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Blue Thunder (1983)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 13 May 1983 (USA)
Trailer
3:07 | Trailer
The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.

Director:

John Badham
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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A secret military drone program recruits a police officer for its pilot program. Inspired by the 1983 film, 'Blue Thunder'.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Scheider ... Officer Frank Murphy
Warren Oates ... Capt. Jack Braddock
Candy Clark ... Kate
Daniel Stern ... Officer Richard Lymangood
Paul Roebling Paul Roebling ... Icelan
David Sheiner ... Fletcher
Joe Santos ... Montoya
Malcolm McDowell ... Col. F.E. Cochrane
Ed Bernard Ed Bernard ... Sgt. Short
Jason Bernard ... Mayor
Mario Machado ... Mario Machado
James Murtaugh ... Alf Hewitt
Pat McNamara Pat McNamara ... Matusek
Jack Murdock Jack Murdock ... Kress
Clifford A. Pellow Clifford A. Pellow ... Allen (as Clifford Pellow)
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Storyline

Blue Thunder is a specially modified helicopter. It is for police work, but is armed and designed to counter street insurgencies. Its makers want to show what it will do, but have to train Los Angeles Police pilot Frank Murphy to fly and use it in order to allow it to operate in the city. Murphy and the project pilot have differences going back to Vietnam. The conflict between them continues to heat up as Murphy begins to suspect that Blue Thunder is more than has been disclosed. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Skies Will Never Be the Same! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 May 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Relámpago azul See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,258,149, 15 May 1983

Gross USA:

$42,313,354

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,313,354
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

After the original draft of the script was re-written, the character of Cochrane was added as a foil to Murphy and added the back story of Vietnam and their rivalry. Originally Bryan Brown was cast to play Cochran, but had to drop out because of a scheduling conflict with the mini-series The Thorn Birds (1983). Malcolm McDowell was cast at the very last minute and was not aware that he had to fly in a helicopter as the Cochrane character has to in the film because of his fear of flying. Despite that, he still took the role and did fly inside the helicopter. See more »

Goofs

The license plate number heard read over the police radio by LAPD dispatch for Frank Murphy's Trans-Am doesn't match the car's actual license plate which can be clearly seen in several shots. See more »

Quotes

Jack Braddock: [to Murphy] You know what they'll do with this? They'll burn you... me... your idiotic friend here... and my whole damn division. And I don't want my division burnt!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 14 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Get Crazy (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Blue Thunder (Murphy's Law)
(uncredited)
Written by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Performed by Arthur B. Rubinstein, Cynthia Morrow, Brian Banks and Anthony Marinelli (as the Beepers)
Produced by Evan Pace
Associate Produced by Reno Romano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Escapist and thrilling story about dazzling aerial pursuits among Los Angeles skyscrapers
16 August 2010 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Tense and suspenseful aerial action film with an exciting final chase starred by superbly crafted high-tech helicopters and F16 on the L.A. skies among its big city skyscrapers . Frank Murphy (Roy Scheider) is a Vietnam vet and police pilot who forms a helicopter surveillance team along with his younger partner (Daniel Stern) , when they spontaneously catch a secret conversation . Booth of them discover the strange project Thor (Thunder Helicopter Offensive respond ) in which are implicated powerful authorities . Then they take to the skies against a nasty army colonel (Malcolm McDowell) who will defend his accomplices at whatever cost.

Gripping , original action movie that deal with Roy Scheider trying to find the means avoid a video disk to be taken by corrupt government agents . Acceptable thriller full of intrigue and tense, this is a fast-paced , stylized action-suspense film. The tension of this picture keeps snowballing as ever close for ending . Casting is frankly magnificent, Roy Scheider as tormented Vietnam vet , Malcolm MacDowell takes honors as a psychopath who attempts to turn the tables on the protagonist before he can inform the police. Plus, a good secondary cast, such as Daniel Stern , Candy Clark, Warren Oates , Joe Santos and usual baddie of the 80s Anthony James , among others . But the real star is ¨Blue Thunder ¨ a heavily armored prototype , an Apache helicopter-alike which is secretly being proved for use in a nefarious government conspiracy . The slick screenplay written by recently deceased Alien's Dan O'Bannon . Adequate musical score accompanying the action by Arthur B. Rubinstein and inventively photographed by classic cameraman John A. Alonzo . The motion picture is professionally directed by John Badham . He's a nice director who achieved his greatest success in the 80s . He directed several hits ( Saturday night fever , Short circuit, Blue thunder, Drop zone, War games,Skateout ) , though today making TV movies( Jack Bull, Floating away ) and television episodes ( Crossing Jordan, Psych, Las Vegas, Standoff , Heroes ). Blue Thunder was followed by a successful TV series also starred by the ultra-sophisticated helicopter with James Farentino and Dana Carvey.


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