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Blue Thunder (1983)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  13 May 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 11,705 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 59 critic

The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.


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Title: Blue Thunder (1983)

Blue Thunder (1983) on IMDb 6.3/10

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Roebling ...
Ed Bernard ...
Sgt. Short
Jason Bernard ...
Mario Machado ...
Alf Hewitt
Pat McNamara ...
Jack Murdock ...
Clifford A. Pellow ...
Allen (as Clifford Pellow)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's Out There... See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 May 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Relámpago azul  »

Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)


$42,300,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite the fact that they played characters that were enemies in this film, both Roy Scheider and Malcolm McDowell became very good friends while working on it. As McDowell would state at various science-fiction conventions, they enjoyed working together so much that they couldn't leave each other alone. When Scheider passed away, a very saddened McDowell was unable to attend his funeral due to a film project that he was working on and could not leave at the time, much to his dismay. As a result, he immediately ordered some flowers and sent a letter of condolence to Scheider's family. See more »


A dent in the roof of Kate's Vega disappears and reappears throughout the film. See more »


Frank Murphy: [trying to force the helicopter into doing a full flip] Come on, you tub of shit!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The hardware, weaponry and surveillance systems depicted in this film are real and in use in the United States today. See more »


Featured in The Special: Building Blue Thunder (2006) See more »


Theme From Blue Thunder (Dance Version)
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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great Action
8 June 1999 | by (White Plains,NY) – See all my reviews

Always liked this one. Well written and acted, with excellent aerial action sequences. It's a shame this was Warren Oate's last role - he was magnificent. Other reviewers made a valid point about this film presaging the use of military hardware against civilians. We already use airplanes to catch speeders on the ground - doesn't the aviation fuel cost more than the amount of revenue taken in through summonses?

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The dumbest film I've see in a long while... Anscules
They changed the soundtrack. pbandj4evr
Would a Blue Thunder remake fly? comments? theattitude
Funny Quotes from Blue Thunder Zach126
Blue Thunder vs. Airwolf plutoniumcore
So who else died? skl810
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