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Films to See Before You Die: #27 Heat


Heat (1995)

Director: Michael Mann

Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, William Fitchner

Synopsis: Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), is a master thief that is looking to make one last score with his crew and then sail off into the sunset. His philosophy in life – Never have anything in your life that you can’t walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you spot the heat coming around the corner. Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) is an LAPD detective that always gets his man and will go about getting him by any means within the law. Neil’s life becomes a little more difficult when his last heist gets botched by the itchy trigger finger of a new man leaving them to kill each of the security guards which was not part of the plan. This puts Vincent on their trail now and he becomes obsessed with finding this crew. The loot from the heist is barer bonds from a business man named Van Sant (William Fitchner), who agrees to buy his bonds back at a reduced price which infuriates the man who then tries to betray McCauley. Another complication in Neil’s life is he has broken his philosophy and fallen in love with a younger woman that he wants to take with him after he retires. During their last heist Neil and Chris (Val Kilmer) are surrounded by Vincent and his men which lead to a bloody shootout in the streets of L.A. After getting away from the robbery relatively unharmed Neil must make a mad dash to leave the city but not before be ties up some loose ends leading to a final confrontation with Vincent.

Trivia: The first film to ever feature both Robert De Niro and Al Pacino acting together, which created much hype prior to release. They both starred in The Godfather: Part II but never shared the screen together as split chronology prevented this. When this movie was finally released, even its advertising material promoted the film as a De Niro/Pacino “showdown.” The meeting between Robert De Niro and Al Pacino over coffee was shot at Kate Mantilini on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Diners may request the very table featured in the scene, table #71, which wait staff are familiar with as “The Table”, and are happy to seat De Niro Pacino fans at their famous meeting place.

Why I think you should see this: The story of Heat is interesting because it might be the best film ever to not be nominated for any major Academy Awards. Both De Niro and Pacino are fantastic together with then being on opposite sides of the law makes for a perfect setting. Michael Mann delivers in what is by far his best film though I recommend you check out Collateral if you enjoy his work because it is pretty awesome too. Val Kilmer was awesome in this and it is pretty impressive considering he filmed both this and Batman Forever at the same time. This is in my opinion the best cops and robbers movie out there so check it out sometime.


About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

6 responses to “Films to See Before You Die: #27 Heat

  1. Blaria

    Yes. Love this movie! Although, the ending wasn’t my favorite, I co-sign with you about this being must see.

  2. jmount43 ⋅

    Loved the film. However, the actor playing Van Sant was William Fichtner, not Forsythe.

  3. Your post has me hooked. Never seen it. Didn’t know it existed. Must see it this week in case I die! Thx. Kim*

  4. An Instant Classic, Dude, Fo SHO!
    One Of The Best Works From Pacino, De Niro, Kilmer, and Director Michael Mann!
    Love It LOVE IT!!!

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