Red Heat
Red Heat poster
Directed by Walter Hill
Produced by Walter Hill
Gordon Carroll
Mario Kassar
Andrew G. Vajna

Arnold Schwarzenegger
James Belushi
Ed O'Ross
Peter Boyle
Laurence Fishburne
Gina Gershon

Music by James Horner
Cinematography Matthew F. Leonetti
Editing by Donn Aron
Carmel Davies
Freeman A. Davies
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release June 14, 1988 (premiere)
June 17, 1988
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Soviet Union
Language English
Budget $29 million
Gross revenue $34,994,648

Red Heat is a 1988 American buddy cop action film directed by Walter Hill. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, as Moscow narc Ivan Danko, and James Belushi, as Chicago detective Art Ridzik. Finding themselves on the same case, Danko and Ridzik work as partners to catch a cunning and deadly Soviet Georgian drug kingpin, Viktor Rostavili (Ed O'Ross), who also happens to be the killer of Danko's previous partner back in Soviet Russia.

The film was released with the tagline "Moscow's toughest detective. Chicago's craziest cop. There's only one thing more dangerous than making them mad: making them partners." It was the first American film given permission to shoot in Moscow's Red Square - however, most of the scenes set in the USSR (with the exceptions of the establishing shots under the main titles and the final lengthy shot in Red Square behind the end credits) were actually shot in Hungary. Schwarzenegger was paid a salary of $8 million for his role in the film. It has found a cult audience amongst fluent Russian speakers because of the movie's weak portrayal of the Russian language and stereotypes.


Captain Ivan Danko of the Moscow Police sets a trap for Viktor Rostavili, a Georgian drug kingpin and crime lord. The ambush severely backfires; Viktor flees the Soviet Union and comes to the USA, after gunning down several other Moscow cops, including Danko's partner.

Loudmouthed Chicago Police Department Detective-Sergeant Art Ridzik, investigates several local murders committed by Viktor's cartel. When Viktor is arrested in Chicago, Danko is dispatched to escort him back to Moscow to face justice in the Soviet Union. Unexpectedly, Danko and Ridzik find themselves partnered together when Viktor escapes custody, gunning down Ridzik's partner in the process. Danko is frustrated when his lack of a diplomatic license prohibits him from carrying a weapon. He shares his candid observations with Ridzik: "This Chicago is very strange city. Your crime is organized, but your police is not."

Danko and Ridzik pursue Viktor and his henchmen around Chicago. Finally, Danko and Viktor commandeer a couple of Greyhound buses, then engage in a high-speed chase, smashing up half of Chicago in the process, with no sign of the cops...until Viktor is side-slammed by a train. He takes on Danko in a running, Texas-style shootout (Danko uses a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum given to him by Ridzik); Viktor is gunned down. Danko returns to Moscow after exchanging wristwatches with Ridzik as an act of goodwill.


  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as Capt. Ivan Danko
  • James Belushi as Det. Sgt. Arthur Ridzik
  • Ed O'Ross as Viktor Rostavili
  • Peter Boyle as Cmdr. Lou Donnelly
  • Gina Gershon as Catherine "Cat" Manzetti
  • Laurence Fishburne (credited as Larry Fishburne) as Lt. Charlie Stobbs
  • Richard Bright as Det. Sgt. Gallagher
  • J.W. Smith as Salim
  • Brent Jennings as Abdul Elijah
  • Sven-Ole Thorsen as Nikolai, the Russian Danko fights in the snow
  • Gretchen Palmer as Hooker
  • Pruitt Taylor Vince as Night Clerk
  • Mike Hagerty as Pat Nunn (as Michael Hagerty)
  • Brion James as Streak
  • Peter Jason as TV Announcer

External links

  • Red Heat at the Internet Movie Database

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.