EDITOR’S NOTE: Heat was not produced by Cannon but was theatrically distributed by Columbia-Cannon-Warner in the UK.
Burt Reynold read Heat by William Goldman and supposedly got this film moving. The first director was supposed to be Robert Altman- — Carol Burnett encouraged him to work with Reynolds — who hated how commerical Goldman’s script was. He met with Goldman and somehow got along with him, but Goldman wouldn’t change a word. So then Altman used a technicality to escape the film. His cinematographer Pierre Mignot could not get the necessary immigration permits to work on the film.
Altman was replaced by Dick Richards, who didn’t get along with Reynolds, who hit him causing the director to leave and be replaced by Jerry Jameson. Then Richards eturned, only to fall from a camera crane and need to be hospitalized.
A Directors Guild of America arbitration ruled that Richards was responsible for 41% of the finished film and Jerry Jameson 31%. There were four other directors and Richards, who never directed a major motion picture again, won a lasuit against Burt for punching him in the face.
Nick Escalante is a former soldier of fortune, deadly with his hands and an expert with sharp objects. At one point, someone refers to him as the most lethal man in the world. He’s a bodygyard but he really just wants to move back Venice, Italy.
Cyrus Kinnick (Peter MacNicol) wants Nick to teach him how to be tough. He soon learns what’s kept Nick in Vegas: as soon as he gets ahead, he blows all of his cash gambling.
After getting revenge for one of his friends, Holly (Karen Young), Nick becomes the target of Danny DeMarco (Neill Barry), the man who assaulted her. He defies the orders of mob boss Baby (Joseph Mascolo) and tries to kill Nick, who wipes out every single one of his men and then talks the young thug into killing himself.
I liked Heat. It has a fun relationship between Nick and Cyrus, as well as showing that even though Burt can easily speak the physical language of violence, he can barely interact with the world.
You can watch this on Tubi.