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Blue Thunder (1983)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  13 May 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 11,709 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?


One scene was cut after initial test screening: Kate was arriving in downtown, and instead of making a "right" as Murphy hoped, she made a left, and went the wrong way down a one-way street, and she immediately made ANOTHER left into an alley. There was supposed to be a scene were a police car blocked her off in the alley, and she did a James Bond "drive on two wheels" move to get past the police car and get to the TV station. However, audience thought this scene was too "incredible" and it was cut from the movie. It is still included in the trailer found elsewhere on the DVD, however. See more »


Early in the film Murphy and Lymangood respond to a crime in progress at the address given by dispatch as "8792 Linden Road". After the incident, Murphy tells Lymangood to call an ambulance for the victims below. Lymangood tells dispatch the address is "3920 Linden Road". See more »


[Murphy and Lymangood are flying a formation exercise with Cochrane]
Col. F.E. Cochrane: Come on, Keep it tight!
Lymangood: Christ! Any closer and we start eating blades!
Frank Murphy: [mimicking Cochrane's British accent] We're following his leader!
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 »


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

Fasten your seatbelts!
27 June 1999 | by (Essen, Germany) – See all my reviews

When I saw this One in 1983 on the BIG screen it was a fantastic experience. The final encounter between Murphy and Cochran is simply the best helicopter chase ever! Roy Scheider is brilliant in his role as a broken pilot who becomes a random witness of a great conspiracy. Bonus points also for his sidekick Daniel Stern and the evil opponent Malcolm McDowell. Perfect air photography by John A. Alonzo and superb cutting by Frank Morriss. A winner!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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