Heat


2h 45m 1995

Brief Synopsis

A group of five lifetime robbers plan one last heist, but they find it hard to complete with the LAPD on their tail.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
Crime
Thriller
Release Date
1995
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures International (WBI)
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 45m

Synopsis

Neil McCauley is a hardened professional criminal who has spent many years behind bars and is determined never to go back. A highly focused loner, McCauley's protection is that there's nothing in his life that he can't walk away from in 30 seconds flat. Vincent Hanna is a lieutenant of detectives in LAPD's Robbery/Homicide Division who searches through the remains of a crime for the scent of his prey and then hunts them down. Those are the elevated experiences of his life--the rest is disorder. When McCauley and his team rob an armored van of bearer bonds, Hanna takes over the case. McCauley and his crew are nearly impossible to identify, let alone track down. But Hanna's network of informants and the details of each man's life--failures and dreams, betrayals and vendettas--generate clues Hanna is able to discover. Soon, Hanna and his detectives and McCauley and his crime partners are driven towards a collision from which only some will survive.

Crew

Bill Abbott

Music Editor

Mimi Abers

Visual Effects

Charles Adamsom

Technical Advisor

Anne H. Ahrens

Set Decorator

Gary Alexander

Rerecording

Edward Allen

Assistant Production Accountant

Nicholas R Allen

Boom Operator

Neal Anderson

Dialogue Editor

James Apted

Other

John Arrias

Rerecording

Christopher Assells

Editor

Darryl M Athons

Costumes

Howard Bachrach

Transportation Captain

Karen M. Baker

Assistant Sound Editor

Jeff Balsmeyer

Storyboard Artist

Lori A Balton

Location Manager

Ron Bartlett

Rerecording

Anna Behlmer

Rerecording

Bill W Benton

Rerecording

Jeff Berger

Assistant

Carlo Bernard

Assistant

Raymond Boniker

Assistant Editor

Matthew Booth

Assistant Editor

Jamie Boscardin-martin

Assistant

Andrea Bottigliero

Assistant Editor

Nigel Boucher

Other

Bob Bowman

Assistant Sound Editor

Rick Bozeat

Editor

Marsha L Bozeman

Costumes

Christopher S Brooks

Music Editor

Tony Brubaker

Stunts

Pieter Jan Brugge

Executive Producer

Thomas R Bryant

Assistant Editor

Pasquale Buba

Editor

Duncan Burns

Dialogue Editor

John Caglione Jr.

Makeup Artist

Chris Carpenter

Rerecording

Budd Carr

Music Supervisor

Gusmano Cesaretti

Associate Producer

Robin Chambers

Assistant

Dave Christensen

Lighting

Larry E Clark

Other

Richard Cody

Craft Service

Doug Coleman

Stunts

Ralph Coleman

Assistant Location Manager

Casey Collins

Set Production Assistant

Michael Connell

Music Editor

Frank Connor

Photography

Stuart Copely

Foley Editor

Lou Crisa

Assistant

Christopher Cronyn

Unit Production Manager

Geno Crum

Special Effects

Brad Curry

On-Set Dresser

Zack Davis

Adr Editor

Ken Diaz

Makeup Artist

Brenda Donoho

Costumes

Frank Dorowsky

Rigging Gaffer

Chris Douridas

Music

David Dresher

Assistant Editor

Steven S Duncan

Transportation Captain

Amy Dunn

Music

Richard Dwan

Sound Effects Editor

Tom Elfmont

Technical Advisor

Robert Elhai

Music Arranger

Tom Elliott

Stunts

Cynthia Ellis

Casting Associate

Leonard Engleman

Makeup

Mike Fantasia

Assistant Location Manager

Robert Fechman

Set Designer

Amy Beth Feldman

On-Set Dresser

Michelle Fielding

Assistant

Ann Fisher

Assistant Sound Editor

Donald L. Frazee

Special Effects Foreman

Logan Frazee

Special Effects

Terry Frazee

Special Effects Coordinator

David Galbraith

Assistant Camera Operator

Joe Gareri

Visual Effects

Gerrit Garretsen

Dolly Grip

Scott Gershin

Editor

Hector Gika

Dialogue Editor

Matthias Gohl

Music

William Goldenberg

Editor

Elliot Goldenthal

Music

Elliot Goldenthal

Music Arranger

Mark S Gordon

Foley Editor

Mick Gould

Other

Jim Grce

Lighting Technician

Tim Groseclose

Assistant Sound Editor

Paul H Haines

Special Effects

Daniel Haizlip

Best Boy Grip

Per Hallberg

Sound Editor

Shannon Hamed

Other

Marc A Hammer

Assistant Production Coordinator

Scott Hanson

Foreman

Cate Hardman

Script Supervisor

Sean Hargreaves

Visual Effects

Ross Harpold

On-Set Dresser

Richard Hausfeld

Production

Joseph A Hawthorne

Other

Clint Hegeman

Foley Editor

D. M. Hemphill

Rerecording

Mo Henry

Negative Cutting

Ilona Herman

Makeup

Julie Herrin

Assistant Director

Phil Hess

Foley Editor

Ellen Heuer

Foley Artist

Vicki Hiatt

Assistant Editor

John Hinkle

Other

Dov Hoenig

Editor

Robyn B Holmes

On-Set Dresser

Josiah W Hooper

Set Production Assistant

David Hopkins

On-Set Dresser

Norman Howell

Stunts

Holly Huckins

Adr Editor

Philip C Hurst

Other

Walter Huse

Key Grip

David Hyman

Set Production Assistant

Joel Iwataki

Sound Mixer

Bill Jackson

Rerecording

Julie Janata

Assistant Editor

Gary Jay

Camera Operator

Chris Jenkins

Rerecording

David Jobe

Foley Mixer

Timothy G Jones

Hair Stylist

Tim Judge

Assistant

Tammy Kalka

Medic

Randy Kelley

Editor

Larry Kemp

Sound Editor

Michael R Kern

Assistant Production Accountant

Lou Kleinman

Adr Editor

Beth Koenigsberg

Costumes

Teri Anne Kopp

Assistant Property Master

Selma Kora

Set Production Assistant

Joel Kramer

Stunt Coordinator

Neil Krepela

Visual Effects Supervisor

Bruce Kuroyama

Special Effects

John Lafauce

Visual Effects

Mark Lapointe

Editor

Clifford Latimer

Adr Editor

Anthony Lattanzio

Construction Coordinator

Judson Leach

Assistant Sound Editor

Daniel Leahy

Rerecording

Peter J Lehman

Editor

Lynn Leonhard

Assistant Editor

Tendaji Lethan

Set Production Assistant

David Levey

Assistant Costume Designer

Al Lewis

Office Assistant

Art Linson

Producer

Charles R Lipscomb

Other

Lanette Little

Costumes

Stephen Lotwis

Music Editor

Nina Lucia

Assistant Editor

Ami Canaan Mann

Unit Director

Ami Canaan Mann

Assistant

Michael Mann

Producer

Michael Mann

Screenplay

Duane 'dc' Manwiller

Assistant Camera Operator

Horace Manzanares

Assistant Sound Editor

Larry Markart

Video

Richard Martinez

Music Producer

Peter Martorano

Assistant Location Manager

Joseph T Mastrolia

Costumes

Douglas E Maxwell

Other

Joe Mayer

Adr Supervisor

Oscar A Mazzola

Art Department Coordinator

Alison Mcbryde

Casting Associate

Amie Frances Mccarthy-winn

Assistant Property Master

Jonathan Mcgarry

Set Production Assistant

Gary Mclarty

Stunts

Cliff Mclaughlin

Stunts

Stephen Mclaughlin

Sound Mixer

David Mcmoyler

Editor

Andy Mcnab

Other

Kelsey Mcneal

Assistant Camera Operator

Brian Mcpherson

Editor

Margie Stone Mcshirley

Art Director

Steven Mercurio

Music Conductor

Steven J. Mikolas

Video Assist/Playback

Alexandra Milchan

Assistant

Arnon Milchan

Executive Producer

Vera Mitchell

Hair Stylist

Richard Monak

Special Effects

Chris Moriana

Foley Artist

Philip D. Morrill

Assistant Sound Editor

Rick Morris

Editor

John Morrisey

Assistant Editor

Chris Moseley

Assistant Camera Operator

J Michael Muro

Steadicam Operator

J Michael Muro

Camera Operator

Donald Myers

Special Effects

Andy Nelson

Rerecording

Patti Roberts Nelson

Assistant

Tom Numbers

Costumes

Denise Okimoto

Music Editor

Lee Orloff

Sound Mixer

Douglas S Ornstein

Assistant Director

David Orr

Color Timer

Gil Parra

Technical Advisor

Jane Payne

Assistant

Thomas A Payne

Sound

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
Crime
Thriller
Release Date
1995
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures International (WBI)
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 45m

Articles

Heat (1995)


People don't speak with contractions in Michael Mann movies - they're too focused and utterly professional for something so casual. That sort of overriding steeliness informs every frame of Heat (1995), a heist picture that was well-received when it was originally released, but has steadily grown in stature over the years. "If there's one thing Michael Mann knows how to do," wrote Hal Hinson of The Washington Post, "it's create tension. He's a master of texture and atmosphere, and in Heat...Mann works as if he were a composer, laying down his super-saturated wide-screen images like a series of menacing, unresolved chords.

Although Heat is often cited as the only picture in which Al Pacino and Robert De Niro share a scene together -- they both appeared in The Godfather Part II (1974), but their characters existed during different time periods -– the real draw of Heat is Mann's obsession with...obsessive characters.

De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a shrewd professional thief who asserts that there's not a situation or relationship in his life that he can't abandon in 30 seconds. McCauley prides himself on his lack of connection with the outside world...that is, the one that exists outside his own steel-trap mind. Pacino is Vincent Hanna, an unkempt career cop who is so emotionally invested in his work that he often clashes with his superiors and co-workers. And he's unsuccessful in preventing his job from disrupting personal relationships. When Vincent determines that McCauley and his crew (played with oozing machismo by such top-flight performers as Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore) are planning a complex heist, he goes after the thief with a zeal that unravels his world. "There's a design to everything Hanna does and everything McCauley does," Mann once said of the characters. "Being that inner directed, though, brings a certain solitariness, which makes them the only two men like this in the universe of the motion picture."

In an insightful 1995 interview with Graham Fuller, Mann maintains that the personal stories of his characters aren't necessarily affected by whether they're criminals or cops: "Mostly, it's based on who they are as people. In writing the story, I wanted to polarize each of these situations to make each as different from the other as possible. I wanted to make the life of each character in each relationship as authentic as it could be." In the same interview, Mann also states that the central protagonists in Heat spring from real life, rather than myth: "One of the antecedents for Vincent Hanna, the detective, played by Al Pacino, is Chuck Adamson - an old friend of mine who co-authored the Crime Story pilot, which Abel Ferrara directed. Chuck hunted down and killed the real Neil McCauley, in Chicago, in 1963. Another is a guy I can't really talk about, who's bright, intuitive, and driven, and runs large operations against drug cartels in foreign countries. He's a singularly focused individual and much of the core of Hanna's character comes from him."

When Mann began pre-production on Heat he visited inmates at Folsom State Prison in California to gain some insight into De Niro's character whose approach to life was formed by his prison experience. Other character details came from personal experiences or real life as in the case of the homicidal Waingro (played by Kevin Gage) who was actually based on a Chicago criminal of the same name that turned informer and was later found murdered in Mexico. Mann even used former Chicago cop turned actor Dennis Farina as a consultant on the film.

As for casting, the role of Chris, Neil's cohort, was originally considered for Keanu Reeves until Val Kilmer became available between the shooting of Batman Forever (1995). The part of Nate, which was based on career criminal Edward Bunker, was conceived with Jon Voight in mind but the actor turned it down repeatedly. "I thought, you don't need me for this part. But Michael was a friend of mine, and I knew Bobby and Al well and they were insistent. I tried to back out of it a couple of times, but they pushed it. I had to change myself with padding, hair, scars; it was a lot of work...But when I got into the part I really liked it. It was a delicate part...I thought I could show different sides of this guy who was a thug and convict...With his brilliance, he could have done anything. It's that little-boy thing, they want adventures...It's kind of like acting."

Amy Brenneman, who plays Eady, Neil's wary girlfriend, also resisted making Heat at first. She felt the script was unnecessarily violent with no moral point of view but Mann convinced her that her disapproving attitude was perfect for the character.

Mann utilizes Los Angeles in Heat in much the same way that Woody Allen leans on Manhattan in his best pictures. Los Angeles itself, with its endless highways and stark contrasts between the haves and the have-nots, becomes an important character in the narrative. Heat was filmed in no less than 65 different locations around L.A.; there's not a single sequence that takes place on a sound stage, an approach that adds greatly to the film's realism. Although Heat hardly looks like a documentary (Dante Spinotti's coolly stylish cinematography is a particular highlight), you can sense the rhythms of a sometimes languid, always money-driven city that could burst into violence with no advance warning. A harrowing midday shoot-out that leaves an affluent business quarter littered with shattered glass and punctured metal almost seems an attack on the environment itself. Mann saw to it that the scene would play properly by putting his actors through months of high-power weapons training before the cameras ever rolled. According to co-star Tom Sizemore, "The shootout in the middle we worked on for two weeks. The whole process from December 26 to end of shooting in May, was like boot camp."

The face to face sit-down between Pacino and De Niro, by the way, may be historic, but seems contrived for the sole reason of putting Pacino and De Niro into the same frame - there's no logical reason for these two characters to chat over a cup of coffee, regardless of their respect for one another. If you're a Heat fan who's trying to find the real-life restaurant where it happened, however, look no further than Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills. If you ask nicely, the staff will reportedly seat you at the exact table where the Pacino-De Niro summit took place.

Producers: Art Linson, Michael Mann
Director: Michael Mann Screenplay: Michael Mann
Music: Elliot Goldenthal
Cinematography: Dante Spinotti
Editing: Pasquale Buba, William Goldenberg, Dov Hoenig, Tom Rolf
Casting: Bonnie Timmermann
Production Design: Neil Spisak
Art Direction: Margie Stone McShirley
Set Decoration: Anne H. Ahrens
Costume Design: Deborah Lynn Scott
Principal Cast: Al Pacino (Lt. Vincent Hanna), Robert De Niro (Neil McCauley), Val Kilmer (Chris Shiherlis), Jon Voight (Nate), Tom Sizemore (Michael Cheritto), Diane Venora (Justine Hanna), Amy Brenneman (Eady), Ashley Judd (Charlene Shiherlis), Mykelti Williamson (Sgt. Drucker), Wes Studi (Detective Casals), Natalie Portman (Lauren Gustafson).
C-172m.

by Paul Tatara

Heat (1995)

Heat (1995)

People don't speak with contractions in Michael Mann movies - they're too focused and utterly professional for something so casual. That sort of overriding steeliness informs every frame of Heat (1995), a heist picture that was well-received when it was originally released, but has steadily grown in stature over the years. "If there's one thing Michael Mann knows how to do," wrote Hal Hinson of The Washington Post, "it's create tension. He's a master of texture and atmosphere, and in Heat...Mann works as if he were a composer, laying down his super-saturated wide-screen images like a series of menacing, unresolved chords. Although Heat is often cited as the only picture in which Al Pacino and Robert De Niro share a scene together -- they both appeared in The Godfather Part II (1974), but their characters existed during different time periods -– the real draw of Heat is Mann's obsession with...obsessive characters. De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a shrewd professional thief who asserts that there's not a situation or relationship in his life that he can't abandon in 30 seconds. McCauley prides himself on his lack of connection with the outside world...that is, the one that exists outside his own steel-trap mind. Pacino is Vincent Hanna, an unkempt career cop who is so emotionally invested in his work that he often clashes with his superiors and co-workers. And he's unsuccessful in preventing his job from disrupting personal relationships. When Vincent determines that McCauley and his crew (played with oozing machismo by such top-flight performers as Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore) are planning a complex heist, he goes after the thief with a zeal that unravels his world. "There's a design to everything Hanna does and everything McCauley does," Mann once said of the characters. "Being that inner directed, though, brings a certain solitariness, which makes them the only two men like this in the universe of the motion picture." In an insightful 1995 interview with Graham Fuller, Mann maintains that the personal stories of his characters aren't necessarily affected by whether they're criminals or cops: "Mostly, it's based on who they are as people. In writing the story, I wanted to polarize each of these situations to make each as different from the other as possible. I wanted to make the life of each character in each relationship as authentic as it could be." In the same interview, Mann also states that the central protagonists in Heat spring from real life, rather than myth: "One of the antecedents for Vincent Hanna, the detective, played by Al Pacino, is Chuck Adamson - an old friend of mine who co-authored the Crime Story pilot, which Abel Ferrara directed. Chuck hunted down and killed the real Neil McCauley, in Chicago, in 1963. Another is a guy I can't really talk about, who's bright, intuitive, and driven, and runs large operations against drug cartels in foreign countries. He's a singularly focused individual and much of the core of Hanna's character comes from him." When Mann began pre-production on Heat he visited inmates at Folsom State Prison in California to gain some insight into De Niro's character whose approach to life was formed by his prison experience. Other character details came from personal experiences or real life as in the case of the homicidal Waingro (played by Kevin Gage) who was actually based on a Chicago criminal of the same name that turned informer and was later found murdered in Mexico. Mann even used former Chicago cop turned actor Dennis Farina as a consultant on the film. As for casting, the role of Chris, Neil's cohort, was originally considered for Keanu Reeves until Val Kilmer became available between the shooting of Batman Forever (1995). The part of Nate, which was based on career criminal Edward Bunker, was conceived with Jon Voight in mind but the actor turned it down repeatedly. "I thought, you don't need me for this part. But Michael was a friend of mine, and I knew Bobby and Al well and they were insistent. I tried to back out of it a couple of times, but they pushed it. I had to change myself with padding, hair, scars; it was a lot of work...But when I got into the part I really liked it. It was a delicate part...I thought I could show different sides of this guy who was a thug and convict...With his brilliance, he could have done anything. It's that little-boy thing, they want adventures...It's kind of like acting." Amy Brenneman, who plays Eady, Neil's wary girlfriend, also resisted making Heat at first. She felt the script was unnecessarily violent with no moral point of view but Mann convinced her that her disapproving attitude was perfect for the character. Mann utilizes Los Angeles in Heat in much the same way that Woody Allen leans on Manhattan in his best pictures. Los Angeles itself, with its endless highways and stark contrasts between the haves and the have-nots, becomes an important character in the narrative. Heat was filmed in no less than 65 different locations around L.A.; there's not a single sequence that takes place on a sound stage, an approach that adds greatly to the film's realism. Although Heat hardly looks like a documentary (Dante Spinotti's coolly stylish cinematography is a particular highlight), you can sense the rhythms of a sometimes languid, always money-driven city that could burst into violence with no advance warning. A harrowing midday shoot-out that leaves an affluent business quarter littered with shattered glass and punctured metal almost seems an attack on the environment itself. Mann saw to it that the scene would play properly by putting his actors through months of high-power weapons training before the cameras ever rolled. According to co-star Tom Sizemore, "The shootout in the middle we worked on for two weeks. The whole process from December 26 to end of shooting in May, was like boot camp." The face to face sit-down between Pacino and De Niro, by the way, may be historic, but seems contrived for the sole reason of putting Pacino and De Niro into the same frame - there's no logical reason for these two characters to chat over a cup of coffee, regardless of their respect for one another. If you're a Heat fan who's trying to find the real-life restaurant where it happened, however, look no further than Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills. If you ask nicely, the staff will reportedly seat you at the exact table where the Pacino-De Niro summit took place. Producers: Art Linson, Michael Mann Director: Michael Mann Screenplay: Michael Mann Music: Elliot Goldenthal Cinematography: Dante Spinotti Editing: Pasquale Buba, William Goldenberg, Dov Hoenig, Tom Rolf Casting: Bonnie Timmermann Production Design: Neil Spisak Art Direction: Margie Stone McShirley Set Decoration: Anne H. Ahrens Costume Design: Deborah Lynn Scott Principal Cast: Al Pacino (Lt. Vincent Hanna), Robert De Niro (Neil McCauley), Val Kilmer (Chris Shiherlis), Jon Voight (Nate), Tom Sizemore (Michael Cheritto), Diane Venora (Justine Hanna), Amy Brenneman (Eady), Ashley Judd (Charlene Shiherlis), Mykelti Williamson (Sgt. Drucker), Wes Studi (Detective Casals), Natalie Portman (Lauren Gustafson). C-172m. by Paul Tatara

Heat (Special 2-disc Edition) - Michael Mann's Heat on DVD


For the most part, the devotees of director Michael Mann's stylish, epic-length, fact-based crime thriller Heat (1995)--and there are many--let out a collective groan when the film made its initial bare-bones debut on DVD. Those fans were uniformly dismayed by what was perceived as a missed opportunity to take full advantage of the format. The recent issuance of a loaded, two-disc special edition from Warner Home Video, leaves little room for complaint. Mann's crackling opus--which provided substantive roles for two powerhouse actors to gnaw on, and then daringly limited their shared screen time to striking effect--has had justice done with this release.

The riveting narrative starts on the streets of Los Angeles, where an armored car containing over $1 million in bearer bonds is rammed by a truck as part of an obviously well-orchestrated heist. All appears to be going to plan, until the least stable of the masked crew shoots down one of the guards, spurring a bloodbath from which the gang escapes. The plot was the handiwork of the coolly brilliant Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), a clockwork-precise master thief who lives a spartan lifestyle despite his massive hauls and seems to have no real passions beyond honing his craft.

The audacious theft, however, get assigned to the dogged Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), who sets out to identify those responsible. As single-mindedly fixated on duty as McCauley is on his trade, Hanna has seen his job claim two marriages, and his third is poised to follow suit. His wife (Diane Venora) resents his devotion to work and his inability to turn a fraction of that energy to their clinically depressed teenage daughter (Natalie Portman).

From there, Heat spends its considerable but astonishingly briskly-paced length in a paired character study of two matched opposites on an inevitable collision course, as McCauley lays the groundwork for a $12 million bank job and Hanna determinedly hunts for the mastermind's one fatal mistake. The characters very gradually become aware of each other's existence, leading to Hanna's first confrontation with his prey at a diner. For six minutes out of the film's near-three hour running time, De Niro and Pacino put on a clinic as their characters feel each other out.

Mann elicited rich performances from his deep supporting cast. As well as Venora and Portman, also notable are Val Kilmer as McCauley's inveterate gambler right-hand man and Ashley Judd as his fed-up hooker wife; Amy Brenneman as a graphic artist with whom McCauley takes a stab at a normal romantic relationship; and Jon Voight as the gang's fix-it man. The raft of now-familiar faces rounding out the cast includes Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Hank Azaria, Danny Trejo and Jeremy Piven. The audio and video mastering (in the original theatrical 2.35:1 aspect ratio) maintain the high quality of Warner's prior no-frills release.

The copious extras package begins with the feature-length commentary by Mann on the first disc. The director doesn't ring in any of his collaborators for perspective, and it stands to reason that the dead air should increase as the film goes on. Still, for the first half, his recollections are rich with detail, particularly about the real-life figures that inspired his scenario. The extras on the first disc are rounded out by a trio of theatrical trailers.

The second disc contains five featurettes concerning the production. The 15-minute True Crime looks at the real-life cop and crook that provided the templates for the characters of Hanna and McCauley, and the 20-minute Crime Stories tracks Mann's 20-year quest to develop the project. The 24-minute Into The Fire reflects on the shoot itself, with interview footage from Pacino, DeNiro, Kilmer, Judd, Brenneman and various members of the crew. The 10-minute Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation deconstructs the filming of their pivotal moment, with perspectives from Mann and others from the cast and crew as well as various critics. The final short, the 12-minute Return to the Scene of the Crime, follows location manager Janice Polley and associate producer Gusmano Cesaretti to various L.A. locales used in the shoot. Completing the extras are eleven deleted scenes that run an aggregate 10 minutes.

For more information about Heat, visit Warner Video. To order Heat, go to TCM Shopping.

by Jay S. Steinberg

Heat (Special 2-disc Edition) - Michael Mann's Heat on DVD

For the most part, the devotees of director Michael Mann's stylish, epic-length, fact-based crime thriller Heat (1995)--and there are many--let out a collective groan when the film made its initial bare-bones debut on DVD. Those fans were uniformly dismayed by what was perceived as a missed opportunity to take full advantage of the format. The recent issuance of a loaded, two-disc special edition from Warner Home Video, leaves little room for complaint. Mann's crackling opus--which provided substantive roles for two powerhouse actors to gnaw on, and then daringly limited their shared screen time to striking effect--has had justice done with this release. The riveting narrative starts on the streets of Los Angeles, where an armored car containing over $1 million in bearer bonds is rammed by a truck as part of an obviously well-orchestrated heist. All appears to be going to plan, until the least stable of the masked crew shoots down one of the guards, spurring a bloodbath from which the gang escapes. The plot was the handiwork of the coolly brilliant Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), a clockwork-precise master thief who lives a spartan lifestyle despite his massive hauls and seems to have no real passions beyond honing his craft. The audacious theft, however, get assigned to the dogged Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), who sets out to identify those responsible. As single-mindedly fixated on duty as McCauley is on his trade, Hanna has seen his job claim two marriages, and his third is poised to follow suit. His wife (Diane Venora) resents his devotion to work and his inability to turn a fraction of that energy to their clinically depressed teenage daughter (Natalie Portman). From there, Heat spends its considerable but astonishingly briskly-paced length in a paired character study of two matched opposites on an inevitable collision course, as McCauley lays the groundwork for a $12 million bank job and Hanna determinedly hunts for the mastermind's one fatal mistake. The characters very gradually become aware of each other's existence, leading to Hanna's first confrontation with his prey at a diner. For six minutes out of the film's near-three hour running time, De Niro and Pacino put on a clinic as their characters feel each other out. Mann elicited rich performances from his deep supporting cast. As well as Venora and Portman, also notable are Val Kilmer as McCauley's inveterate gambler right-hand man and Ashley Judd as his fed-up hooker wife; Amy Brenneman as a graphic artist with whom McCauley takes a stab at a normal romantic relationship; and Jon Voight as the gang's fix-it man. The raft of now-familiar faces rounding out the cast includes Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Hank Azaria, Danny Trejo and Jeremy Piven. The audio and video mastering (in the original theatrical 2.35:1 aspect ratio) maintain the high quality of Warner's prior no-frills release. The copious extras package begins with the feature-length commentary by Mann on the first disc. The director doesn't ring in any of his collaborators for perspective, and it stands to reason that the dead air should increase as the film goes on. Still, for the first half, his recollections are rich with detail, particularly about the real-life figures that inspired his scenario. The extras on the first disc are rounded out by a trio of theatrical trailers. The second disc contains five featurettes concerning the production. The 15-minute True Crime looks at the real-life cop and crook that provided the templates for the characters of Hanna and McCauley, and the 20-minute Crime Stories tracks Mann's 20-year quest to develop the project. The 24-minute Into The Fire reflects on the shoot itself, with interview footage from Pacino, DeNiro, Kilmer, Judd, Brenneman and various members of the crew. The 10-minute Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation deconstructs the filming of their pivotal moment, with perspectives from Mann and others from the cast and crew as well as various critics. The final short, the 12-minute Return to the Scene of the Crime, follows location manager Janice Polley and associate producer Gusmano Cesaretti to various L.A. locales used in the shoot. Completing the extras are eleven deleted scenes that run an aggregate 10 minutes. For more information about Heat, visit Warner Video. To order Heat, go to TCM Shopping. by Jay S. Steinberg

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Wide Release in United States December 15, 1995

Released in United States Winter December 15, 1995

Expanded Release in United States January 12, 1996

Released in United States on Video June 18, 1996

Completed shooting July 19, 1995.

Began shooting February 21, 1995.

Wide Release in United States December 15, 1995

Released in United States Winter December 15, 1995

Expanded Release in United States January 12, 1996

Released in United States on Video June 18, 1996