Al Pacino plays Vincent Hanna, a lieutenant of detectives in L.A.P.D.'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. Divorced twice, Hanna's third marriage is precarious as he focuses all his attention on Neil
Neil McCauley, played by Robert De Niro, 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. He and his crew -- Chris Shiherlis (Val
Kilmer), Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore) and Nate (Jon Voight) -- are committing a series of well-planned, high-number robberies
in and around Los Angeles.
**Character synopsis taken from Internet
Movie Database. 1995
McCauley's own policy is never to get involved in anything that
he can't shed in 30 seconds flat. One day in a restaurant he gets into a conversation with Eady (Amy Brenneman), who asks
him a lot of questions. "Lady," he says to her, "why are you so interested in what I do?" She is lonely. "I am alone," he
tells her. "I am not lonely." He is in fact the loneliest man in the world, and soon finds that he needs her.
the age-old conflict in American action pictures, between the man with "man's work" and the female principal, the woman who
wants to tame him, wants him to stay at home. "Heat," with an uncommonly literate screenplay by Mann, handles it with insight.
.....excerpt taken from "Heat" a review by Roger
Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times Date of publication: 12/15/1995
The thriller Heat pits tough cop Al Pacino against tough convict
Robert De Niro. With such intense actors, were there any lighthearted moments during filming? "We're intense?" says Pacino,
laughing. "No, we're not intense. On the set, we used to bang each other around." Pause. "With anvils." Pause. "Just kidding."
Pacino admits reuniting with his Godfather Part II costar was "a real pleasure."
**Entertainment Weekly; 11/3/1995; Pearlman, Cindy
...What is interesting is the way Mann tests these roles with the women. The wives
and girlfriends in this movie are always, in a sense, standing at the kitchen door, calling to the boys to come in from their
play. Pacino's wife, played by Venora with a smart bitterness, is the most unforgiving: She is married to a man who brings
corpses into bed with him in his dreams. Her daughter, rebellious and screwed up, is getting no fathering from him. Their
marriage is a joke, and when he catches her with another man, she accurately says he forced her to demean herself.
Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times 12/15/95
Vincent Hanna : I don't know how to do anything else.
McCauley : Neither do I.
Vincent Hanna : I don't much want to either.
Neil McCauley : Neither do I.
Vincent Hanna : You know, we are sitting here, you and I, like a couple
of regular fellas. You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do. And now that we've been face to face, if I'm there and I
gotta put you away, I won't like it. But I tell you, if it's between you and some poor bastard whose wife you're gonna turn
into a widow, brother, you are going down.
Neil McCauley : There is a flip side to that coin. What if you do got me
boxed in and I gotta put you down? Cause no matter what, you will not get in my way. We've been face to face, yeah. But I
will not hesitate. Not for a second.
Vincent Hanna : I gotta hold on to my angst. I preserve it because I
need it. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be.
De Niro and Pacino, veterans of so many great
films in the crime genre, have by now spent more time playing cops and thieves than most cops and thieves have. There is always
talk about how actors study people to base their characters on. At this point in their careers, if Pacino and De Niro go out
to study a cop or a robber, it's likely their subject will have modeled himself on their performances in old movies. There
is absolute precision of effect here, the feeling of roles assumed instinctively.
**excerpt taken from "Heat" the review by
Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times, publish date 12/15/95
...finally, "Heat" turns into a game of survival. We know that
either De Niro or Pacino will fall, and we know that the survivor will feel a loss, as if he's eliminated a piece of himself.
It's a strange thing that Mann attempts here -- mixing pop psychology with explosive violence....
***from the San Francisco Chronicle dated Friday, December 15, 1995, by Edward Guthmann,
Chronicle Staff Critic
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