Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 3.1 Blue Thunder helicopter 4 Reception 5 Cultural references 6 Video game 7 Remake 8 See also 9 References 9.1 Notes 9.2 Bibliography 10 External links

Plot[edit] In 1983, Frank Murphy (Roy Scheider) is a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) air support division officer and troubled Vietnam War veteran with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His newly assigned field partner is Richard Lymangood (Daniel Stern). The two patrol Los Angeles at night and give assistance to police forces on the ground. Murphy is instructed to attend a sunrise demonstration in the Mojave Desert at "Pinkville" (34 54'41.46" N, 118 13'11.99" W), and is selected to pilot the world's most advanced helicopter, originally conceived in name as The Special, and hung with the nickname, "Blue Thunder", it is one of two prototypes of a military-style combat aircraft intended for police use in surveillance and against possible large-scale civic disobedience during the 1984 Olympic venue. With powerful armament, and other accoutrements such as infrared scanners, powerful microphones and cameras, built-in mobile telephone, computer and modem, and a U-Matic VCR, Blue Thunder appears to be a formidable tool in the war on crime. Murphy notes wryly that with enough of these helicopters "you could run the whole damn country." When the death of city councilwoman Diane McNeely turns out to be more than just a random murder, Murphy begins his own covert investigation. He discovers that a subversive action group is intending instead to use Blue Thunder in a military role to quell disorder under the project codename T.H.O.R. ("Tactical Helicopter Offensive Response"), and is secretly eliminating political opponents to advance its agenda. Murphy suspects the involvement of his old wartime nemesis, former United States Army Colonel F.E. Cochrane (Malcolm McDowell), the primary test pilot for Blue Thunder and someone who felt Murphy was "unsuitable" for the program. Murphy and Lymangood use Blue Thunder to record a meeting between Cochrane and the other government officials which would implicate them in the conspiracy, but Cochrane looks out the window and sees Blue Thunder and realizes what has happened. After landing, Lymangood secures the tape and hides it, but is captured upon returning to his home, interrogated, and killed while trying to escape. Murphy steals Blue Thunder and arranges to have his girlfriend Kate (Candy Clark) retrieve the tape and deliver it to the local news station, using the helicopter to thwart her pursuers. Kate arrives at the news station, but is almost captured by one of the conspirators; the reporter Kate was sent to find intercepts Kate and gets the tape back, while the conspirator is knocked unconscious by a security guard. Two Air National Guard F-16 fighters are deployed to deal with Murphy, but he manages to shoot one down and evade the other. However, in the process, one missile destroys a barbeque stand in Little Tokyo and a second impacts a building in Downtown Los Angeles. The operation is then suspended by the mayor. Cochrane, disobeying orders to stand down, confronts Blue Thunder in a heavily armed Hughes 500 helicopter, and after a tense battle, Murphy is able to shoot him down after executing a 360° loop through use of Blue Thunder's turbine boost function. Murphy then destroys Blue Thunder by landing it in front of an approaching freight train. In the meantime the tape is made public and as a result the conspirators are arrested.

Cast[edit] Roy Scheider as Officer Frank Murphy Malcolm McDowell as Colonel F.E. Cochrane Daniel Stern as Officer Richard Lymangood Candy Clark as Kate Warren Oates as Captain Jack Braddock Joe Santos as Montoya Paul Roebling as Icelan David Sheiner as Fletcher Anthony James as Grundelius Ed Bernard as Sgt. Short Jason Bernard as Mayor Mario Machado as Himself James Murtaugh as Alf Hewitt Pat McNamara as Matusek Jack Murdock as Kress Clifford A. Pellow as Allen

Production[edit] Co-writers Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby began developing the plot while living together in a Hollywood apartment in the late 1970s, where low-flying police helicopters woke them on a regular basis. Their original script was a more political one, attacking the concept of a police state controlling the population through high-tech surveillance and heavy armament. They sought and received extensive script help from Captain Bob Woods, then-chief of the LAPD's Air Support Division. The first draft of the screenplay for Blue Thunder was written in 1979 and featured Frank Murphy as more of a crazy main character with deeper psychological issues, who went on a rampage and destroyed much of Los Angeles before finally falling to F-16s.[3] Filmed on location in Los Angeles beginning in the early months of 1980, Blue Thunder was one of Warren Oates's last films before his death on April 3, 1982, which occurred during post-production, and the film is dedicated to him. He made one movie and one TV episode before and after filming during 1981-1982 that were released after Blue Thunder. The LAPD Hooper Heliport served as home base for the fictional police unit while construction of the heliport was still being completed. The drive-in theater scene where Frank's girlfriend Kate recovers the tape was filmed at the Pickwick Theatre in Burbank, California; the theater has since then been demolished and replaced by a Pavilions supermarket.[4] Malcolm McDowell, who portrayed antagonist F. E. Cochrane, was intensely afraid of flying, and not even his then wife Mary Steenburgen could persuade him to overcome his phobia. In an interview for Starlog in 1983, Badham recalled, "He was terrified. He used to get out and throw up after a flight." McDowell's grimaces and discomfort can be seen during the climactic battle between Murphy and Cochrane in the film. Steenburgen commented to filmmakers afterward, "I don't know how you got him up there, I can't even get him in a 747!"[5] Blue Thunder helicopter[edit] A mock-up of Blue Thunder, as part of the Studio Backlot Tour of Disney's Hollywood Studios, Florida Main article: Blue Thunder (helicopter) Designer Mickey Michaels invented the helicopters used in the film after reviewing and rejecting various existing designs. The helicopters used for Blue Thunder were French built Aérospatiale SA-341G Gazelles modified with bolt-on parts and Apache-style canopies.[6] Two modified Gazelle helicopters, a Hughes 500 helicopter, and two radio-controlled F-16 fighter models were used in the filming of the movie.[7] The helicopters were purchased from Aérospatiale by Columbia Pictures for $190,000 each and flown to Cinema Air in Carlsbad, California where they were heavily modified for the film. These alterations made the helicopters so heavy that various tricks had to be employed to make it look fast and agile in the film. For instance, the 360° loop maneuver Murphy performs at the end of the film, which catches Cochrane so completely by surprise that he is easily shot down by Murphy's gunfire and killed, was carried out by a radio controlled model.[5]

Reception[edit] Blue Thunder was released on May 13, 1983. It was the #1 ranked film in the United States on its opening weekend, taking in $8,258,149 at 1,539 theaters, overtaking the previous #1 film Flashdance. The film was ranked #2 in its second and third weekends. Overall, in the US, it took in $42,313,354 for its 66 days of release. Blue Thunder was released in West Germany on February 5, 1983, before its US release, being released worldwide between June and September 1983. Its UK release was August 25, 1983. It was released in East Germany and South Korea in 1984. Its total international box office income is unreported. The film made $21.9 million in video rentals in the US.[8] Blue Thunder received positive reviews, being given an 84% positive rating at the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.[9] Variety called it "a ripsnorting live-action cartoon, utterly implausible but no less enjoyable for that".[10]

Cultural references[edit] An acronym used in the film, "JAFO", meaning "Just Another Fucking Observer", is police community jargon and is mentioned repeatedly in the film in reference to any police helicopter's non-pilot second officer,[citation needed] in this case Daniel Stern's character of Richard Lymangood. In the related TV series, the reference is expurgated as "Just Another Frustrated Observer". In 2017 the nickname 'Blue Thunder' was coined by the press for a blue coloured Eurocopter AS365 N3 Dauphin helicopter used for anti-terrorist duties by British special forces[11][12][13] The plot of Blue Thunder is similar to the conspiracy theory of the Black Helicopters and may have played a role in its' origin.

Video game[edit] In 1987, Coca-Cola Telecommunications released a Blue Thunder video tape cartridge for Worlds of Wonder's short lived Action Max game system. Using footage from the film, the player plays the pilot of the Blue Thunder helicopter as he tries to prevent the World Peace Coalition from being attacked by a terrorist organization.

Remake[edit] Sony is developing a remake of Blue Thunder focusing on drone technology, with Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca as producers, and Craig Kyle as writer.[14]

See also[edit] List of films featuring surveillance Airwolf List of American films of 1983

References[edit] Notes[edit] ^ Canby, Vincent. "Film View; Are Video Games About To Zap The Action Movie?" The New York Times, May 15, 1983. Retrieved: November 8, 2010. ^ "Blue Thunder: The Complete Series." Retrieved: November 19, 2010. ^ "Blue Thunder - Original 1979 First Draft Screenplay." Retrieved: April 10, 2012. ^ Blue Thunder DVD notes, commentaries and featurettes ^ a b Donner, Greg. "Blue Thunder: The Helicopter, Movie Information." Blue Thunder. Retrieved: April 10, 2012. ^ Farmer 1984, p. 98. ^ Farmer 1984, p. 84. ^ "Blue Thunder Box Office". Box Office Mojo - Weekend Box Office, May 13–15, 1983. ^ Blue Thunder at Rotten Tomatoes ^ "Blue Thunder". Variety. Retrieved: April 10, 2012. ^ ^ ^ ^ Siegel, Tatiana (March 18, 2015). "'Blue Thunder' Remake Kicks Off Drone-Themed Frenzy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.  Bibliography[edit] Farmer, James H. Broken Wings: Hollywood's Air Crashes. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Pub Co., 1984. ISBN 978-0-933126-46-6.

External links[edit] Blue Thunder on IMDb Blue Thunder at AllMovie Blue Thunder at the TCM Movie Database Blue Thunder (TV series) on IMDb Blue Thunder (video game) on IMDb Blue Thunder at Rotten Tomatoes 1987 Action Max "Blue Thunder" Game Video on YouTube v t e Films directed by John Badham Isn't It Shocking? (1973) The Gun (1974) Reflections of Murder (1974) The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976) Saturday Night Fever (1977) Dracula (1979) Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981) Blue Thunder (1983) WarGames (1983) American Flyers (1985) Short Circuit (1986) Stakeout (1987) Bird on a Wire (1990) The Hard Way (1991) Point of No Return (1993) Another Stakeout (1993) Drop Zone (1994) Nick of Time (1995) Incognito (1997) The Jack Bull (1999) The Last Debate (2000) Footsteps (2003) Evel Knievel (2004) Retrieved from "" Categories: 1983 filmsEnglish-language films1980s action thriller filmsAmerican action thriller filmsAmerican filmsPolice detective filmsAmerican aviation filmsColumbia Pictures filmsFilms adapted into television programsFilms directed by John BadhamFilms set in Los AngelesFilms shot in Los AngelesFilms set in CaliforniaFilms shot in CaliforniaFictional portrayals of the Los Angeles Police DepartmentHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from December 2015

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Blue Thunder (disambiguation)Film PosterJohn BadhamGordon CarrollDan O'BannonRoy ScheiderWarren OatesCandy ClarkDaniel Stern (actor)Malcolm McDowellArthur B. RubinsteinJohn A. AlonzoEdward M. AbromsFrank MorrissRastarColumbia PicturesAction FilmThriller FilmColumbia PicturesGordon CarrollJohn BadhamHelicopterBlue Thunder (helicopter)Roy ScheiderWarren OatesCandy ClarkDaniel Stern (actor)Malcolm McDowellSpin-off (media)Television SeriesBlue Thunder (TV Series)Roy ScheiderLos Angeles Police DepartmentVietnam WarPost Traumatic Stress DisorderDaniel Stern (actor)Mojave Desert1984 Summer OlympicsInfraredU-MaticVCRMalcolm McDowellCandy ClarkAir National GuardGeneral Dynamics F-16 Fighting FalconFighter AircraftMD Helicopters MD 500Roy ScheiderMalcolm McDowellDaniel Stern (actor)Candy ClarkWarren OatesJoe SantosPaul RoeblingDavid SheinerAnthony James (actor)Ed BernardJason BernardMario MachadoJack Murdock (actor)Dan O'BannonLos Angeles Police DepartmentLAPD Hooper HeliportDrive-in TheaterBurbank, CaliforniaPavilions (supermarket)Malcolm McDowellMary SteenburgenEnlargeStudio Backlot TourDisney's Hollywood StudiosBlue Thunder (helicopter)AérospatialeAérospatiale GazelleBoeing AH-64 ApacheCanopy (aircraft)Radio ControlFlashdanceWest GermanyUKEast GermanySouth KoreaReview AggregatorRotten TomatoesVariety (magazine)Wikipedia:Citation NeededDaniel Stern (actor)Blue Thunder (TV Series)ExpurgationBlack HelicoptersCoca-Cola TelecommunicationsWorlds Of Wonder (toy Company)Action MaxDana BrunettiMichael De LucaCraig KyleList Of Films Featuring SurveillanceAirwolfList Of American Films Of 1983Rotten TomatoesInternational Standard Book NumberSpecial:BookSources/978-0-933126-46-6IMDbAllMovieTurner Classic MoviesIMDbIMDbRotten TomatoesTemplate:John BadhamTemplate Talk:John BadhamJohn BadhamIsn't It Shocking?The Gun (1974 Film)Reflections Of MurderThe Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor KingsSaturday Night FeverDracula (1979 Film)Whose Life Is It Anyway? (film)WarGamesAmerican FlyersShort Circuit (1986 Film)Stakeout (1987 Film)Bird On A Wire (film)The Hard Way (1991 Film)Point Of No Return (1993 Film)Another StakeoutDrop Zone (film)Nick Of Time (film)Incognito (1998 Film)The Jack BullThe Last DebateFootsteps (2003 Film)Evel Knievel (2004 Film)Help:CategoryCategory:1983 FilmsCategory:English-language FilmsCategory:1980s Action Thriller FilmsCategory:American Action Thriller FilmsCategory:American FilmsCategory:Police Detective FilmsCategory:American Aviation FilmsCategory:Columbia Pictures FilmsCategory:Films Adapted Into Television ProgramsCategory:Films Directed By John BadhamCategory:Films Set In Los AngelesCategory:Films Shot In Los AngelesCategory:Films Set In CaliforniaCategory:Films Shot In CaliforniaCategory:Fictional Portrayals Of The Los Angeles Police DepartmentCategory:All Articles With Unsourced StatementsCategory:Articles With Unsourced Statements From December 2015Discussion About Edits From This IP Address [n]A List Of Edits Made From This IP Address [y]View The Content Page [c]Discussion About The Content Page [t]Edit This Page [e]Visit The Main Page [z]Guides To Browsing WikipediaFeatured Content – The Best Of WikipediaFind Background Information On Current EventsLoad A Random Article [x]Guidance On How To Use And Edit WikipediaFind Out About WikipediaAbout The Project, What You Can Do, Where To Find ThingsA List Of Recent Changes In The Wiki [r]List Of All English Wikipedia Pages Containing Links To This Page [j]Recent Changes In Pages Linked From This Page [k]Upload Files [u]A List Of All Special Pages [q]Wikipedia:AboutWikipedia:General Disclaimer

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