Many of you heard of the movie "Red Heat" with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a star. Russian distributors translated the word "heat" into Russian in its main meaning, i.e. hotness, warmth. Along with that some dictionaries say that one of the meanings of heat is police, so the most appropriate name of the movie in Russian could be "Red Cop". This point of view is controversial according to discussion on Russian Wikipedia. I would like to know opinions of native speakers.
The title is a play on words.
"Red hot" refers to iron or steel that has been heated until it glows red. Metaphorically, it has been used as a superlative, e.g. "the last of the red hot lovers." In that metaphorical sense, "red hot" means "very exciting."
The primary meaning of "heat" is degree of hotness or warmth. It is also an American slang term for the police.
The primary meaning of "red" is a color, but it can also mean "communist" as either a noun or adjective.
Because the movie is about a Russian policeman while the Soviet Union still existed, the primary but allusive meaning of the title is "Soviet Police," but because of its closeness in sound to "Red Hot, it also suggests "Very Exciting." I know no Russian, but I suspect that kind of multiple meaning is untranslatable.
When a substance is heated it can reach a state in which it glows red. This is called "heating the substance to a red heat".
That is the literal meaning of the phrase.
We can also exaggerate and say that something is red hot, even though it is not literally glowing red:
Careful, those muffins are right out of the oven. They're red hot.
And it can be used to mean "on one's game, performing with great skill or great luck":
I've won six straight poker hands. I'm red hot tonight.