that.


Another delight in this movie is Madelin Kahn. The late comedian is so effortless in her vampy performance. Too bad she is not around. Such a brilliant talent.


The 1930s set and costume looks good, sometimes too good to be true (hey, its Depression and people are suffering that time). The action scenes are okay and done mostly for the laugh (check out the guns at the climax). So, don’t take it seriously. Just sit back and enjoy