Jennifer Wood’s extensive look at Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’ has been sitting in my ‘must read pile’ for a few weeks now, but I’ve finally got around to it. It’s fascinating, and Heath is a film that I appreciate more every time I watch it. It’s far more than a heist movie, even if it remains one of the best heist movies of all time. Rather than usually grab an ‘oooh that’s nice‘ paragraph I’ll stick to Wood’s opening:
After one false start as the 1989 television pilot-turned-movie L.A. Takedown, Mann eventually realized that he had the ending of the movie all wrong. Once he figured out how to solve his last-act problem, he says it took “probably three weeks for me to get the screenplay in shape.” A green-light from Warner Bros. quickly followed, and the end result turned into one of the most elegant heist films ever crafted, in addition to giving stars Robert De Niro and Al Pacino the single greatest alpha-male exchange in a diner ever. On the occasion of Heat’s anniversary, Rolling Stone asked the director to take us back to the scene of the crime and share the experience of pairing two great screen-acting powerhouses.