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Blue Thunder (1983)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  13 May 1983 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 10,216 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 43 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)

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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:

Blue Thunder  »

Box Office

Gross:

$42,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is dedicated to Warren Oates (1928-1982), who played Capt. Jack Braddock and whose final film this was. The text can be seen after the end of the credits: FOR WARREN OATES WITH LOVE FOR ALL THE JOY YOU GAVE US See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the final battle scenes Murphy is shot at by two F-16 fighters that miss, first blowing up a restaurant and then blowing out the side of a high-rise. In both instances the debris falling from the sky is obviously styrofoam and not concrete or steel. See more »

Quotes

Lymangood: [voice on the cockpit voice recorder] I found out what JAFO is. "Just Another Fucking Observer", huh?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Features Doctor Who (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good Effects
14 March 2002 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Very good action yarn made during the same year as the more intellegent and superior Badham film, WarGames(1983). Still an entertaining action thriller with three major set pieces. One, the chase among helicopters in the same area as the chase in Terminator 2(1991). Two, the climatic battlescene while at times seems ruthless is nevertheless cheorgraphed with some impressive effects for its time. Three, the final conflict chase between Roy Scheider and Malcolm McDowell.

Acting leads includes Peckinpah actor, Warren Oates whose performance is very good in what was one of his final film roles before his death. He is justly at home in his role of the head of his Police department, and gives us his patterned hard edged cynical with a slight humor mannerisms. Blue Thunder(1983) is one of the five best films from a director in John Badham whose career has been full of ups and downs. I feel his output from the early to mid 1980s are his most successful times as a filmmaker. Roy Scheider is professional and tough in his role of the film's protagonist.

Malcolm McDowell gives another demented performance as Scheider's former mentor, and now chief nemisis. When channeling the right key, McDowell can be one convincing menacing villain. Badham's late 1990s Hitchcockian type thriller, Nick of Time(1996) used many of the same ideas on action and suspense as his earlier film, Blue Thunder(1983). That film even has a similarly sinister mentor/student relationship as this film. While not a classic is certainly something that can be watched when one has little to do, or wants to be entertained.


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