70 user 69 critic

Blue Thunder (1983)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 May 1983 (USA)
3:08 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.


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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Roebling ...
Ed Bernard ...
Mario Machado ...
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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Aerospatiele SA341G Gazelle helicopter used in Blue Thunder was the first to employ the Fenestron enclosed tail rotor assembly. See more »


The shoulder patch of the intercepting F-16 pilots was from the 6512th Test Squadron. The mission of this unit is to test fly various aircraft. They are not a front-line combat unit, and would not be used to intercept or shoot down an enemy aircraft. See more »


Mobile Operator: Los Angeles Mobile?
Frank Murphy: Mobile, listen get me KBLA TV!
Mobile Operator: That number is listed in your directory sir.
Frank Murphy: Don't give me any static lady. This is a police emergency. Get me KBLA TV right now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Spin-off Blue Thunder (1987) 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 »

User Reviews

Solid Work All Around
7 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

John Badham is a curious director and I think he gets it right in this one. After all Roy Scheider never stunk it up in his illustrious career and he hits all the right notes in this one as Frank Murphy the Vietnam Vet trying to escape the memories of his war experience. When Malcolm McDowell shows up (and honestly, who plays an a--hole better than McDowell in his heyday?) to become Murphy's nemesis. The very underrated Warren Oates as the crotchety commanding officer and Candy Clark as Murphy's girlfriend, who is the ultimate heroine of the plot, turn in solid performances. The helicopter clearly steals the show though as anyone between the ages of 7 and 21 had to just be glued to the screen watching that bird strut its stuff. Great action sequences and rather good photography during the climactic chase scene.

I still have fond memories of this film which I saw in the drive in as a kid and I think it's what films of this genre should be...a couple of hours of wild fun!..."Follow My Leader"

29 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 70 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Zach Braff on "Alex, Inc." and the Art of Directing

Zach Braff takes "The IMDb Show" behind the scenes of his new series "Alex, Inc." and reveals Morgan Freeman’s favorite on-set prank.

Watch now