Director Dick Richards (using the moniker R.M. Richards as his screen credit) called to complain that he shouldn't be blamed for the "funereal direction" of "Heat," which grossed a dismal $2.4 million after its first 10 days in release. (Richards left the picture after an altercation with star Burt Reynolds, with legal action pending.)

"I had nothing to do with the editing of the film," Richards said. "I was one of five directors. All I did was the casting and 13 days of shooting . . . I should have taken my name off it entirely."

A Directors Guild arbitration determined that Richards was responsible for 40% of the finished film and Jerry Jameson 31%.

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