In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.
A scientist who has created a super helicopter has defected to Libya and taken the machine with him. A secretive government agency hires an ex-Vietnam War pilot to go to Libya, steal the chopper and bring it back.
Donald P. Bellisario
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>
In the sequence where Kate had just crashed through the door at the drive-in theater and two police cars spun out, you can see that one of the police cars comes very close to the camera. What you might not know was that a Japanese man, studying under cinematographer John A. Alonzo was acting as cameraman, and the police car would have hit him if not for the key grip right his cameraman's waist belt from the back and yanked him right off his feet, saving him from being mowed down. See more »
One of the F-16's attacking Murphy fires an AIM-9L Sidewinder (short range air-to-air) missile at Blue Thunder from a distance barely two miles away. The AIM-9 travels at Mach 2.5, and from that distance the missile would have taken about four seconds to reach Murphy, yet Murphy has nearly fifteen seconds to avert the missile. From so close he would have had no chance to maneuver in front of the building in his attempt to fool the heat-seeking missile, let alone escape obliteration. See more »
[Icelan and Braddock are discussing Murphy]
He checks his sanity with a wrist watch!
What do you check yours with, a dipstick?
See more »
There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »
Having now worked on an attack helicopter program, I was interested in
seeing "Blue Thunder." I skipped it on its first release. Good thing. "Blue Thunder" is more timely than ever, what with federal abuse of
power with massacres and attempted massacres in Philadelphia (MOVE incident, Ruby Ridge and Waco. Structurally, the film is a mess, taking a fair amount of time introducing us to "Blue Thunder" an "antiriot" (now call "antiterrorist") helicopter better equipped for mass murder than crowd control. Roy Scheider plays Murphy, a former Vietnam helicopter pilot haunted by his memories of 'Nam (this gimmick was getting tiring in 1983). Murphy finds himself the target of a "government conspiracy" when he "gets too close" for the REAL intentions of "Blue Thunder."
Reels of film must have been left on the cutting room floor. Certainly Candy Clark and Warren Oates shine in "nothing" roles, their "real" relationships to Scheider remaining pretty obscure. Malcolm McDowell makes an excellent villain, though his "real" relationship with Scheider doesn't pay off).
HOWEVER, when "Blue Thunder" works, it really rocks. See it.
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