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 <email@example.com>
The helicopter used to portray Blue Thunder was a French-made Gazelle with bolt-on parts to change its appearance. The chin cannon assembly was too heavy, necessitating a weight attached to the tail to keep the nose from dipping forward in flight. See more »
As Murphy and Lymangood hover in Encino, the sky appears to be just after sunset. However Braddock later scolds Murphy for waking the residents at 10:30 PM while McNeely was being attacked in Brentwood. Later as Murphy arrives at home overlooking downtown L.A. with the sky illuminated, either just after sunset or pre-dawn. However moments later he scolds Kate for picking-up a blender at 3 in the morning. In summer months, the sun rises at 5:30 AM and sets at 8 PM at the latest. See more »
Col. F.E. Cochrane:
I had another stoppage! I nearly killed the lot of you on that second pass. You can tell Ordnance from me, if it happens again, I'll have their balls for breakfast!
See more »
The hardware, weaponry and surveillance systems depicted in this film are real and in use in the United States today. 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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