(US - 1987)
Directed by Harley Cokliss. Written by Christopher Frank. Cast: Burt Reynolds, Cliff Robertson, Lauren Hutton, Kenneth McMillan, Cynthia Gibb, Scott Wilson, Philip Anglim, Tracey Walter, Dennis Burkley, Alex Diakun, Brooks Gardner, Mike Kirton, Blu Mankuma, Don Davis. (R, 92 mins)
"Got a name?"
"Got a first name?"
From the late '70s and into the early '80s, Burt Reynolds was the top box-office draw in America. The busy actor appeared in two to three movies a year, and there was rarely a time when a Burt movie wasn't in theaters. But after a while, his base grew fatigued with increasingly lazy efforts like 1983's STROKER ACE and 1984's CANNONBALL RUN II. 1984's CITY HEAT, a much-anticipated teaming with Clint Eastwood, the other biggest movie star in America, proved to be a disappointment for both actors, but it would be far more devastating to Reynolds than your average box-office underperformer. While filming a fight scene, Reynolds was supposed to be hit across the face with a lightweight, breakaway prop chair. Somehow, the prop chair was replaced with a real one and Reynolds was hit in the face with it at full force. His jaw broke on impact, requiring extensive surgery that kept his mouth wired shut for months, forcing him on a liquid diet and later resulting in an addiction to painkillers. It took over two years for him to recover, during which time Hollywood and many of his friends abandoned him and tabloids had a field day with the rumors about his health and his weight loss. Reports stated that he was dying of either cancer or AIDS. Reynolds had his long-delayed Elmore Leonard adaptation STICK in theaters in 1985, but it was actually shot in late 1983, prior to CITY HEAT and the jaw incident. Other than a cameo in his buddy Mel Tillis' 1986 comedy UPHILL ALL THE WAY, Reynolds was offscreen until the release of HEAT in March 1987. Savaged by critics and ignored by audiences, HEAT was a troubled production that cycled through three directors--Robert Altman quit after one day, his replacement Dick Richards made most of the film before quitting after an on-set physical altercation with Reynolds, and then TV vet Jerry Jameson finished it; director credit went to "R.M. Richards"--and opened in 11th place. In three years, Reynolds went from box office king to Hollywood pariah. Burt was back and he was in good shape, healthy, and fully recovered, but HEAT's paltry gross left little doubt: nobody cared.
VHS cover art
hassled by Delaney's goons, Malone finds himself in a classic SHANE situation, helping them protect their property (and trying hard to not succumb to Jo's obvious crush on him) while being the only one tough enough to stand up to Delaney--who keeps a tight leash on useless Sheriff Hawkins (Kenneth McMillan) and thinks Malone was sent there to kill him--and amassing a blood-splattered body count in the process. Malone's troubles don't end there: once news that Malone has surfaced reaches the CIA, the powers that be dispatch Jamie to eliminate him.
|An on-set photo from MALONE posted on actress
Cynthia Gibb's web site. Gibb on Burt:
"He made me feel like an equal on set
when I was still such a novice."
|Reynolds at the Philadelphia Comic Con in May 2015