Blue Thunder

Blue Thunder (1983)

20 mistakes

Other mistake: This is similar to the error in 'Back To the Future III' - Murphy lands the helicopter on a railway line so an oncoming train will destroy it completely, and this happens exactly on cue with huge, dramatic explosions and flying debris. Apparently the train driver doesn't think this is important enough to interrupt his busy schedule - he doesn't stop the train. We do not hear brakes being applied - the wheels would make a noise like the sky coming down - and the train doesn't slow down at all - it just keeps on going.

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Blue Thunder mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Roy Scheider's partner is killed, he is run over by a car. After the car runs him over, his body rolls and you can see his arms swinging freely even though his hands were bound by the plastic ties. Later when you see his body, his hands are bound again.

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Blue Thunder mistake picture

Deliberate mistake: When Cochran sabotages the Jet Ranger helicopter by loosening the nut on the bolt securing the linear actuator governor, the bolt is inserted in the wrong direction. The bolt should have been heads up to prevent it from falling out as it did causing the helicopter to crash. Moreover, the linear actuator is on the opposite of the engine from where Cochran disconnected it.

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William Bergquist

Continuity mistake: When Blue Thunder is flying over the drive-in theater the shadow shows a bell JetRanger.

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Mister Ed

Revealing mistake: Right after a fleeing felon is shot dead and falls into the pool (whereupon Murphy says "He's bought it"), he appears to be swimming to stay afloat.

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Factual error: When the F-16s take off to shoot down the Blue Thunder, both planes have the same tail number 068. All military jets have individual tail numbers.

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Continuity mistake: When Frank Murphy, his girlfriend, and her son are in the car, the boy asks to borrow Frank's wristwatch, and Frank gives it to him. Moments later, Frank is still wearing the watch.

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Allister Cooper, 2011

Other mistake: The weather in L.A. sure is interesting, as well as the sunset/nightfall time. Near the end, before Frank Murphy notices the train and lands the helicopter, it is near sunset. The sky is still blue when we see a close-up of the train operator. By the time the latter notices the helicopter flying above the train, it is already night time. And just before landing on the rails, at night, the helicopter hovers a bit, and you can see that it is raining. When Frank exits the helicopter, it is a clear night.

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Allister Cooper, 2011
Blue Thunder mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the climactic chase scene, when Murphy is shot through the window, he is shot in his right arm and there is a hole in the window with blood on it. When he does a 360 degree loop in the helicopter the broken window and blood appears on his left sideĀ—the opposite window to that which he was shot through.

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Blue Thunder mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When the van gets flipped over outside the BBQ chicken place, you can see the cannon that flips the van over.

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Continuity mistake: As the Chevrolet Vega arrives at the TV studio, the roof is shown to have sustained significant damage, as if something huge has fallen on it. The right headlamp area is also smashed and the light gone. But at no time in the chase does anything occur to cause any of this damage.

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johnrosa

Deliberate mistake: The Army Sergeant that gives the Blue Thunder presentation's mustache is out of military regulations - much too thick and too long.

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Other mistake: Look carefully at the helicopter during the strafing scenes; at one point, the gunfire is not coming from the Blue Thunder at all, but from a Bell helicopter at a distance. Also, when we see the Blue Thunder helicopter during the attack, the cannon does not seem to be pointing at its targeted shots, let alone turning.

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Allister Cooper, 2011

Continuity mistake: When Murphy drives into the parking lot to use the pay phone, we see his license plate as 909 KMB. But when the police dispatcher announces Murphy's license plate, it's "909 King Edward Boy" (KEB).

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Excelsior

Factual error: Cochrane chases Murphy in a Hughes 500 which has a top speed of 147 mph and easily keeps up with him, demonstrating that Blue Thunder's top speed is less than 150 mph. The F-16s sent after Blue Thunder have a stall speed of 175 mph. They would have to slow down to the point of falling out of the sky to have a shot at Murphy. Its utterly impractical and far more likely that the military would have sent AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters after him.

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Grumpy Scot

Visible crew/equipment: As Blue Thunder performs its loop just before the bad guy's helicopter is destroyed, there is a shot of him looking around in his helicopter. In this shot you can see the camera helicopter reflected in the glass.

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manthabeat

Plot hole: Apart from the impressive pyrotechnics, what is the point of destroying the Blue Thunder helicopter? By far the most expensive, time consuming and technically complex part of producing any aircraft is the design and development phase - once the prototype is in the air production is relatively straightforward. The bad guys can make new Blue Thunders any time they like, and Murphy has destroyed the only evidence he has that there was a criminal conspiracy behind the whole programme - the 'videotape' he has of blurry, false coloured characters will convince nobody. Without the helicopter to back him up that tape is of no value to him.

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Blue Thunder mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When Blue Thunder approaches the chicken shack, you can see an entire camera crew on the roof of the building across the street.

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Visible crew/equipment: The helicopters are flying low above the streets chasing each other. Several forward looking shots show no to very little traffic, and one blatantly shows two cops directing traffic away from the set of the film.

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manthabeat

Character mistake: Following Lymangood's death, police dispatch radios a BOLO on Murphy, identifying his vehicle as a 1979 Trans Am. However Murphy drives a Turbo Trans Am, only available in 1980 and 1981. Dispatch should have all of his data available.

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