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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
1,143 ( 138)
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

The crew built a machine they called the "Ash-O-Matic" to make those embers float through the air. It was like a reverse vacuum that shredded cardboard, set it on fire, and blew it into the air. See more »

Goofs

When Brian jumps aboard the ladder truck for the final fire he was just carrying his coat, now he's wearing it. 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:
  • the firemen from Engine 17 visit a recently widowed firefighter's wife
  • Stephen () has an emotional scene with Inspector Rimgale () over the fire where Tim () was burned
  • During the news conference where Alderman Swayzak () is exposed, Brian () visits Jennifer () as she is packing up her office, having recently quit.
See more »


Soundtracks

I Walk Alone
Written by David Hidalgo and Louie Perez (as Louis Perez)
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records/Warner Bros. Records INC.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Fire. A living, breathing animal.
9 February 2001 | by Dash-7See all my reviews

When you watch this movie, you'll never look at fire the same way again. In 'Backdraft', fire is portrayed as a vicious animal that breathes and devours. The story revolves around an arson investigation in the city of Chicago where a sibling rivalry is flaring as well between Brian and Stephen McCaffrey. You'll be blown away by Industrial Light & Magic's special effects and Hans Zimmer's dramatic score. Ron Howard put together an incredible, thrill-ride movie with action, drama and romance all rolled in. Do not miss this movie and don't turn your back on a fire, it knows when to strike.


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