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4.1 out of 5 stars28
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Co-starring one superstar star at his box-office peak and another just about to start his slide back to TV, City Heat was one of those sure-fire things that quickly turned into a troubled production that wasn't really worth all the trouble. Teaming up Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds certainly seemed like a good idea, but shortly after starting shooting under the original title Kansas City Jazz, Eastwood fell out with director Blake Edwards, who left the picture taking co-star Julie Andrews (aka Mrs Edwards) with him and leaving an apparently nervous Richard Benjamin to take over the directorial reins amid rumors that he was simply keeping his head down, doing what the star told him and being careful not to spill his coffee. With the look of the film, that's not too much of a stretch - it's certainly lit like an Eastwood film, with the dark look the star always favored (where Reynolds opted for bad plastic surgery, Eastwood just turned all the lights out as he got older!) - but the biggest problem is that the film just seems too slight to work in more than fits and starts.

The film turned out even worse for Reynolds than it did for Edwards. Despite his penchant for period films (At Long Last Love, Nickelodeon, Lucky Lady), Reynolds never had much luck with them, and this was probably the unluckiest of them all: it may have done okay at the box-office but an accident in a fight sequence left him with a broken jaw and serious weight loss that led to rumors he was dying of AIDS that did his already failing career no favors. (Eastwood didn't come away entirely unscathed by the tabloids either: with the stars referring to each other as Stan and Ollie, this is probably where those bizarre rumors about him being Stan Laurel's lovechild began!)

Filmed on the same Warner Bros. backlot used for their classic Cagney pictures of the 30s, it's a nostalgic attempt at a gangster comedy thriller where Reynolds gets to play Cagney as a down-on-his-luck private eye and Eastwood gets the Pat O'Brien supporting role as the tough cop on his shoulder. And it is very much a supporting role. Eastwood doesn't even get much to do in the first hour but watch Reynolds get hit or shot at: this is really a Burt Reynolds film with guest appearance by Clint Eastwood (who still gets top billing). They only really team up in the film's last 30 minutes. Both get to send up their screen images, though for all his limited screen time it's Eastwood who gets the bigger laughs, especially when using words like `chagrin' or `ilk,' but the end result is a watchable film with a few funny moments but one that never really catches fire. Still, even though it was regarded as a bit of a box-office disappointment at the time it still outgrossed Once Upon a Time in America, so somebody must have liked it...
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The first Clint Eastwood film not to be given a cinema release in most overseas territories is a lightweight but amiable enough star vehicle that casts him as a skip tracer tracking down Bernadette Peters, who has skipped bail and headed for Reno in her recidivist husband's pink Cadillac unaware that the boot contains $250,000 of his neo-Nazi friends' money. The presence of the star's green t-shirt and blue jeans outfit from Every Which Way But Loose clearly signposts it as one of his periodic redneck comedies, but unlike the superior Honkytonk Man and Bronco Billy, there's no depth of feeling here. It's all on the surface and ambles along predictably, but doesn't really have an ending, with action scenes that are decidedly tame and lame and a main villain who's decidely unthreatening (for all their posturing, the bad guys don't really do much more than waste their time on target practice).

A more restrained Peters than we're used to gives better than she gets from the script, but Clint is clearly having a whale of a time with a part that enables him to show a lot more range and extrovert good-humoured charm than much of the rest of his career put together. That said, some of his disguises are a bit hard to take - especially when he dons shades, spats, gold lame suit and Charlie Parker jive - although he does make a worryingly convincing inbred Southern gumby at one point. With the Malpaso stock company represented by Geoffrey Lewis (as a spaced-out hippy that really should have been played by Dennis Hopper), Bill McKinney and Mara Corday and with bit parts from Jim Carrey as a casino entertainer and James Cromwell as a none-too-bright desk clerk, this is clearly one for the money rather than one from the heart. If the script could have done with a tune up and the film benefited from tighter direction and a little pruning, this still just about passes as pleasant enough Saturday night fare for all that, though chances are the only thing about it you'll remember an hour later is the end title song.
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on 24 June 2009
Honkytonk Man/Pink Cadillac/City Heat [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]This is a great triple bill from Eastwood,you'll laugh,you'll cry and be really entertained.Well worth every penny.
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on 10 April 2010
The pairing of Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds is great as they spark of one another all through the film, the period settings are excellent, the one liners and fights are a laugh a minute.
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on 17 May 2013
Have wanted this on DVD for years - annoying that it was available on Region 1, not 2, until now. Great film, tremendous fun, really like the banter between the two leads.
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on 29 September 2007
Two Hollywood greats combine well to create this lovable film.

Set in 1930's USA, Clint Eastwood plays the tough cop and Burt Reynolds the charming private detective as they fight two crime gangs, intent on seizing financial ledgers which could ruin one gang or elevate the other, should they fall into the wrong hands.

Humorous film with plenty of action thrown in.
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on 22 July 2014
enjoyable movie, Jim Carrey only appears in one scene thankfully, It
was a movie I had never seen before, Eastwood on top form as per usual.
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on 31 December 2012
Excellent quality action packed dvd with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds at their best in a not so popular film
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on 19 December 2014
Very quick delivery and packed well. Good value for money. Three more gems for my Eastwood collection.
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on 24 November 2011
While clearly not Clint Eastwood's best film, this is not bad, either. It is entertaining and shows him as being more than just the man of few words as he is in Dirty Harry etc. The villains are rather disturbing; they threaten a couple and they almost burn a man to death; they're not just target practice and all mouth. The only snags here is that we don't see what happens to Clint's enemies as he escapes them, and the baby never makes any noise at inconvenient moments (as with baby in The Hills have Eyes). Expect a less than absolutely serious film, but it is likeable enough if you're a Clint Eastwood fan.
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