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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
3,277 ( 433)
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

One of the fire engines outside the high-rise fire downtown was Engine 51, a nod to the television show Emergency! (1972), which was also produced by Universal. See more »

Goofs

When Brian and Jen are on the fire truck, Jen's bra starts out lying on top of a hose, jumps back on her body and then disappears altogether by the time she has her jacket on. 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

Network television version featured additional footage: See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ladder 49 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunshine Of Your Love
Written by Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Pete Brown
Performed by Cream
Courtesy of Polygram Special Products
A Division of Polygram Records INC.
See more »

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User Reviews

Thin story, but diffucult to dislike.
14 May 2004 | by flickloverSee all my reviews

I have seen this movie many times noe, and I can understand that many people slam this film for being corny and unrealistic. And they are right, it is corny, but it is acted and directed with conviction, that it is hard for me not to like it. The core of the movie the story of 2 feuding firefighter brothers played by Kurt Russell and Adam Baldwin. This part of the story may be cliched, but the 2 actors do a good job in their roles, especially Russell, he plays the elder brother, trying to protect his screwup younger brother from the dangers of firefighting. The other parts are less successful, there is a subplot involving the wife of Russell's wife inabilty to deal with his risk taking in his job, Rebecca DeMornay does what she can with a small role. The other subplot of the story is the one that doesn't work, it involves the murders of financial experts hire by a city alderman to close down firestations for financial gain. This part of the story should have been scrapped, it just chops up screen time and is never compelling. That leaves the action scenes, they are spectacular. The fire scenes keep you on the edge of your seat. The special effects are great, but even though the script is corny the actors made me care enough for what was happening to them. It is directed by Ron Howard, who usually is more successful in the human side of the story, he seems to have spent more time on the technical side of the story than the human side. Too bad, even though I like this film, it misses greatness due to a weak script.

Grade: B


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