6.4/10
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Blue Thunder (1983)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 May 1983 (USA)
Trailer
3:08 | Trailer

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ON DISC
The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.

Director:

John Badham
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 ... 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 filming was done partly by real helicopters, part via radio-controlled flying models, and part by static cockpit with rear projection. See more »

Goofs

When Murphy and Lymangood are called into Braddock's office after the assault on McNeely, Braddock refers to the nude gymnast as "...that twit..." (in Encino IIRC)", but his lips appear to voice a more vulgar term instead of "twit". See more »

Quotes

[Braddock and Murphy have watched Blue Thunder perform a selective firepower demonstration]
Icelan: Well, look at that, all the red dummies are blown to hell.
Frank Murphy: And a few white ones!
Fletcher: One civilian dead for every ten terrorists. That's an acceptable ratio.
Frank Murphy: [Leaning closer to Braddock] Unless you're one of the civilians!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The hardware, weaponry and surveillance systems depicted in this film are real and in use in the United States today. See more »

Alternate Versions

A voyeurism sequence has Murphy and Lymangood hovering near a window to spy on a limber girl doing a nude workout. The TV version has an alternate sequence with the same girl working out in bikini underwear and doing different moves. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Daredevils! (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Blue Thunder (Dance Version)
(uncredited)
Written by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Performed by Arthur B. Rubinstein, Cynthia Morrow, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli (as the Beepers)
Produced by Anthony Marinelli & Brian Banks
Arranged by Reno Romano, Anthony Marinelli, Brian Banks & Evan Pace
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good Effects
14 March 2002 | by eibon09See all my reviews

Very good action yarn made during the same year as the more intellegent and superior Badham film, WarGames(1983). Still an entertaining action thriller with three major set pieces. One, the chase among helicopters in the same area as the chase in Terminator 2(1991). Two, the climatic battlescene while at times seems ruthless is nevertheless cheorgraphed with some impressive effects for its time. Three, the final conflict chase between Roy Scheider and Malcolm McDowell.

Acting leads includes Peckinpah actor, Warren Oates whose performance is very good in what was one of his final film roles before his death. He is justly at home in his role of the head of his Police department, and gives us his patterned hard edged cynical with a slight humor mannerisms. Blue Thunder(1983) is one of the five best films from a director in John Badham whose career has been full of ups and downs. I feel his output from the early to mid 1980s are his most successful times as a filmmaker. Roy Scheider is professional and tough in his role of the film's protagonist.

Malcolm McDowell gives another demented performance as Scheider's former mentor, and now chief nemisis. When channeling the right key, McDowell can be one convincing menacing villain. Badham's late 1990s Hitchcockian type thriller, Nick of Time(1996) used many of the same ideas on action and suspense as his earlier film, Blue Thunder(1983). That film even has a similarly sinister mentor/student relationship as this film. While not a classic is certainly something that can be watched when one has little to do, or wants to be entertained.


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