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Blue Thunder

6.41 h 49 min198315
Roy Scheider stars in this intense action thriller as a courageous police officer pilot battling government fanatics planning to misuse an experimental attack helicopter. Added Value:audio set-up, language choice, multiple language subtitles, scene selections, filmographies, theatrical trailer
John Badham
Roy ScheiderShaaron ClaridgeWarren Oates
English [CC]
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Malcolm McDowellCandy ClarkDaniel Stern
Gordon Carroll
Columbia Pictures
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.6 out of 5 stars

1400 global ratings

  1. 72% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

B. C. SwinbankReviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 January 2022
3.0 out of 5 stars
At the time a big film
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Saw this on video years ago - great flying, but looking back on it now it's a bit ridiculous. The action take place over a city with people going about their lives whilst a helicopter has missiles fired at it by jets - which hits a new build skyscraper the shots one of them down with the pilot landing near a freeway - then gets machine gunned by another helicopter - all this with apparently no civilian casualties - bit 'A-Team'.
The Blu-ray copy is fine packaging is German, but film and documentaries in English.
However the cast and helicopter flying is good - this film did lead to 2 spin offs - Blue Thunder and the now possibly better remembered Air-Wolf.
Peter DalzielReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 August 2016
3.0 out of 5 stars
... from the early eighties so it was filmed the good old fashioned way with real stunts
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Its from the early eighties so it was filmed the good old fashioned way with real stunts, real explosions and none of these rubbishy CGI cheats.
Roy Scheider plays a hotdog helicopter pilot for the police department who has been tasked with testing out a new super helicopter.
He uncovers a secret plot and is framed for murdering his partner to keep him quiet.
It doesn't work as you might expect.
Great action and a very decent cast.
Bluray is excellent picture and sound quality and some of the documentary extras are very good too.
2 people found this helpful
Trevor WillsmerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 April 2012
4.0 out of 5 stars
One of the most enjoyable action films of the 80s
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The 80s was the golden age of action movies, and Blue Thunder still holds up as one of the most enjoyable. Part of a Summer double whammy from director John Badham that also saw him scoring a big hit with WarGames, it's another piece of paranoia turned into slick entertainment as Roy Scheider's Vietnam vet with a bad case of flashbackitis (otherwise known as Clint Eastwood Firefoxitis) gets reassigned from flying police choppers to testing out a new crowd control weapon - the heavily armed state of the art helicopter of the title. With 1984 literally just around the corner and fully equipped with computer-controlled gun systems, high-tech listening devices that can hear a mouse fart at 2000 feet and infrared cameras that see through walls, it's clearly intended for more than just crowd control at the Los Angeles Olympics, which isn't exactly a surprise since Malcolm McDowell's old wartime adversary is behind the program.

Naturally Scheider uncovers their real, albeit vaguely defined dastardly plot and uses the weapon against them, with some especially spectacular results as helicopters duel over the city in scenes that are all the more impressive for being done largely for real. No CGi here and surprisingly few model shots too, just terrific stunt work excitingly edited. The Blue Thunder itself is a striking creation, first seen blotting out the rising sun like a malignant insect, the film clearly enjoying showing off its tricks and firepower as much as it pays lip-service to abhorring its purpose. The plotting may be rudimentary and the characters one step up from cardboard, but the film manages to sell them effectively enough to never quite allow them to be completely overshadowed by the hardware thanks to solid performances, with particularly good supporting turns from Daniel Stern as Scheider's rookie observer and a wonderful swansong from Warren Oates as his eloquently sarcastic boss (the film, co-produced by The Wild Bunch's Phil Feldman, even has a rather sweet dedication to him `for all the joy you gave us').

It did inspire a dismal short-lived TV series that missed the point of the film and turned the Blue Thunder into a `good guy,' though the film itself was changed substantially from Dan Jakoby and Dan O'Bannon's original script. Closer to Taxi Driver with multi-million dollar firepower, that saw Scheider's psychotic character genuinely going crazy and shooting up the city, but the studio wanted the destruction without the high body count of innocent bystanders - it's one of the finished film's absurdities that for all the destruction only the villain gets hurt - turning him circuitously into the film's hero instead, borrowing more than a few plot points from the previous year's Firefox along the way while thankfully improving on Eastwood's film. The rather decent documentary on the special edition DVD AND Blu-ray goes into that in surprisingly frank detail, with O'Bannon even talking about the commercial reasons for his taking first billing on a screenplay largely written by Jakoby - with Alien just released and O'Bannon too ill to work full time, they could get a better deal with his name first. It's certainly a lot more informative than the vintage 1983 puff piece for the film that's also included and which has unfortunately been letterboxed from its original fullframe. The DVD special edition also includes three storyboard sequences that aren't on the Blu-ray, while the Blu-ray includes the original theatrical trailer, which isn't on the DVD special edition but was on the otherwise barebones original DVD release.

Unfortunately the picture quality on Columbia's special edition DVD isn't any visible improvement over their earlier issue, with the same rather light blacks and limited depth: it's an acceptable widescreen transfer, but if it weren't for the new extras it wouldn't be worth the effort. However, the Blu-ray is a distinct step up in quality.
15 people found this helpful
HuggermuggerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 April 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A classic
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I saw this on vhs in the 1980s. Re watching it I’m surprised how little plot there is in a film that’s just shy of two hours long. It’s a good look at 80s LA too. Enjoyable and they really don’t make films like this anymore.
One person found this helpful
Mr RobinsonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 December 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Someone watching you.
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Blue Thunder is a 1983 action thriller film from Columbia Pictures, produced by Gordon Carroll, Phil Feldman, and Andrew Fogelson and directed by John Badham. The film features a high-tech helicopter of the same name and stars Roy Scheider, Warren Oates, Candy Clark, Daniel Stern, and Malcolm McDowell.

A good action thriller which still holds up today with all the CCTV and Internet surveillance in today's world will leave you to ask which side you are on.
punisher78Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 November 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
An eighties classic
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With Roy Schneider and Malcolm McDowell chewing the scenery and a helicopter that looked so cool it should’ve frozen the sky, this was an absolute classic.

Blue Thunder is a new advanced helicopter being tested for use by the police department. Roy Schneider suddenly finds there’s more going on than just a test-flight. As a conspiracy unfolds that’ll require all that advanced tech to bring down.
One person found this helpful
Mr J D ClayReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 June 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Blue thunder 1983
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Great action and concept strong 1983 film, good extras enjoyable purchase.
One person found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 December 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely gem of an 80’s movie. Not everyone’s cup of tea but I enjoyed it.
One person found this helpful
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