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  • 1991movierewind

Episode #110: Backdraft

Listen to Episode 110 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - In Backdraft, Brian McCaffrey (played by William Baldwin) returns to Chicago to become a firefighter just like his late father. Even though he’s trying to avoid the contentious relationship with his brother Stephen (played by Kurt Russell), who is also a firefighter, Brian is assigned to work at the same station. Meanwhile there is an expert arson on the loose making their dangerous jobs even tougher.

Screenplay by Gregory Widen; Directed by Ron Howard; and released on May 24, 1991.


The melodrama starts pretty early on. Two young kids and their father on their way to a fire. What could go wrong?


So, there's some brotherly relationship stuff going on, but honestly it never gets to a deep level.

Most of the relationships that we see are only presented on a superficial level.

You're here for the action in the form of firefighting. And that part is incredible.

The effects are mesmerizing and there are several fire scenes throughout.

There's a political subplot going on that ties to the main thing with the arson.

The arson investigation has its moments but isn't some sweeping murder mystery.

We were not wild about Donald Sutherland's character though.

But, hey, it doesn't skimp on the action.

And of course, the heroics.

Awards Talk: It earned Oscar nominations for Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Effects Editing. At the MTV Movie Awards, it was nominated for Best Action Sequence, Best Movie, and was part of the fake category Best Blowups


This week our true crime segment talks about Raymond Hoff, who inspired the Backdraft story

We're also highlighting the real Don Rimgale (Robert De Niro's character in the movie)

We also had to talk about the Backdraft Experience at Universal Studios, which is no longer in operation.


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 2 1/2 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - This is one of the few movies about firefighting, so if there was ever an urge to watch a fire-centric film then this would make the cut by default. However, even though neither of us were bored or hated it by any means, there's very little substance in the plot and characters to compete with the incredible action and fire effects.

If you want to watch Backdraft, as of this recording in April 2023, it’s available on Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


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Join us next time for Retreat of the Godfather available on VHS


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