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Blue Thunder (1983)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 May 1983 (USA)
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The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.

Director:

John Badham
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4,076 ( 2,067)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Scheider ... Officer Frank Murphy
Warren Oates ... Capt. Jack Braddock
Candy Clark ... Kate
Daniel Stern ... Officer Richard Lymangood
Paul Roebling Paul Roebling ... Icelan
David Sheiner ... Fletcher
Joe Santos ... Montoya
Malcolm McDowell ... Col. F.E. Cochrane
Ed Bernard Ed Bernard ... Sgt. Short
Jason Bernard ... Mayor
Mario Machado ... Mario Machado
James Murtaugh ... Alf Hewitt
Pat McNamara Pat McNamara ... Matusek
Jack Murdock Jack Murdock ... Kress
Clifford A. Pellow Clifford A. Pellow ... Allen (as Clifford Pellow)
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Storyline

Blue Thunder is a specially modified helicopter. It is for police work, but is armed and designed to counter street insurgencies. Its makers want to show what it will do, but have to train Los Angeles Police pilot Frank Murphy to fly and use it in order to allow it to operate in the city. Murphy and the project pilot have differences going back to Vietnam. The conflict between them continues to heat up as Murphy begins to suspect that Blue Thunder is more than has been disclosed. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Skies Will Never Be the Same! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 May 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Relámpago azul See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The television control room shown early in the film is the same control room set seen extensively in The China Syndrome (1979). See more »

Goofs

A 20-lb (9 kg) fragmentary warhead of AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles fired by F-16 fighters should not cause such massive damage in buildings. See more »

Quotes

[Murphy and Lymangood are on patrol]
Lymangood: All those people. What do you suppose they're all doing down there?
Frank Murphy: Well, according to the latest statistics, about 1 million, 775 thousand of them are... getting it on!
Lymangood: That many, eh!
Frank Murphy: The rest are waiting for 'Laverne and Shirley'!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are played over a still image of Murphy walking away from the wreckage of Blue Thunder. See more »

Alternate Versions

There are at least two versions of the movie differing in soundtrack. One version features an orchestral/piano version of the theme for the final credits (seen on German television), another version features a synthesizer version with drums for the final credits (seen on US DVD release). See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Rob Zombie's Halloween II (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Blue Thunder (Murphy's Law)
(uncredited)
Written by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Performed by Arthur B. Rubinstein, Cynthia Morrow, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli (as the Beepers)
Produced by Evan Pace
Associate Produced by Reno Romano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The original film is much better than the TV show
21 July 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

A helicopter is developed for police work using full surveillance technology, stealth modes etc. Officer Murphy and his partner are trained to fly it for street tests. However Murphy suspects that it has more sinister uses when he finds that the man in charge is Colonel Cochrane – who he has a history with in Vietnam. The battle between the two men heads for a showdown as Murphy gets evidence to back up his suspicions.

Made as a film but turned into an inferior tv show this film is entertaining but no more than that. The plot is interesting – with plenty of conspiracy stuff but the action is sometimes forced. Because most of the helicopter shenanigans are save for the climax we are given car chases etc to help fill the time. The helicopter itself is very cool and well used and the final battle above the city is exciting if formulaic. The morals of a `big brother' helicopter, able to pry everywhere isn't examined as well as could have been but it's still interesting.

Scheider is always good to watch and does well, as do Warren Oates and a young Daniel Stern. However the show is stolen and the film made by a great baddie from Malcolm McDowell (catch you later!) who is menace incarnate for me.

Overall an enjoyable thriller but it really only sticks in the memory due to the TV series that followed – worth watching for McDowell though.


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