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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 10,229 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

Malcolm McDowell actually hated flying and no one, not even his wife, could persuade him to overcome his phobia. During the final battle scene between his character Cochrane and 'Roy Scheider (I)''s Frank Murphy, McDowell's grimaces were caught on film for all to see, clearly displaying his discomfort at being in the air. When his wife saw the movie, she was incredulous and asked the filmmakers, 'How did you get him inside that little helicopter? I couldn't even get him inside a plane!' See more »

Goofs

In the scene on the bridge over the L.A. river where Kate is stopped by "Metropolitan" Police, the younger officer's gun keeps switching from a Colt Python or Diamondback to a Smith & Wesson Model 15. He draws a Colt as he exits the car and brandishes a Smith & Wesson approaching the car and during the exterior shots of Kate's car. A Colt is seen from an interior shot of the driver side window which alternates with the Smith & Wesson exterior shots. A final exterior shot show a Colt as "Blue Thunder" hovers from the bottom of the bridge. See more »

Quotes

Frank Murphy: Stop calling me Sir - you sound like David Copperfield!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in HeliCops - Einsatz über Berlin: Feuertaufe für AK1 (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
More Timely Now Than Ever
20 August 2001 | by (Savannah, GA) – See all my reviews

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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