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Backdraft (1991)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  24 May 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 54,739 users   Metascore: 38/100
Reviews: 131 user | 60 critic | 12 from

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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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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:





Release Date:

24 May 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marea de fuego  »

Box Office


$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?


To draw audiences into the intensity of real fire, a cameraman was outfitted in fire-proof suit and wandered through the flames with a hand-held camera. See more »


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 »


Ronald Bartel: The funny thing about firemen is... Night and day they are always firemen.
See more »


Referenced in Just Shoot Me!: Pass the Salt (1998) See more »


Arranged and Performed by The Emerald Society
See more »

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User Reviews

Backdraft A Movie Definitely Worth Watching
5 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Backdraft is a movie definitely worth watching from famous director Ron Howard who continues to show his skill as a filmmaker with this one. Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De Mornay, and Robert De Niro are great in the movie bringing to life these believable characters we see on the screen. The rest of the cast are admirable in their small roles including J.T. Walsh, Jason Gedrick, and Donald Sutherland. Its better to watch this movie without knowing too much about it because if you do than you're going to be in for a heck of a movie experience. The film tells story of two brothers (Russell and Baldwin) in the fire department whose bond is tested as mysterious murders begin to occur by a dangerous arsonist on the loose. Backdraft is an excellent story about fire fighters with realistic action for the most part, suspense, some humor, and a little romance that make for an enjoyable movie to watch. The film did seem to drag a little near the end but its one flaw so the good more than outweighs the bad. If you're looking for an entertaining movie to watch that's worth your time and money then see Backdraft. You can't go wrong with this film. It's definitely one of Ron Howards best movies on par with Apollo 13 and A Beautitful Mind. It's really that good.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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