IMDb > Blue Thunder (1983)
Blue Thunder
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Blue Thunder (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
6.3/10   10,460 votes »
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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Dan O'Bannon (written by) &
Don Jakoby (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Blue Thunder on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 May 1983 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Skies Will Never Be the Same! See more »
Plot:
The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Somebody is watching you, me, and them. See more (64 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Roy Scheider ... Officer Frank Murphy

Warren Oates ... Capt. Jack Braddock

Candy Clark ... Kate

Daniel Stern ... Officer Richard Lymangood
Paul Roebling ... Icelan

David Sheiner ... Fletcher

Joe Santos ... Montoya

Malcolm McDowell ... Col. F.E. Cochrane
Ed Bernard ... Sgt. Short
Jason Bernard ... Mayor
Mario Machado ... Himself

James Murtaugh ... Alf Hewitt
Pat McNamara ... Matusek
Jack Murdock ... Kress
Clifford A. Pellow ... Allen (as Clifford Pellow)
Paul Lambert ... Holmes
Phil Feldman ... Col. Coe
John Garber ... Tough Mechanic
Anthony James ... Grundelius
Robin Braxton ... Diane McNeely (as Robin Brantos)
Anna Forrest ... Nudy Lucy
Ricky Slyter ... Timmy
Reid Cruickshanks ... Chief of Police
Billy Ray Sharkey ... Air Controller
Fred Slyter ... Air Controller
John Gladstein ... Fighter Pilot
Ross Reynolds ... Helicoper Pilot
Karl A. Wickman ... Helicopter Pilot
James W. Gavin ... Helicopter Pilot
Thomas H. Friedkin ... Helicopter Pilot (as Tom Friedkin)

James Read ... Policeman at Bridge
Mickey Gilbert ... Policeman
William T. Lane ... Policeman (as Bill Lane)
Lolly Boroff ... TV Director
Patti Clifton ... Hooker
Ernest Harada ... John
Frances E. Nealy ... Mayor's Aide
Jose Pepe R. Gonzales ... Drive-In Custodian
Jerry Ziesmer ... Pilot
Tom Lawrence ... Observer
John Ashby ... Thief

Tony Brubaker ... Thief
Norman Alexander Gibbs ... Man in Beanie
Bill M. Ryusaki ... Vietcong Soldier (as Bill Ryusaki)

Gary Davis ... Motorcycle Cop

Thomas Rosales Jr. ... Thug (as Tom Rosales)
Larry Randles ... Thug
Peter Miller ... Detective
Mike H. McGaughy ... Observer (as Mike McGaughy)
Calvin Bronx
Lucinda Crosby ... Bel-Air Woman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

John Badham ... TV Director (uncredited)
Shaaron Claridge ... Police Dispatcher (voice) (uncredited)
Eurlyne Epper ... Girl with Bike (uncredited)

Ted King ... Car Crash Rescuer (uncredited)
Terry Leonard ... Assault Man (uncredited)
Frank Morriss ... F-16 Pilot (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Badham 
 
Writing credits
Dan O'Bannon (written by) &
Don Jakoby (written by)

Dean Riesner  uncredited

Produced by
Gordon Carroll .... producer
Gregg Champion .... associate producer
Phil Feldman .... executive producer
Andrew Fogelson .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Arthur B. Rubinstein 
 
Cinematography by
John A. Alonzo 
 
Film Editing by
Edward M. Abroms 
Frank Morriss 
 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
 
Production Design by
Sydney Z. Litwack 
 
Art Direction by
Bernie Cutler 
 
Costume Design by
Marianna Elliott 
 
Makeup Department
Greg LaCava .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gregg Champion .... second unit director
Kevin G. Cremin .... first assistant director: second unit (as Kevin Cremin)
Tom Davies .... second assistant director
James W. Gavin .... second unit director: aerial
Terry Leonard .... second unit director: stunt
Jerry Ziesmer .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Larry Clark Bird .... property master
Carmine Goglia .... stand-by painter
Philip Harrison .... visual consultant
 
Sound Department
Roy Bean .... cable person
Don Digirolamo .... sound re-recording mixer
John Glascock .... sound mixer
Robert Glass .... sound re-recording mixer
Robert Knudson .... sound re-recording mixer
Anthony Marinelli .... special sound effects
Alma Martinez .... adr
Dennis S. Sands .... music scoring mixer
John Roesch .... foley artist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
James Fredburg .... special effects technician
Chuck Gaspar .... special effects coordinator
Jeff Jarvis .... special effects supervisor
Richard Ratliff .... special effects
Richard Stutsman .... special effects technician
Jeffrey A. Wischnack .... special effects technician
Gary Zink .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Rocco Gioffre .... matte artist
Tom Pahk .... model maker
Keith Shartle .... motion control production assistant
Hoyt Yeatman .... motion control supervisor
Eric Guaglione .... tracker/matchmover: DQI (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Monty Jordan .... stunt coordinator
John Ashby .... stunts (uncredited)
Gregory J. Barnett .... stunts (uncredited)
May Boss .... stunts (uncredited)
Colvin Brock .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Brubaker .... stunts (uncredited)
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Steve Cremin .... stunts (uncredited)
Alex Daniels .... stunts (uncredited)
Gary Davis .... stunts (uncredited)
Kevin Donnelly .... stunt double: pilot (uncredited)
Kevin Donnelly .... stunts (uncredited)
Ted Duncan .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Greg Wayne Elam .... stunts (uncredited)
Kenny Endoso .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Glory Fioramonti .... stunts (uncredited)
Mickey Gilbert .... stunts (uncredited)
Clifford Happy .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Hice .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Holt .... stunts (uncredited)
Jeff Imada .... stunts (uncredited)
William T. Lane .... stunts (uncredited)
Julius LeFlore .... stunts (uncredited)
Terry Leonard .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Terry Leonard .... stunts (uncredited)
Mike H. McGaughy .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill McIntosh .... stunts (uncredited)
Gary McLarty .... stunts (uncredited)
John Meier .... stunts (uncredited)
Bennie Moore .... stunts (uncredited)
Jeff Ramsey .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Randles .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Thomas Rosales Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
Kerry Rossall .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill M. Ryusaki .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Scheiwiller .... stunts (uncredited)
Ben Scott .... stunts (uncredited)
John-Clay Scott .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Stone .... stunts (uncredited)
Michael M. Vendrell .... stunts (uncredited)
Rock A. Walker .... stunts (uncredited)
George P. Wilbur .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Wayne Baker .... assistant camera: second unit
Michael Barrett .... set lighting technician
Thomas Del Ruth .... director of photography: additional photography
Paul Jacobsen .... set lighting technician
Michael Douglas Middleton .... still photographer: location
John C. Moulds .... camera operator: second unit
Michael D. O'Shea .... camera operator
Dutch Presley .... best boy electric
Stuart A. Spohn .... gaffer
Kenji Takama .... camera operator
Rod Weaver .... set lighting electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Norman A. Burza .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Ben Williams .... apprentice editor non-credited
Clay Mitchell .... assistant to editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Laurie Higgins Tobias .... music editor
Anthony Marinelli .... musician: synthesizer
Anthony Marinelli .... song producer
Antonio Romano .... music contractor (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Robert Neilson .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Norman Gan .... assistant to the producer
Ernie Gustafsson .... helicopter mechanic
Dana Satler Hankins .... assistant to director
Anthony Marinelli .... synthesizer programmer
Art Scholl .... pilot
Earl Wingard .... publicist
Laurie Arnow-Epstein .... construction accountant (uncredited)
Chip Fowler .... production coordinator (uncredited)
Robert H. Lemer .... associate to producer (uncredited)
Jane Lockwood .... production staff (uncredited)
B.J. Smith .... set medic (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Warren Oates .... in memory of
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
109 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
During filming of the "ambush", where Cochrane ambushs Murphy's Blue Thunder at that incomplete skyscraper, the MD-5 Defender (the one Cochrane flew) had an engine failure and had to auto-rotate to a landing below. Fortunately, the parking lot was cleared and the pilot walked away uninjured, and the helicopter was only slightly damaged.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: A dent in the roof of Kate's Vega disappears and reappears throughout the film.See more »
Quotes:
[after the demonstration, Murphy and Braddock walk over to meet Blue Thunder's pilot]
Frank Murphy:[recognizes Cochrane as the pilot] Well, what do you know!
Jack Braddock:Friend of yours?
Frank Murphy:[smiling ruefully] An old war buddy. Bastard tried to have me court-martialed once.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "80's Dan: Automan (#1.1)" (2011)See more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the DVD Version and the VHS/Laserdisc Versions?
See more »
33 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
Somebody is watching you, me, and them., 23 February 2006
Author: scootwhoman from United States

One of the things that really caught my attention about this film was the brief blurb at the beginning which stated something to the effect of "All of the surveillance equipment depicted in this film exists and is in use in the United States." Knowing what I do of technology, I am not surprised that those capabilities existed back then. However, I received a powerful demonstration of the stealth technology called "whisper mode" in the film, a couple of years after seeing it. I live near a major U.S. Army firing range, and our local airport hosts a considerable amount of military traffic. At this particular time, I was renting a house about one kilometer from the airport. I went out for a walk late one Sunday night, and, shortly after leaving the house, I heard a noise I could not identify. It was a loud hissing sound, 'which seemed very close at hand, but I could not locate the source, until I looked up. Passing overhead at about 200 meters was a Chinook helicopter, the type with two rotors, and fuselage that looks kind of like a banana. Normally, the rotor noise on these cargo helicopters will rattle windows, but this baby was tip-toeing out of town very quietly. If I had been indoors, I never would have heard it. This made me completely rethink the sequence where the helicopter was hovering right outside of a building, and the people inside couldn't hear it! I took it for artistic license at the time, but the demonstration I witnessed of "whisper mode" made it seem entirely feasible.

This film appealed to me strongly, for several reasons. I am a techno freak, to begin with, and I love anything that flies. Also, the characters in the movie are amazingly human, kooky, (especially the lead characters wife,) and easy to identify with. And the kind of shenanigans the Feds were trying to pull seem all too realistic to me, in light of some of the things that they have been caught doing! And I loved the response of sending a couple of F-15's armed with missiles after the renegade, when he is stooging around in downtown Los Angeles. Missiles are not known for being highly selective when they are of the heat seeking type, and urban areas are rich with thermal signatures which can confuse the tiny brain packed into an air-to-air missile. The filmmakers actually downplayed the havoc that could result from launching such weapons in a downtown area.

I found the film to be an enjoyable, realistic, thought provoking experience, which I would recommend to most people. The hardware is not the star, thanks to the excellent work of Roy Scheider and his supporting cast, and the dialog is tight and realistic. When informed that one of the suspects in a liquor store robbery is wearing a Hawiian shirt and a cowboy hat, Scheider's character says, "What ever happened to being inconspicuous?"

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