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Post Info TOPIC: Blue Thunder (1983)


Veteran Member - Level 1

Posts: 43
Date: Jul 15, 2010
Blue Thunder (1983)
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Blue Thunder star.gif (1983) - the ultimate helicopter movie, John Badham's airborne thriller about testing new military technology above the streets of Los Angeles (ostensibly for crowd control at the 1984 Olympics) has the most exciting urban rotary action of all time, as burnt-out Vietnam veteran Frank Murphy (Roy Scheider), a troubled flyer with the L.A.P.D.'s Astro Division, battles with a rival US Army pilot, Colonel Cochrane (Malcolm McDowell), for control of the city's skies, using the hijacked super-weapon of title. There are some excellent aerial stunts, including flying under bridges, Blue Thunder's dogfights with two enemy (Hughes 500) gunships among the skyscrapers, and the near disaster of air strikes from a pair of F-16 jet fighters. Blue Thunder also has the super-helicopter being used for airborne surveillance with hi-tech spying gadgets (audio, video and thermograph, plus online database access) built into the aircraft's onboard systems. Apart from the helicopter's espionage capabilities (which include stealth recon), what's particularly scary in this slick, contemporary sci-fi drama is the right-wing conspiracy scenario that Murhpy unwittingly discovers one night while he's tracking the sinister Cochrane to a clandestine meeting. After eavesdropping on the villains' plot concerning Project THOR (Tactical Helicopter Offensive Response), Murphy and his tech partner "JAFO" Lymangood (Daniel Stern) become the targets of some ruthless killers, and that's when the heroic Murphy starts fighting back...

A short-lived TV series followed in 1984 - starring James Farentino - but, without the original film's impressive visual style or high quality production values, this spinoff was a failure compared to superior TV show Airwolf, and it only lasted for 11 episodes.

"The Blue Thunder helicopter was originally an Aerospatiale SA341G Gazelle, built in 1973, and once flown by a coal mining company in the 1970s before Columbia Studios bought it. There were actually two Gazelles used in the Blue Thunder production, of course. After the movie wrapped, the first Gazelle was sold to an aviation salvage company in New Mexico, who leased it to a film company making the ABC TV mini-series Amerika (1987). Later, the salvager dismantled the machine for valuable spare parts. The second Gazelle is on display at MGM Studios in Florida (pictured in 2002), and can be seen on the backlot bus tour. It is in fairly poor condition." - NATHAN DECKER




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Former Deputy Administrator

Posts: 897
Date: Oct 18, 2010
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Never watched that movie, but find the helo's design interesting...

Here's another photo from it:

bluethunder.jpg

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Stéphane



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Posts: 3381
Date: Oct 18, 2010
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Its a cool looking helicopter, but I found Dan O'Bannon's original version of the film a lot better than what was actually made.

The original script can be found at the website:



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Veteran Member - Level 1

Posts: 99
Date: Dec 30, 2010
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This is the best helicopter movie ever made!

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Matt L. Webber


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Posts: 427
Date: Dec 30, 2010
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Sure is. Its a good police helicopter I guess, but nothing compared to the real life military aircraft like the Super Cobra or Apache.

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