Imagine Films Entertainment / Trilogy Entertainment Group Released 1991



User Score: 25

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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.


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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

    Cedric Young

    Cedric Young


    J.T. Walsh

    J.T. Walsh

    Alderman Marty Swayzak

    Donald Sutherland (I)

    Donald Sutherland (I)

    Ronald Bartel

    Kurt Russell

    Kurt Russell

    Stephen 'Bull' McCaffrey/Dennis McCaffrey

    Jason Gedrick

    Jason Gedrick

    Tim Krizminski

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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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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