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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
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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A secret military drone program recruits a police officer for its pilot program. Inspired by the 1983 film, 'Blue Thunder'.

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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:

Flying the most lethal weapon ever made... The Blue Thunder Special. At his fingertips, an infrared camera that can see right through your bedroom walls. A microphone that can record your most intimate conversations. And a 20mm electric cannon with six barrels that can turn your neighborhood into a raging inferno. But he's not headed for a war-torn country. He'll be cruising the skies of America. And only one man can stop him from using it on you. 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

A defense contractor offered to donate 50 million rounds of live ammunition for use in Blue Thunder's Gatling cannon during certain scenes. John Badham declined the offer. See more »

Goofs

When the fighter pilot ejects they show him pulling a handle on the side of the seat. F-16 aircraft have ACES II seats, and the ejection handle is in the front of the seat, between the pilot's legs. See more »

Quotes

Frank Murphy: Stop calling me Sir - you sound like David Copperfield!
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

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 Glitch! (1988) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An under-rated gem..
15 December 2001 | by whizzkid74See all my reviews

I first saw Blue Thunder as a kid at the time of its release and enjoyed it purely as a slice of action/adventure typical of its time. I could name many films from the early 80s of a similar ilk, but this one stuck in my mind as a real favourite and it was only when I re-watched it recently that I understood why.

Unlike other films in the genre, Blue Thunder always strikes me as having been thought about and crafted in a very careful way. In fact I didn't remember there being as little action as there is. Instead we are given far more character development than we might be accustomed to, thereby enhancing the final aerial drama because we do care about the people involved.

Roy Scheider(who I must confess is my favourite actor of his era) gives a standout performance. His portrayal of Murphy with its wry humour & very human lapses shares more than a little with a certain Chief Brody, but the use of an aging rebel with little cause as the main character in a technological thriller is still refreshing now.

Malcolm McDowell gives the sort of OTT villainous performance that only he can (why has no-one ever cast him as a Bond villain?) and special mention must go to Warren Oates as Scheider's long-suffering boss.

The helicopter looks awesome with cool gadgets aplenty but it isn't the star here, Scheider is. Move over Top Gun, Airwolf, Wings of the Apache, et al; this is the number 1 fly-boy in town.


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