“This ship is equipped with a forward-mounted, twenty-millimeter electric cannon. Its six barrels are capable of firing four thousand rounds of ammunition per minute. And that, gentlemen, is one hell of a shit-storm in anybody’s language!”
(Pardon our French, of course.)
Officer Frank Murphy was a loner, a rogue, and a loose cannon… so when the Metropolitan Police Department (the LAPD is never explicitly mentioned) needs a pilot for their new multi-million dollar, experimental, rotor-topped machine of death, well–– who else would they call?
Sure, maybe they should have gone with someone a little more, um, disciplined, but then we wouldn’t have been granted that bit of big-bang-boom movie-making from 1983 known as Blue Thunder.
Director John Badham moved into the ‘action’ phase of his career with this testosterone-fueled aerial adventure. Starring Roy Scheider, Malcolm McDowell, and a very young Daniel Stern as Officer Lymangood, Blue Thunder exploded onto movie screens in May 1983.
The story of a man who uses nothing but firepower and cunning to uncover a nefarious plot and put the bad guys in their place, it not only features some of the best helicopter sequences ever filmed (360! Wooooo!), it also stands on its own as a pretty fun (in a kick-ass way) movie. Heck, we might even go so far as to say that 1988′s Die Hard should have been called Blue Thunder in a skyscraper.
Blue Thunder not only proved that Scheider still had it (fully eight years removed from Jaws), it let Hollywood know that Badham was here to stay–– WarGames, American Flyers, and (yay!) Short Circuit were all right around the corner.
By the time the year was out, Blue Thunder would earn $42 million, bump Flashdance from the top spot in its opening weekend, and it would go on to finish the year as the #17 movie.
And sure… that loop that Murphy does at the end may have been filmed with a remote control model, but that doesn’t mean we love this flick any less.
We ♥ Blue Thunder.