Decades After Its Release, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro Revisited “Heat”

A restoration is due out later this year

2022 Tribeca Festival - "Heat"
Robert De Niro and Al Pacino attend "Heat" Premiere during 2022 Tribeca Festival at United Palace Theater on June 17, 2022 in New York City.
Dominik Bindl/WireImage

It’s a good time to be a fan of Michael Mann’s 1995 crime epic Heat. To be fair, it’s never been a bad time to be a fan of the film in question. Combine an absurdly great cast with a director firing on all cylinders — the film’s climax at LAX is an absolute master class in how to inventively stage suspense — and you have a film tailor-made to stand the test of time.

This year has brought with it a host of appreciations of the film, as well as a followup novel from Mann and Meg Gardiner, which reveals more facets of the film’s characters. Writing at Vulture, Bilge Ebiri revisited one of the film’s standout scenes — a conversation in a diner between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro which has its origins in a previous project of Mann’s.

Ebiri also moderated a conversation including the two actors and producer Art Linson during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. At Consequence, Jesse Hassenger reported on the event — which included Pacino clarifying his process behind the scene in which he memorably utters the phrase “great ass.”

As detailed at Consequence, Ebiri cited actor Hank Azaria’s comments that Pacino had ad-libbed the line — which left him shaken. Pacino offered his own take on events, telling the crowd, “I didn’t know I was going to do it.”

If all of this discussion has you eager to revisit Heat, there’s good news there as well — a 4K Ultra HD restoration on the film is due out later this year.

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