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City Heat (1984)

aka City Heat

"When a hotshot cop and a wise-guy detective get together... the heat is on!"

Details: 93 mins · English · PG (USA)


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"When a hotshot cop and a wise-guy detective get together... the heat is on!"


In an unnamed U.S. city near the end of Prohibition in the United States|Prohibition, a police lieutenant known by his last name, Speer (Eastwood), is acquainted with a former cop turned private eye named Mike Murphy (Reynolds). Speer and Murphy were once good friends, which changed after Murphy left the force.

On a rainy night, Speer comes to a diner for coffee. Two goons arrive, looking for Murphy. They pounce the minute Murphy arrives, starting a fistfight. Speer, no fan of Murphy's, ignores the fight until a goon causes him to spill his coffee. Both goons are thrown through the front door. Murphy sarcastically thanks Speer for saving his life.

The two rivals have eyes for Murphy's secretary Addy (Jane Alexander). She loves both and proves it when, after tenderly kissing Murphy goodbye, goes on a date with Speer. Murphy does have a new romantic interest, a rich socialite named Caroline Howley (Madeline Kahn), but finds himself unable to commit.

Speer and Addy go to a boxing match at which the mob boss Primo Pitt (Rip Torn) is present. Murphy's partner Dehl Swift (Richard Roundtree) is also there, and seems to be in cahoots with Pitt and his gang. Swift is in possession of a briefcase whose contents, secret accounting records of rival gang boss Leon Coll's operations, are the target of both Pitt's and Coll's gangs.

Swift, tailed by Speer and Addy, is confronted by Pitt's thugs at his apartment and is shot to death. A thug opens the briefcase but there's nothing inside. He picks up Swift's body and throws it out the window, where it lands on the roof of Speer's parked car (which is occupied by the horrified Addy, who waits after Speer goes to investigate in the apartment).

Murphy vows revenge on Pitt for killing his partner. He asks Speer for assistance and they form a reluctant alliance. A witness to the murder is Swift's girlfriend, nightclub singer Ginny Lee (Irene Cara). After meeting with Murphy at a movie, Ginny is confronted by Pitt's thugs outside the theatre. As she tries to escape, she is hit by a car and seriously injured.

Murphy and Speer vow to avenge her and also to rescue Caroline, who has been kidnapped by Pitt's gang to force Murphy to hand over the missing records. A final showdown with Pitt and his gang occurs in a warehouse (where Speer continuously and humorously keeps pulling out weapons larger than Murphy's) and in a bordello (where Murphy shows up in costume to rescue Caroline).

As what's left of Pitt's gang are hauled off by police, Coll shows up holding Addy at gunpoint and demanding his records. Murphy and Speer hand over the briefcase in exchange for Addy, but the case is booby-trapped. Coll's car is blown up with Coll in it. In the end, the rivals have become friends again, at least until a casual remark leads to another all-out fight in a nightclub and ends with Speer and Murphy stepping outside and bickering, face to face.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2003-09-02