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Backdraft (1991)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 24 May 1991 (USA)
3:25 | Trailer

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Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don't get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.



4,656 ( 251)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen McCaffrey
Tim Krizminski
Alderman Marty Swayzak
Anthony Mockus Sr. ...
Chief John Fitzgerald (as Tony Mockus Sr.)
Cedric Young ...
Juan Ramírez ...
Kevin Casey ...


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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In that instant it can create a hero... or cover a secret. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 May 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marea de fuego  »

Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)


$77,868,585 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (QSound) (70 mm prints)| (DTS HD Master Audio)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Stunt coordinator Walter Scott didn't want to flip the truck, because "Those trucks aren't built to roll over." See more »


Reflected in the screen door after the "stinking spinach" line. See more »


Ricco, Pathologist: [to Brian in the morgue about picking up the burned body] Jesus Christ! He's not going to sell you insurance, pick him up!
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Adam Levine/Kendrick Lamar (2013) See more »


Gotta See Your Eyes
Written by Thomas Guzman-Sanchez
Performed by Rhythm Tribe
Courtesy of Zoo Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

Thin story, but diffucult to dislike.
14 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen this movie many times noe, and I can understand that many people slam this film for being corny and unrealistic. And they are right, it is corny, but it is acted and directed with conviction, that it is hard for me not to like it. The core of the movie the story of 2 feuding firefighter brothers played by Kurt Russell and Adam Baldwin. This part of the story may be cliched, but the 2 actors do a good job in their roles, especially Russell, he plays the elder brother, trying to protect his screwup younger brother from the dangers of firefighting. The other parts are less successful, there is a subplot involving the wife of Russell's wife inabilty to deal with his risk taking in his job, Rebecca DeMornay does what she can with a small role. The other subplot of the story is the one that doesn't work, it involves the murders of financial experts hire by a city alderman to close down firestations for financial gain. This part of the story should have been scrapped, it just chops up screen time and is never compelling. That leaves the action scenes, they are spectacular. The fire scenes keep you on the edge of your seat. The special effects are great, but even though the script is corny the actors made me care enough for what was happening to them. It is directed by Ron Howard, who usually is more successful in the human side of the story, he seems to have spent more time on the technical side of the story than the human side. Too bad, even though I like this film, it misses greatness due to a weak script.

Grade: B

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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