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Blue Thunder (1983)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 May 1983 (USA)
Trailer
3:07 | Trailer
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
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:

Blue Thunder See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,258,149, 15 May 1983

Gross USA:

$42,313,354

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,313,354
See more on IMDbPro »

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 Aérospatiale SA341G Gazelle helicopter used in Blue Thunder was the first to employ the Fenestron enclosed tail rotor assembly. See more »

Goofs

As Murphy and Lymangood hover in Encino, the sky appears to be just after sunset. However Braddock later scolds Murphy for waking the residents at 10:30 PM while McNeely was being attacked in Brentwood. Later as Murphy arrives at home overlooking downtown L.A. with the sky illuminated, either just after sunset or pre-dawn. However moments later he scolds Kate for picking-up a blender at 3 in the morning. In summer months, the sun rises at 5:30 AM and sets at 8 PM at the latest. See more »

Quotes

Frank Murphy: [Watching Cochrane's Corvette pulling into a building] Oh, he's going in there!
Lymangood: Where are we?
Frank Murphy: Federal Building.
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

ABC edited 14 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Remade as Blue Thunder 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

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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