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A rookie firefighter tries to earn the respect of his older brother and other firefighters while taking part in an investigation of a string of arson/murders. This detailed look into the duties and private lives of firemen naturally features widespread pyrotechnics and special effects. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
There are three arson victims, Donald Cosgrove, Alan Seagrave, and Jeffrey Holcomb. Cosgrove is after the real life Chicago Fireman/Author William Cosgrove who served as Robert De Niro's technical advisor for the movie. Seagrave is the name of a fire apparatus (fire and ladder truck) manufacturer. The firehouse where Engine 17 and Truck 46 were quartered is the real, in-service firehouse of the Chicago Fire dept's Engine 65 and Truck 52. See more »
When Rimgale has Brian lift the trash can to prove his theory on how the arsonist was creating backdrafts, Rimgale is smoking a cigarette. The cigarette repeatedly changes length becoming longer and shorter, and then longer again in each shot of Rimgale. There is no time for Rimgale to smoke a whole cigarette, then light another one and smoke most of another in this short scene. See more »
Donald 'Shadow' Rimgale:
In a word, Brian, what is this job all about?
Firefighter Brian McCaffrey:
Donald 'Shadow' Rimgale:
It's a living thing, Brian. It breathes, it eats, and it hates. The only way to beat it is to think like it. To know that this flame will spread this way across the door and up across the ceiling, not because of the physics of flammable liquids, but because it wants to. Some guys on this job, the fire owns them, makes 'em fight it on it's level, but the only way to truly kill it is to love it a little. Just like Ronald.
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This is one of Ron Howard's better films. Much of the filming was done on location in Chicago. Acting was excellent. Especially by Kurt Russell and William Baldwin. I have heard a lot of negatives about this movie, but I still feel it is worth a 9 at least. Steven and Brian McCaffery's dad (also a fireman) was killed in a fire in 1971. Brian was just a youngster, and along for the ride with his dad when he was killed. Twenty years later, Brian has become a fireman after failing at other pursuits. Steven is a lieutenant with the Chicago Fire Department. Steven does not think Brian can cut the mustard as a fireman, and Brian is out to prove himself. It makes for a great sibling rivalry. On top of this, an arsonist is setting fires, and the arson investigator, Donald Rimgale (Robert DeNero) does not have a clue as to who it is. Rimgale is pressured by an egotistical alderman (J.T. Walsh) who wants to be mayor. Brian has his problems working with Steven, and finally gives up, and accepts a job working with Rimgale. They find the links between all the fires, but Brian finds out more. (who the arsonist is). The climactic scene in chemical warehouse is great! I was told by someone that the funeral scene was overdone. I don't think so...I have seen funerals for firemen and they look exactly like what you see in the movie...Universal Studios in Hollywood had a Backdraft set on their lot some years back (which I visited), and it gives you a chance to see what these actors really faced...This is without a doubt one of my favorite movies, and Ron Howard deserves his share of kudos for an excellent directing job
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