6.4/10
13,522
70 user 69 critic

Blue Thunder (1983)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 May 1983 (USA)
The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Paul Roebling ...
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Montoya
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Ed Bernard ...
Jason Bernard ...
Mayor
Mario Machado ...
Mario Machado
...
Alf Hewitt
Pat McNamara ...
Matusek
Jack Murdock ...
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:

Flying the most lethal weapon ever made... The Blue Thunder Special. At his fingertips, an infrared camera that can see right through your bedroom walls. A microphone that can record your most intimate conversations. And a 20mm electric cannon with six barrels that can turn your neighborhood into a raging inferno. But he's not headed for a war-torn country. He'll be cruising the skies of America. And only one man can stop him from using it on you. 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:

Relámpago azul  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Cochrane claims it is impossible to loop a helicopter, yet such maneuvers have been performed since the 1960s, even by larger models such as the CH-53A, something a pilot as experienced as Cochrane should know. See more »

Quotes

Icelan: [chasing after Braddock during a row about Murphy] He's finished! And if there's so much as a scratch on the aircraft, so are you!
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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 Deadly Premonition (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Blue Thunder (Murphy's Law)
(uncredited)
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 Evan Pace
Associate Produced by Reno Romano
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The original film is much better than the TV show
21 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

A helicopter is developed for police work using full surveillance technology, stealth modes etc. Officer Murphy and his partner are trained to fly it for street tests. However Murphy suspects that it has more sinister uses when he finds that the man in charge is Colonel Cochrane – who he has a history with in Vietnam. The battle between the two men heads for a showdown as Murphy gets evidence to back up his suspicions.

Made as a film but turned into an inferior tv show this film is entertaining but no more than that. The plot is interesting – with plenty of conspiracy stuff but the action is sometimes forced. Because most of the helicopter shenanigans are save for the climax we are given car chases etc to help fill the time. The helicopter itself is very cool and well used and the final battle above the city is exciting if formulaic. The morals of a `big brother' helicopter, able to pry everywhere isn't examined as well as could have been but it's still interesting.

Scheider is always good to watch and does well, as do Warren Oates and a young Daniel Stern. However the show is stolen and the film made by a great baddie from Malcolm McDowell (catch you later!) who is menace incarnate for me.

Overall an enjoyable thriller but it really only sticks in the memory due to the TV series that followed – worth watching for McDowell though.


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