6.7/10
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137 user 63 critic

Backdraft (1991)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 24 May 1991 (USA)
Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don't get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.

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3,597 ( 234)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

One breath of oxygen and it explodes in a deadly rage. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marea de fuego  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$77,868,585 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Baldwin, Kurt Russell, and Scott Glenn all got stunt credits for their work in the film. Baldwin describes the filming as "a rock 'n' roll shoot." See more »

Goofs

At the fire at the theater, Donald is holding the electrical plug with the crowbar, but in the next shot, he's got his hand on it and in the next shot, it's back to the crowbar. See more »

Quotes

Tim Kizminski: Hey, do you need a second lead out?
Pengelly: What?
Tim Kizminski: A second lead out.
Pengelly: What the fuck are you talking about? Get outta here!
See more »


Soundtracks

In The Unpromised Land
Written by Michael Stuart Kirkpatrick (as Michael S. Kirkpatrick)
Performed by The Drovers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Firefighting Legacy
5 February 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although Backdraft got Oscar nominations for Best Sound and best visual and audio effects what drives this Ron Howard film is the performances he got from Kurt Russell and Billy Baldwin as the firefighting McCaffrey brothers.

The brothers have a lot of distance in their ages as Russell practically raised McCaffrey after their firefighter father was killed on the job. Baldwin realizes he has a big legacy with the Chicago Fire Department and he's hesitant about it. After some issues with Russell, Baldwin gets assigned to arson investigator Robert DeNiro.

Which gets Baldwin involved in DeNiro's investigation of some strange arson fires that were set to Backdraft and cause homicides and there is a connection between three seemingly unrelated deaths.

The fire effects were great and the location shooting in Chicago a definite plus. Backdraft is the kind of a film you just cannot make on a studio back-lot which 50 years ago it would have been.

I'm surprised some Oscar nominations didn't come for either Russell or Baldwin. Their performances are so good you forget they're actors and you think you are watching firefighting drama.

And Donald Sutherland's bit role as the Hannibal the Cannibal of arsonists is one you'll remember. He has two scenes, one with DeNiro at a parole hearing and later one with Baldwin as Baldwin seeks expert opinion on the arsonist's technique. In that scene Sutherland evokes Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter when FBI agent Jodie Foster seeks his expertise.

And this review is dedicated to all the firefighters all over the world who take on that terribly important job to protect citizens from flame. After watching Backdraft you might get an insight into why the ancient cave people worshiped this phenomenon.


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