Imagine Films Entertainment / Trilogy Entertainment Group Released 1991




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Movie Summary

Ron Howard

Brian McCaffrey had a father who was a fireman and he was there, as a child, when he died. When he grew he tried to be a fireman but quit and left town and for a few years tried other jobs. He would eventually return and try to be fireman again. However, he finds himself working under his brother Stephen whom he doesn't exactly have a good relationship with. When Brian gets his picture in the paper and is lauded as a hero when in fact it was a mistake, a politician offers him a job working under the department's arson investigator, Donald Rimgale. It seems that Rimgale is working some unusual fires wherein someone is killed. Brian initially refuses but when he has too many confrontations with Stephen, he takes the job. And he gets a lesson on what it means to be a fireman.


Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What I regret is that all of the expertise lavished on this movie couldn't have been put at the service of a more intelligent story about real firemen, real working conditions, rea...

  • 60


    Visually, [the film] often is exhilarating, but it's shapeless and dragged down by corny, melodramatic characters and situations.

  • 50

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    While Mr. Howard ably maintains a strong forward momentum, Backdraft often feels directionless beneath its overlay of frantic activity. One clear story line would have been worth m...

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro

Donald 'Shadow' Rimgale

Donald Sutherland (I)

Donald Sutherland (I)

Ronald Bartel

Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell

Stephen 'Bull' McCaffrey/Dennis McCaffrey

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jennifer Vaitkus

Scott Glenn

Scott Glenn

John 'Axe' Adcox

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (4)

    • Music:
      Set Me In Motion
      Written by Bruce Hornsby & John Hornsby
      Performed by Bruce Hornsby & The Range
      The Show Goes On
      Written by Bruce Hornsby
      Performed by Bruce Hornsby & The Range
      I Walk Alone
      Written by David Hidalgo and Louie Perez
      Performed by Los Lobo
      A Girl Like You
      Written by Pat DiNizio
      Performed by The Smithereens
      Sunshine Of Your Love
      Written by Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Pete Brown
      Performed by Cream
      (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave
      Written by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier & Brian Holland
      Performed by Martha & The Vandellas
      In The Unpromised Land
      Written by Michael Stuart Kirkpatrick
      Performed by The Drovers
      The Granuille Reels
      Written by Michael Stuart Kirkpatrick
      Performed by The Drovers
      Written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong
      Performed by Edwin Starr
      Nothing For You
      Written by Michael Stuart Kirkpatrick & Kathleen Keane
      Performed by The Drovers
      Gotta See Your Eyes
      Written by Thomas Guzman-Sanchez
      Performed by Rhythm Tribe

    • Filming locations:
      Graceland Cemetery, Uptown, Chicago, Illinois
      Austin, Chicago, Illinois
      Fire Department Engine Station 8, Chinatown, Armour Square, Chicago, Illinois
      Chicago Studio City, Austin, Chicago, Illinois
      Chinatown, Armour Square, Chicago, Illinois
      Cook County, Illinoi
      DuPage County, Illinoi
      Hinsdale, Illinois
      Near West Side, Chicago, Illinoi
      Oak Park, Illinois
      Penn Central Freight Yards, Near West Side, Chicago, Illinois
      Uptown Theatre, Uptown, Chicago, Illinoi
      Uptown, Chicago, Illinois
      Wrigley Building, Near North Side, Chicago, Illinois

    • Taglines:
      1. Silently behind a door, it waits.
      2. One breath of oxygen and it explodes in a deadly rage.
      3. In that instant it can create a hero... or cover a secret.

    • Domestic gross - $75,000,000
      Production budget - $77,868,585 (14th)
      Worldwide gross - $152,368,585 (12th)

      Domestic adjusted for 2013 - $150,373,301
      Worldwide adjusted for 2013  - $294,241,472


More Info About This Movie


Thrillers, Disaster