Captain Ivan Danko of the Moscow Militia 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, Gallagher, 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.
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.
Red Heat (1988)
Directed by: Walter Hill
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi, Peter Boyle, Gina Gershon, Ed O’Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gretchen Palmer, Brion James, loria Delaney
Screenplay by: Harry Kleiner
Production Design by: John Vallone
Cinematography by: Matthew F. Leonetti
Film Editing by: Donn Aron, Carmel Davies, Freeman A. Davies
Costume Design by: Dan Moore
Set Decoration by: Ernie Bishop
Art Direction by: ichael Corenblith, László Rajk
Music by: James Horner
Distributed by: TriStar Pictures
Release Date: June 17, 1988