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Product Details

  • Actors: Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca DeMornay
  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Writers: Gregory Widen
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Raffaella De Laurentiis, Richard B. Lewis, Pen Densham, John Watson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: December 10, 1997
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (231 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783223609
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,387 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Backdraft" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Ron Howard directs an all-star cast in this exciting action-thriller that shows you the mystery, drama and devastation of fire as you've never seen it before! Kurt Russell and William Baldwin star as two feuding siblings carrying on a heroic family tradition as Chicago firefighters. But when a puzzling series of arson attacks is reported, they are forced to set aside their differences to solve the mystery surrounding these explosive crimes. Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca DeMornay, Donald Sutherland and Robert DeNiro also star in this acclaimed suspense story filled with some of the most awe-inspiring fire sequences ever filmed.


    A somewhat contrived screenplay doesn't stop this thriller from serving up some of the most spectacular fire sequences ever committed to film. Like any Ron Howard production Backdraft is impressively slick and boasts a stellar cast, including Kurt Russell and William Baldwin. The actors play sibling rivals who have been at odds since the death of their firefighter father years earlier. Robert De Niro is the veteran fire inspector who is tracking a series of mysterious and deadly arsons, and Donald Sutherland is effectively creepy as the former arsonist who understands the criminal psychology of pyromaniacs. Rebecca De Mornay, Scott Glenn, and Jennifer Jason Leigh are featured in supporting roles. Backdraft is a triumph of stunt work and flaming special effects. --Jeff Shannon

    Customer Reviews

    Great special effects.
    Cynthia Christiansen
    Howard has a great supporting cast-including:Scott Glenn, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Jason Leigh, J.T. Walsh, Rebecca De Mornay and Donald Sutherland.
    Christian Pelchat
    I found it very engaging, and came away from it wanting to know much more about what a "backdraft" it (look on wikipedia - it is a real.
    J. Gordon

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Roger Atkin on September 8, 2006
    Format: DVD
    This is actually a 2-disc "Anniversary" special edition.

    Digitally Remastered Picture & Sound

    2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

    English DD5.1 Surround

    English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles

    Ron Howard Introduction



    Over 40 Minutes of Deleted Scenes

    "Igniting the Story" -Director Ron Howard, Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer and others discuss the evolution of the film from script to screen

    "Bringing Together The Team" -From the casting room to firefighter clinics see how director Ron Howard brought together a talented team of actors and real-life firefighters

    "The Explosive Stunts" -Filmmakers reveal the state-of-the-art technology and heroic stunts that created the explosive action of the film

    "Creating the Villain: The Fire" -See how an overwhelmingly talented team of special effects creators and stunt coordinators worked together to bring the fire to life

    "Real-Life Fireman, Real-Life Stories" -Get an insider's perspective on what it takes to be a firefighter in this round-table discussion with the crew of Station 73, Santa Clarit
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    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steve Douglas TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 5, 2013
    Format: Blu-ray
    Enough has been said regarding the film's accuracy, summaries of the plot, acting and other diverse opinions so I will only review the actual quality of the transfer of the film to Blu Ray. It is for the BluRay's actual quality that I give it 5 stars and not necessarily the movie itself. The movie would get 4 stars from me.

    I do believe that some work was put into this film's transfer to Blu Ray; at least for the Anniversary Edition. The colors are brilliant without popping artificially and the color grading, all around, tends to be warm and natural. There is excellent contrast throughout the entire film and in the many dark and shadow areas, small details are quickly and easily discernible. At no point did I notice any moving grain or, for that matter, grain even when the movie was paused. No artifacting in any part of the film and stairstepping which might have shown up in the many wide angle scenes did not occur. While the cover does not say that the film was completely remastered, I would believe that it was, or, at least, taken from a perfect mother master. Mbps rate tended to average a high mid-thirties any time I checked. The fire FXs were the star of the film and the flames seemed as normal and natural as you would expect a real fire to be which is very different than CGI fire fx. Overall, the video transfer deserves its 5 stars.

    The DTS HD MA 5.1 audio really kicks your home theater system in the butt. The audio starts off slower than I expected but when the film jumps to present time, the audio fully utilizes your entire speaker system. The lossless audio codec brings a greatly transparent dialogue with it and certainly brings the many fire audio foley fx to life.
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    11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on October 11, 2006
    Format: DVD
    At the time of its release, Backdraft was regarded by some critics as an admirable if not flawed homage to the profession of firefighting. Of course, compared to the recent Ladder 49 it seems downright gritty and hard-hitting but still doesn't hold a candle in terms of realism to television's Rescue Me. Still, Ron Howard's film has its heart in the right place and does boast an impressive cast. Looking back at it now, Backdraft was one of Howard's early attempts to be taken seriously as a dramatic filmmaker and an initial bid at Oscar glory - something that would elude him until A Beautiful Mind.

    Howard's film dutifully trots out the stereotypical characters: the long-suffering ex-wife (DeMornay), the gorgeous but otherwise unimportant love interest (Jason Leigh), the crazy killer (Sutherland), the gung-ho recruit (Gedrick) who is punished for his inexperience, the feuding brothers and so on. What Backdraft does have going for it is how it shows the camaraderie of the men in the firehouse: the good-natured hazing of the new guys, the communal meals and how they watch each other's backs in and out of fires. It is very much a brotherhood and this film brings this out very well.

    Speaking of which, the firefighting scenes are well-staged and executed, done before the proliferation of CGI and this gives these scenes a real, visceral quality. It is like the fire is another character, a living, breathing organism with a life of its own and the ability to take one as well. Howard's camera is able to get into the thick of these fires so that there is no safe distance in which to remove oneself from the action. You're right in there with the firefighters.
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    Format: DVD
    MOVIE: In a much needed re-release Universal gives us an incredible 15th Anniversary set for Backdraft. Backdraft is a movie that we see so often nowadays, but Ron Howard executed it in such a way that it remains as one of the best of the "real-life hero tribute" films. The script is filled with contrived dialogue and some incredibly lame and cliched plot turns, but it's the fire footage that makes this film exceed above the rest. The filmmakers initially wanted to go with CGI fire, but the tests done looked so fake that they turned to the real thing. Some amazing scenes are shot in this film that we'll probably never see in a film again due to the fact that CGI has advanced so much over the past decade. The characters are likable and relatable, but the acting is a bit overdone. This isn't the greatest film ever made, but the characters feel real enough to keep a strong emotional connection with the audience, and that's the essence of good filmmaking. Many see Backdraft as the ultimate tribute to firefighters across America, and while the ending of the film sends a tribute, the movie is actually very much centered around the two brothers. Heroism and courage are not central themes of this movie, but it's more about embracing the people around you (not teamwork). The film also features the first collaboration between Ron Howard and Hans Zimmer, in which Zimmer produces one of his best synthesizer based scores. A really good film that finally gets the DVD release it deserves.

    VIDEO: Owners of the original Backdraft release will rejoice with this all-new digitally remastered transfer. The colors are solid, but I think they picture could have been sharper. There was no hazing or haloing during the fire scenes though, and that was my biggest fear.
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    Topic From this Discussion
    backdraft cut?
    There is no "Uncut" Version of BACKDRAFT; There's the version that it was intended to be (as seen on the DVD/VHS) and then there's the Network TV Version, which is, ironically, butchered (for airing Purpouses) and uses the Deleted scenes from the Special Edition for whatever reason.
    Jul 9, 2009 by P. Hardy |  See all 2 posts
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