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
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.
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>
Early in the film, when Murphy and Lymangood are in their first tour of duty. The female dispatcher who alerts them of a a robbery on Vineland and Burbank and a subsequent call is Shaaron Claridge, the same female dispatcher heard in the entire run of the TV series Adam-12 (1968). In real life, Claridge was a second-shift radiotelephone operator or police radio dispatcher at the Van Nuys Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. Her voice was also heard on episodes of Dragnet 1967 (1967), Lou Grant (1977) and Columbo (1971). See more »
During the first night flight of Blue Thunder, JAFO asks if they want Big Brother active. When they both decide no, JAFO says "I got the fuse right here." He is actually seen to remove a light bulb from the annunciator panel, not a fuse. See more »
John Badham is a curious director and I think he gets it right in this one. After all Roy Scheider never stunk it up in his illustrious career and he hits all the right notes in this one as Frank Murphy the Vietnam Vet trying to escape the memories of his war experience. When Malcolm McDowell shows up (and honestly, who plays an a--hole better than McDowell in his heyday?) to become Murphy's nemesis. The very underrated Warren Oates as the crotchety commanding officer and Candy Clark as Murphy's girlfriend, who is the ultimate heroine of the plot, turn in solid performances. The helicopter clearly steals the show though as anyone between the ages of 7 and 21 had to just be glued to the screen watching that bird strut its stuff. Great action sequences and rather good photography during the climactic chase scene.
I still have fond memories of this film which I saw in the drive in as a kid and I think it's what films of this genre should be...a couple of hours of wild fun!..."Follow My Leader"
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