6.3/10
13,044
71 user 65 critic

Blue Thunder (1983)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 May 1983 (USA)
The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Kate
...
Paul Roebling ...
Icelan
...
Fletcher
...
Montoya
...
Ed Bernard ...
Sgt. Short
Jason Bernard ...
Mayor
Mario Machado ...
Himself
...
Alf Hewitt
Pat McNamara ...
Matusek
Jack Murdock ...
Kress
Clifford A. Pellow ...
Allen (as Clifford Pellow)
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Storyline

Blue Thunder is a specially modified helicopter. It is for police work, but is armed and designed to counter street insurgencies. Its makers want to show what it will do, but have to train Los Angeles Police pilot Frank Murphy to fly and use it in order to allow it to operate in the city. Murphy and the project pilot have differences going back to Vietnam. The conflict between them continues to heat up as Murphy begins to suspect that Blue Thunder is more than has been disclosed. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's Out There... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 May 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Relámpago azul  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$42,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming of the "ambush", where Cochrane ambushs Murphy's Blue Thunder at that incomplete skyscraper, the MD-5 Defender (the one Cochrane flew) had an engine failure and had to auto-rotate to a landing below. Fortunately, the parking lot was cleared and the pilot walked away uninjured, and the helicopter was only slightly damaged. See more »

Goofs

In the dogfight with Cochrane, Murphy's Gattling cannon fires but does not rotate. See more »

Quotes

Kress: If it was me, I'd ground him.
Jack Braddock: He'll be all right.
Kress: Personally, I wouldn't fly with him for a bull that pissed Jack Daniels.
Jack Braddock: Is that right?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Matrix (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Blue Thunder (Dance Version)
(uncredited)
Written by Arthur B. Rubinstein (as Arthur Rubinstein)
Performed by Arthur B. Rubinstein, Cynthia Morrow, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli (as the Beepers)
Produced by Anthony Marinelli & Brian Banks
Arranged by Reno Romano, Anthony Marinelli, Brian Banks & Evan Pace
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An under-rated gem..
15 December 2001 | by (Winchester, England) – See all my reviews

I first saw Blue Thunder as a kid at the time of its release and enjoyed it purely as a slice of action/adventure typical of its time. I could name many films from the early 80s of a similar ilk, but this one stuck in my mind as a real favourite and it was only when I re-watched it recently that I understood why.

Unlike other films in the genre, Blue Thunder always strikes me as having been thought about and crafted in a very careful way. In fact I didn't remember there being as little action as there is. Instead we are given far more character development than we might be accustomed to, thereby enhancing the final aerial drama because we do care about the people involved.

Roy Scheider(who I must confess is my favourite actor of his era) gives a standout performance. His portrayal of Murphy with its wry humour & very human lapses shares more than a little with a certain Chief Brody, but the use of an aging rebel with little cause as the main character in a technological thriller is still refreshing now.

Malcolm McDowell gives the sort of OTT villainous performance that only he can (why has no-one ever cast him as a Bond villain?) and special mention must go to Warren Oates as Scheider's long-suffering boss.

The helicopter looks awesome with cool gadgets aplenty but it isn't the star here, Scheider is. Move over Top Gun, Airwolf, Wings of the Apache, et al; this is the number 1 fly-boy in town.


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