6.7/10
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141 user 66 critic

Backdraft (1991)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 24 May 1991 (USA)
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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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3,972 ( 795)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Stephen McCaffrey / Dennis McCaffrey
... Brian McCaffrey
... Donald Rimgale
... Ronald Bartel
... Jennifer Vaitkus
... John Adcox
... Helen McCaffrey
... Tim Krizminski
... Marty Swayzak
Anthony Mockus Sr. ... Chief John Fitzgerald (as Tony Mockus Sr.)
Cedric Young ... Grindle
Juan Ramírez ... Ray Santos
Kevin Casey ... Nightingale
... Schmidt
... Pengelly
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Storyline

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marea de fuego  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,723,480, 26 May 1991

Gross USA:

$77,868,585

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$152,368,585
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (QSound) (70 mm prints)| (DTS HD Master Audio)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the extras in the film were real Chicago firefighters. A casting call was put out in a Department memo prior to the start of shooting. In addition, many suburban firemen participated in the funeral procession. See more »

Goofs

When Rimgale has Brian lift the trash can to prove his theory on how the arsonist was creating backdrafts, Rimgale is smoking a cigarette. The cigarette repeatedly changes length becoming longer and shorter, and then longer again in each shot of Rimgale. There is no time for Rimgale to smoke a whole cigarette, then light another one and smoke most of another in this short scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Brian, Age 7: Leave me alone! Will you? You think you're so smart!
Stephen, Age 12: What a geek!
Brian, Age 7: I'm not a geek!
Stephen, Age 12: You're doing it wrong.
Brian, Age 7: Shut up!
Stephen, Age 12: You're doing it wrong. it doesn't go like that.
Brian, Age 7: Who asked you?
Stephen, Age 12: Who's your brother?
Brian, Age 7: You are, Stevie.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Criminal Minds: Compulsion (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave
Written by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland
Performed by Martha & The Vandellas
Courtesy of Motown Record Company L.P.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Howard's film is solid, better than you think
8 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

Ron Howard's action/thriller about two brothers (Baldwin and Russell), who have some differences but need to work together to find out whose causing recent arson fires in their district. THe film is done well, good acting for the most part, brilliant direction, and a decent screenplay. I thought William Baldwin started out the first couple scenes with a bit of a constant smirk on his face, but his acting seemed to improve (or maybe grow on me), he gave a satisfying performance. Meanwhile Russell was solid as well as his older brother who is an old-fashioned bitter fireman who takes too many risks. The female performances were rather average, Jennifer Jason Leigh was decent as Jennifer a girl who helps Brian (Baldwin). Rebecca DeMornay is not so great as Steven (Russel)'s ex-wife. Robert DeNiro was great in his role as a fire department detective trying to solve the case. J.T. Walsh was also decent in his role, which was similar but expanded in F. Gary Gray's THe Negotiator. The best performance of the film came from Scott Glenn who was great as a firefighter known as "Axe". I haven't seen Ladder49, so this is my favorite firefighter movie as of now. The script had some problems, as it didn't flow well, but the actors managed to save it although i was particularly upset with one dialogue between jennifer jason leigh and william baldwin which seemed like a complete rip-off of the scene where Michael Corleone and Kay see each other again after Michael is back from Sicily in Godfather part 1. But for the most part the script was average, not bad, but saved by brilliant direction, solid acting and great action. The music was done very well and suited the film, props to Hans Zimmer for yet another great score. The cinematography was also very good, especially in the fire scenes, good job by Mikael Salomon. 8/10


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