Ken Harrison is an artist that makes sculptures. One day he is involved in a car accident, and is paralyzed from his neck. All he can do is talk, and he wants to die. In hospital he make ... See full summary »
Jean-Louis Trintignant plays a French contract assassin hired by a Los Angeles crime family, ostensibly to perform a hit on some other mafia target. But simultaneously, as he arrives to do ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although the city is Los Angeles and the action centers around the police department, the LAPD is never mentioned. The force is called the "Metropolitan Police," and their badges are silver, of a more generic style, instead of the distinctive LAPD bronze-colored badges depicting old Los Angeles City Hall. However, City Hall does figure prominently in several fly-bys. See more »
Murphy, after downing Montoya's helicopter says, "AH! Not again!" without moving his lips. In the same scene he says, "Ok chaps, How'd you like to follow my leader?" His lips say, "Follow my leader now!" See more »
[Icelan and Braddock are discussing Murphy]
He checks his sanity with a wrist watch!
What do you check yours with, a dipstick?
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There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »
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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