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City Heat is a 1984 action-comedy film starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds. The film was released in North America in December 1984. The pairing of Eastwood and Reynolds in a Prohibition-era action-comedy seemed to give the film the potential to be a hit. However, the film only earned $38,300,000 at the box office.



Set in Kansas Citymarker in 1933, a police lieutenant known simply by his last name, Speer, is acquainted with a former cop turned private eye named Mike Murphy. Speer and Murphy served on the force together and were once good friends, but now can't stand each other.

On a rainy night, Speer comes into 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, decides to stay out of 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 beautiful secretary Addy. She loves both and proves it when, after tenderly kissing Murphy goodbye, goes on a date with Speer. Murphy has a new romantic interest, a rich socialite named Caroline Howley, but finds himself unable to commit himself.

Speer and Addy go to a boxing match at which the mob boss Primo Pitt is present. Murphy's partner Diehl Swift is also there, and seems to be in cahoots with Pitt and his gang. Swift is in possession of a briefcase whose contents are the target of Pitt's gang.

Swift 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 a car driven by Speer.

Murphy vows revenge on Pitt for killing his partner. He asks Speer for assistance and they form a reluctant alliance.

One of the witnesses to Swift's murder is nightclub singer Ginny Lee. After watching a movie, Lee 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 as well as Swift. Final showdowns occur in a warehouse, where Speer humorously pulls out a weapon larger than Murphy's, and in a brothel, where Murphy shows up in costume to rescue a kidnapped Caroline.

In the end, the men again have become friends, at least until a casual remark leads to them stepping outside and bickering, face to face.


Blake Edwards was the original director of the film. He was fired early on and replaced with Benjamin. He retained co-writing credit under the pseudonym Sam O. Brown (The initials S.O.B. being a reference to his earlier film).

Controversy over Reynolds's health started when he was hit in the face with a metal chair during the filming of a fight scene. His jaw was broken and he was restricted to a liquid diet, causing him to lose over 30 pounds by the time filming wrapped. His condition made headlines in the tabloids, who suspected he had AIDS.


Clint Eastwood is one of the pianists heard on the film's jazz-oriented soundtrack. Eastwood is a real-life jazz aficionado.

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