Sometimes a film can revolve around a character that is
With Michael Mann’s latest film, Blackhat, releasing this weekend, it’s time to look back at one of Mann’s masterworks. While Heat was not met with the same regard or box-office popularity upon its 1995 release, it has since been regarded as one of the essential crime dramas in cinema history.
Here are a few fun facts about Heat…
1. Heat was shot in 65 locations in and around Los Angeles, without one sound stage, which is practically unheard of in most studio films.
2. Michael Mann made the movie as a tribute to a detective friend of his in Chicago who obsessively tracked and killed a thief (named Neil McCauley) he had once met under non-violent circumstances.
3. Although Mann began the project with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in mind for the leading roles, Nick Nolte and Jeff Bridges were mentioned as alternatives if the initial actors declined.
4. In the director commentary, Michael Mann noted that Al Pacino ad-libbed the line “Because she’s got a… GREAT ASS!” and Hank Azaria’s look of exasperated shock was totally genuine.
5. 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 in 1974, 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.”
6. Pacino revealed that for the scene in the restaurant between Hanna and McCauley, Robert De Niro felt that the scene should not be rehearsed so that the unfamiliarity between the two characters would seem more genuine. Michael Mann agreed, and shot the scene with no practice rehearsals.
7. In an early draft of the script, Vincent Hanna had a cocaine habit, which, according to Pacino, explains his bombastic outbursts.
8. Kevin Gage’s Waingro character is based on a real Chicago criminal named Waingro who ratted out some influential Chicago criminals. According to Michael Mann, Waingro went missing; his body was found in northern Mexico, where it had been nailed to the wall of a shed.
9. Val Kilmer filmed some of his scenes at the same time he was filming Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever.
10. In June of 2002, the scene involving the shootout after the bank robbery was shown to United States Marine recruits at MCRD San Diego as an example of the proper way to retreat while under fire.
11. Heat features two actors who each played serial killers in movies based on Thomas Harris novels. Manhunter, based on Harris’ novel Red Dragon, featured Tom Noonan as the serial killer Francis “The Tooth Fairy” Dolarhyde. The Silence of the Lambs, based on the Harris novel of the same name, featured Ted Levine as the serial killer Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb.