6.7/10
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141 user 67 critic

Backdraft (1991)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 24 May 1991 (USA)
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3:25 | Trailer

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ON DISC
Two Chicago firefighter brothers, who don't get along, have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writer:

Gregory Widen
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Popularity
3,699 ( 668)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... Stephen McCaffrey / Dennis McCaffrey
William Baldwin ... Brian McCaffrey
Robert De Niro ... Donald Rimgale
Donald Sutherland ... Ronald Bartel
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Jennifer Vaitkus
Scott Glenn ... John Adcox
Rebecca De Mornay ... Helen McCaffrey
Jason Gedrick ... Tim Krizminski
J.T. Walsh ... Marty Swayzak
Anthony Mockus Sr. Anthony Mockus Sr. ... Chief John Fitzgerald (as Tony Mockus Sr.)
Cedric Young Cedric Young ... Grindle
Juan Ramírez Juan Ramírez ... Ray Santos
Kevin Casey Kevin Casey ... Nightingale
Jack McGee ... Schmidt
Mark Wheeler ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Backdraft See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (QSound) (70 mm prints)| DTS (DTS HD Master Audio)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The actual Engine 17 wasn't in service anymore at the time of production. The truck that portrays 17 was actually Engine 18. See more »

Goofs

When Brian McCaffrey climbs the ladder to the top of the chemical plant fire, the angle is so steep that he is required to use his arms to keep his balance. But, when he gets to the top, we see the angle of the ladder has been lowered. 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 »

Alternate Versions

In the edited for TV version, "Jesus Christ!" is mostly replaced with "Holy cow!" and in one scene "Judas Priest!" is uttered. See more »

Connections

Referenced in New Frontiers: Making 'The Missing' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Balmoral
Arranged and Performed by The Emerald Society
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Inspiring Film

Fires should always come to mind when the word fire fighter is mentioned. But what do they really experience? How intense can the fires be? Watching Backdraft will not only answer those questions but it will also open your eyes to a new perspective. This is one hell of a film to see. Never have I seen action scenes so intense. Adding to the strong action sequences are the powerful performances by the lead actors.

Kurt Russell and upcoming star William Baldwin play two brothers who argue repetitively due to their troubled childhood. This issue is established at the beginning of the film, which then sets the tone for the rest of the movie. What's even more amazing is how convincing these actors do this job. You actually look at the characters like they're real people and not just another actor on screen. The more you watch this movie, the more you will become convinced that they do fire fighting for a living. It's that believable. Co-starring with Baldwin and Russell are these well-known actors: Robert De Niro, Donald Sutherland, and Scott Glenn.

So what is it about these action sequences? Well of course they're going to involve fires! But what makes these scenes work is how the fires are filmed. There are parts where you see flames creep along the floor in slow motion and there are other times where the fire fighters are engulfed by fire, that there's nothing else on screen. Some sound effects in the explosions are different and intriguing as well. You would almost think for split second, do raging fires really create that kind of sound?

Even more profound, is the soundtrack in this movie. The film score was composed and conducted by Hans Zimmer. Right from the beginning of the film, he starts out with a song that brings such an honorable look at fire fighters and what they do. Along with its good cast and progression of bigger fire hazards, it really makes the movie all the more influential. It's so good, it may even inspire some viewers to join or volunteer their time to their local fire station/squad.

Backed by powerful performances, big explosions and a moving soundtrack, Backdraft is the fire fighter movie to see before all others. It will also give the viewer a better appreciation for their local career and volunteer men and women.


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