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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 »





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


The Skies Will Never Be the Same! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 May 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Relámpago azul  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the re-writes of Dan O'Bannon's and Don Jakoby's original screenplay was entitled "Whisper Mode". See more »


Murphy is wearing street clothes when he gets into Blue Thunder to listen to Lymangood's tape. He is not wearing the green wristbands he wears when flying (and probably wouldn't have them with him), yet after he takes off, he is wearing them. See more »


Lymangood: Thermograph check ok. Whisper mode check ok. Let's see what's on HBO tonight ok?
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Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Incredible Hulk: Darkness and Light: Part 1 (1996) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An under-rated gem..
15 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

I first saw Blue Thunder as a kid at the time of its release and enjoyed it purely as a slice of action/adventure typical of its time. I could name many films from the early 80s of a similar ilk, but this one stuck in my mind as a real favourite and it was only when I re-watched it recently that I understood why.

Unlike other films in the genre, Blue Thunder always strikes me as having been thought about and crafted in a very careful way. In fact I didn't remember there being as little action as there is. Instead we are given far more character development than we might be accustomed to, thereby enhancing the final aerial drama because we do care about the people involved.

Roy Scheider(who I must confess is my favourite actor of his era) gives a standout performance. His portrayal of Murphy with its wry humour & very human lapses shares more than a little with a certain Chief Brody, but the use of an aging rebel with little cause as the main character in a technological thriller is still refreshing now.

Malcolm McDowell gives the sort of OTT villainous performance that only he can (why has no-one ever cast him as a Bond villain?) and special mention must go to Warren Oates as Scheider's long-suffering boss.

The helicopter looks awesome with cool gadgets aplenty but it isn't the star here, Scheider is. Move over Top Gun, Airwolf, Wings of the Apache, et al; this is the number 1 fly-boy in town.

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