6.7/10
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139 user 66 critic

Backdraft (1991)

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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.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writer:

Gregory Widen
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Popularity
1,281 ( 1,224)
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:

Silently behind a door, it waits. 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:

Marea de fuego 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:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There's a scene where John Adcox (Scott Glenn) breaks out the windows of a Mercedes-Benz that is blocking a fire hydrant, in order to snake the hose through the car to access the hydrant. On the night of April 9, 2014, the Boston Fire Department was forced to break out the windows of a BMW that was blocking a fire hydrant, so they could respond to an eight-alarm fire across the street from the hydrant. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie the fire trucks exit the south facing doors of the fire house and we can see a setting sun in the western sky in the background. When they are filming from an aircraft, we can see the Chicago skyline with the first light of sunrise in the background. The only way you could view the Chicago skyline after sunset is from a boat on Lake Michigan. If it was evening in the view from the aircraft, there would be a lot more traffic on the roads. The scene was likely filmed early on a Sunday morning to minimize traffic disruption. 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

Featured in Anime Abandon: Blue Submarine No.6 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Show Goes On
Written by Bruce Hornsby (as B.R. Hornsby)
Performed by Bruce Hornsby & The Range (as Bruce Hornsby and The Range)
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Blockbuster Movie
27 October 2002 | by wlmlblSee all my reviews

This is one of Ron Howard's better films. Much of the filming was done on location in Chicago. Acting was excellent. Especially by Kurt Russell and William Baldwin. I have heard a lot of negatives about this movie, but I still feel it is worth a 9 at least. Steven and Brian McCaffery's dad (also a fireman) was killed in a fire in 1971. Brian was just a youngster, and along for the ride with his dad when he was killed. Twenty years later, Brian has become a fireman after failing at other pursuits. Steven is a lieutenant with the Chicago Fire Department. Steven does not think Brian can cut the mustard as a fireman, and Brian is out to prove himself. It makes for a great sibling rivalry. On top of this, an arsonist is setting fires, and the arson investigator, Donald Rimgale (Robert DeNero) does not have a clue as to who it is. Rimgale is pressured by an egotistical alderman (J.T. Walsh) who wants to be mayor. Brian has his problems working with Steven, and finally gives up, and accepts a job working with Rimgale. They find the links between all the fires, but Brian finds out more. (who the arsonist is). The climactic scene in chemical warehouse is great! I was told by someone that the funeral scene was overdone. I don't think so...I have seen funerals for firemen and they look exactly like what you see in the movie...Universal Studios in Hollywood had a Backdraft set on their lot some years back (which I visited), and it gives you a chance to see what these actors really faced...This is without a doubt one of my favorite movies, and Ron Howard deserves his share of kudos for an excellent directing job


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