6.7/10
67,354
147 user 71 critic

Backdraft (1991)

Trailer
3:25 | Trailer
Two Chicago firefighter brothers, who don't get along, have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writer:

Gregory Widen
Reviews
Popularity
3,241 ( 343)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... Stephen McCaffrey / Dennis McCaffrey
William Baldwin ... Brian McCaffrey
Robert De Niro ... Donald Rimgale
Donald Sutherland ... Ronald Bartel
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Jennifer Vaitkus
Scott Glenn ... John Adcox
Rebecca De Mornay ... Helen McCaffrey
Jason Gedrick ... Tim Krizminski
J.T. Walsh ... Marty Swayzak
Anthony Mockus Sr. Anthony Mockus Sr. ... Chief John Fitzgerald (as Tony Mockus Sr.)
Cedric Young Cedric Young ... Grindle
Juan Ramírez Juan Ramírez ... Ray Santos
Kevin Casey Kevin Casey ... Nightingale
Jack McGee ... Schmidt
Mark Wheeler ... Pengelly
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Storyline

A rookie firefighter tries to earn the respect of his older brother and other firefighters while taking part in an investigation of a string of arson/murders. This detailed look into the duties and private lives of firemen naturally features widespread pyrotechnics and special effects. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One breath of oxygen and it explodes in a deadly rage. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Backdraft See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,686,200, 26 May 1991

Gross USA:

$77,868,585

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$152,368,585
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (QSound) (70 mm prints)| DTS (DTS HD Master Audio)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Twilight Drive-in near London, Ontario was to show Backdraft one night but there were problems with the projector. The drive-in burned down later that night. See more »

Goofs

During the "you go, we go" sequence, lighting equipment is visible several times See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Brian, Age 7: Leave me alone! Will you? You think you're so smart!
Stephen, Age 12: What a geek!
Brian, Age 7: I'm not a geek!
Stephen, Age 12: You're doing it wrong.
Brian, Age 7: Shut up!
Stephen, Age 12: You're doing it wrong. it doesn't go like that.
Brian, Age 7: Who asked you?
Stephen, Age 12: Who's your brother?
Brian, Age 7: You are, Stevie.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Network television version featured additional footage: See more »

Connections

Referenced in Backdraft: Igniting the Story (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

I Walk Alone
Written by David Hidalgo and Louie Perez (as Louis Perez)
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records/Warner Bros. Records INC.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Howard's film is solid, better than you think
8 August 2005 | by PersianPlaya408See all my reviews

Ron Howard's action/thriller about two brothers (Baldwin and Russell), who have some differences but need to work together to find out whose causing recent arson fires in their district. THe film is done well, good acting for the most part, brilliant direction, and a decent screenplay. I thought William Baldwin started out the first couple scenes with a bit of a constant smirk on his face, but his acting seemed to improve (or maybe grow on me), he gave a satisfying performance. Meanwhile Russell was solid as well as his older brother who is an old-fashioned bitter fireman who takes too many risks. The female performances were rather average, Jennifer Jason Leigh was decent as Jennifer a girl who helps Brian (Baldwin). Rebecca DeMornay is not so great as Steven (Russel)'s ex-wife. Robert DeNiro was great in his role as a fire department detective trying to solve the case. J.T. Walsh was also decent in his role, which was similar but expanded in F. Gary Gray's THe Negotiator. The best performance of the film came from Scott Glenn who was great as a firefighter known as "Axe". I haven't seen Ladder49, so this is my favorite firefighter movie as of now. The script had some problems, as it didn't flow well, but the actors managed to save it although i was particularly upset with one dialogue between jennifer jason leigh and william baldwin which seemed like a complete rip-off of the scene where Michael Corleone and Kay see each other again after Michael is back from Sicily in Godfather part 1. But for the most part the script was average, not bad, but saved by brilliant direction, solid acting and great action. The music was done very well and suited the film, props to Hans Zimmer for yet another great score. The cinematography was also very good, especially in the fire scenes, good job by Mikael Salomon. 8/10


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