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Blue Thunder (1983)

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

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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 »



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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 <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  »

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
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Did You Know?


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 »


After Cochrane's demonstration flight, where the main gun continue to fire after he released the fire button, he stated that he had a "stoppage". A stoppage would indicate the weapon stopped firing. He actually either had a run on, a mechanical failure of the firing mechanism. Or cook off, where the barrel got so hot it ignited the rounds as they were chambered. See more »


[repeated line]
Col. F.E. Cochrane: [pointing with forefinger and thumb like a gun] Catch you later!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The Special: Building Blue Thunder (2006) See more »


Theme From Blue Thunder (Murphy's Law)
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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

FireFox Meet's AirWolf! Excellent Stuff!
8 March 2006 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

'BLUE THUNDER' Is a cracking leave your brain behind entertainment that never let's up! 'Roy Scheider' Plays Frank Murphy,A former Vietnam Veteran,who is a helicopter pilot,for the Los Angeles police department,who becomes handpicked to pilot the eponymous 'blue thunder' which is a state of the art chopper designed for supreme law enforcement, Unfortunately for Murphy the test pilot behind this superb flying machine is Malcolm Mc Dowell,who also was on duty in Nam with Scheider, and serves as the film's all too English baddie! A young Daniel Stern, is a rookie who is assigned with Scheider, together the pair unravel a deadly conspiracy,involving said helicopter which climaxes with a superb aerial chase through the packed streets of Los Angeles,

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They changed the soundtrack. pbandj4evr
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