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The Blue Lightning (1986)

TV Movie  -   -  Action | Drama  -  7 May 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 115 users  
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A private eye (Sam Elliott) battles a criminal (Robert Culp) in the Australian outback for the possession of a priceless opal in this all-out action flick.



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Title: The Blue Lightning (TV Movie 1986)

The Blue Lightning (TV Movie 1986) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Wingate
Rebecca Gilling ...
Kate McQueen
Dr. William Giles
Max Phipps ...
Brutus Cathcart
Lester McInally
Ralph Cotterill ...
Jack Davis ...
Ray Meagher ...
Norm Erskine ...
Gary Waddell ...
Sky Operator
Garry Who ...
Mechanic (as Gary Who)
Bob Barrett ...


A private eye (Sam Elliott) battles a criminal (Robert Culp) in the Australian outback for the possession of a priceless opal in this all-out action flick.

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Action | Drama


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Release Date:

7 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Blue Lightning  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


AUD 2,550,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the barroom fight between Sam Elliot's character and the bartender, the barkeep is shown with a forearm spring knife. When the knife is drawn, it is seen on his left arm, but in the subsequent fight, its on his Right arm. See more »

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User Reviews

Some good performances, funny at times, kind of violent
2 October 2008 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

At the movie's start, the villain Lester McInally is about to leave a man in the Australian desert to die a horrible death. The man with him pleads for McInally to show mercy, which McInally does, in his own way. How kind of him.

San Francisco businessman Brutus Cathcart wants the opal known as "The Blue Lightning" no matter what it costs. He calls on private detective Harry Wingate, who hates to leave the boat where he lives without a good reason. Wingate knows how much Cathcart wants that opal and, pretending not to be interested, keeps driving up the price Cathcart will have to pay him. Eventually, Wingate makes the trip to Australia because, if he lives through the experience (sometimes you doubt he will), he can make close to $100,000.

In Australia, Wingate gets plenty of help from the pretty Kate McQueen. McInally won't just hand over the opal, and his goons chase Wingate and Kate all over Australia. Fortunately, Wingate is smarter than they are.

Wingate meets Aborigine rancher Jahrgadu, who teaches Wingate a lot about his people. Wingate can relate, since he is one-eighth Oglala Sioux, and Jahrgadu declares Wingate to be an honorary Aborigine. There may have been a specific name for the tribe, but I don't remember it.

The scenes showing Aborigine culture may be the best reason to watch the movie. Jack Davis does a very good job in the role of Jahrgadu. Judging from Davis' name, and the fact he is light-skinned, I'm guessing the character was only part Aborigine. There is not a lot of detail, but most people outside Australia, and perhaps even some in Australia, would not have this much exposure to the ways of these people. There is even a funeral conducted partly in the native language.

This is not a comedy, but it is funny at times. Sam Elliott does a very good job and shows a sense of humor.

On the other hand, it is violent, as action movies often are. It's not that bad.

I suppose this is worth seeing.

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