Blue Thunder (1983)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Drama

Blue Thunder (1983) Poster

The cop test pilot for an experimental police helicopter learns the sinister implications of the new vehicle.




  • Larry Randles and Thomas Rosales Jr. in Blue Thunder (1983)
  • Tony Brubaker in Blue Thunder (1983)
  • Roy Scheider and Daniel Stern in Blue Thunder (1983)
  • Malcolm McDowell in Blue Thunder (1983)
  • Robin Braxton in Blue Thunder (1983)
  • Roy Scheider in Blue Thunder (1983)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

16 August 2010 | ma-cortes
| Escapist and thrilling story about dazzling aerial pursuits among Los Angeles skyscrapers
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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Did You Know?


The Pickwick drive-in theater, which is the site where the tape was hidden in Blue Thunder, was located in Burbank, California at 100 W. Alameda Avenue. It opened May 12, 1949, with space for 781 cars and with a 50 foot wide screen. It was best known as the site of the premiere of Blazing Saddles (1974). As it was located a half mile east of Walt Disney Studios and 300 yards from the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, it was on prime real estate and with the fall-off in theater attendance, it became insolvent. It was closed September 10, 1989 and was torn down the following month. It is now the location of the Rancho Marketplace shopping center.


Frank Murphy: Catch ya later!


When Murphy and Lymangood are called into Braddock's office after the assault on McNeely, Braddock refers to the nude gymnast as "...that twit..." (in Encino IIRC)", but his lips appear to voice a more vulgar term instead of "twit".

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title is shown.

Alternate Versions

When "Blue Thunder" was first released on video in Sweden, the scene where Kate drives to the the TV station with the videotape, involved a crazy stunt when she drives into a narrow alley and meets a police car that comes the other way. To avoid a disaster, Kate flips her car on its side, hits its roof on a wall and flips back again. In later video versions, the stunt is gone. We only see the car when it enters the alley and then we see her driving on the freeway with a strange damage on the roof.


Theme From Blue Thunder (Murphy's Law)
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


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Action | Crime | Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,258,149 15 May 1983

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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