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Trivia / Blue Thunder

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  • Deleted Scene: One scene was cut after initial test screening: Kate was arriving in downtown, and instead of making a "right" as Murphy hoped, she made a left, and went the wrong way down a one-way street, and she immediately made ANOTHER left into an alley. There was supposed to be a scene were a police car blocked her off in the alley, and she did a James Bond "drive on two wheels" move to get past the police car and get to the TV station. However, audience thought this scene was too "incredible" and it was cut from the movie. It is still included in the trailer found elsewhere on the DVD, however.
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  • In Memoriam: Dedicated to Warren Oates (Braddock) who passed away a month after filming had wrapped.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Malcolm McDowell played a pilot despite being terrified of flying. During the final battle, his grimaces of discomfort are clear.
  • The Other Darrin: On the TV series, Capt. Braddock (the only human character from the movie to be in the series) was played by Sandy McPeak.
  • Recycled: The Series: The series lasted eleven episodes. It starred James Farentino, Dana Carvey (prior to Saturday Night Live; he only did 10 episodes), and NFL stars Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith.
  • Recycled Set: The television control room shown early in the film is the same control room set seen extensively in The China Syndrome.
  • Technology Marches On: While the military hardware is still exotic, the informational systems (recording, wireless database access, etc.) look their age in an era of gigabyte flash drives, satellite wireless Internet, and ADS-B receivers.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original concept for the film was something along the lines of Taxi Driver in the air: Murphy was to have been a police helicopter pilot who went on a psychotic rampage through the skies of LA. This gets reused as the cover story for why the police and Air Force want to shoot him down.
    • The movie's visual effects were originally due to be done by Industrial Light and Magic, but because they were unavailable Blue Thunder became the first major project for Dream Quest Images.
    • For the TV series, the main character of Chaney was originally due to be played by Gil Gerard, but he pulled out because he hated the scripts - hence James Farentino.
  • Working Title: One of the re-writes of Dan O'Bannon's and Don Jakoby's original screenplay was entitled Whisper Mode.


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