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Backdraft (Two Disc Anniversary Edition) (1991)

Kurt Russell , William Baldwin , Ron Howard  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)

Price: $30.16 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
Multi-Format Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy $7.80  
Blu-ray Anniversary Edition $9.49  
DVD 1-Disc Version $9.96  
  Two Disc Anniversary Edition $30.16  

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Backdraft (Two Disc Anniversary Edition) + Ladder 49 (Full Screen Edition) + On Duty Firefighters - The Complete Series
Price for all three: $42.46

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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: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,264 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Backdraft (Two Disc Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Ron Howard Introduction
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Igniting the Story
  • Bringing Together the Team
  • Explosive Stunts
  • Creating the Villain: The Fire
  • Real-Life Firemen, Real-Life Stories

  • Editorial Reviews

    Additional Features

    Backdraft looks and sounds better than ever on disc 1 of this 2-disc 15th Anniversary Edition, and includes an introduction by director Ron Howard, who describes how he still gets a thrill whenever he sees a fire engine responding to an alarm, since filming Backdraft ("a film I'm very proud of") gave him a deep appreciation of firemen and the dangerous job they do. Disc 2 is loaded with new and exclusive features, including 43 minutes of deleted scenes taken from a work-print (including extensions of scenes in the film) that are worthy of one viewing, if only to illustrate why they weren't needed in the final film. "Igniting the Story" is a 15-minute featurette focusing on the origin of Backdraft as a screenplay written by former firefighter Gregory Widen, with Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer, Widen, and others describing the process of bringing Backdraft from script to screen. "Bringing Together the Team" runs 19 minutes, and covers casting decisions (including two real-life Chicago firefighters), firefighter training for the cast, and the logistical challenges of placing well-known actors in genuine (albeit safety-enforced) danger.

    "The Explosive Stunts" is another 15-minute featurette, revealing Howard's decision to avoid digital technology (because computer-generated fire still looked "phony" in 1991) and focus instead on authentic, practical fire effects, with actors Kurt Russell, Scott Glenn, and William Baldwin performing many of their own stunts under potentially dangerous conditions. (Glenn describes one incident where fire burned through nearly three layers of his Nomex fire-retardant underwear!) "Creating the Villain: The Fire" shows how the still-impressive infernos in Backdraft were achieved, and this is a fascinating featurette given that Backdraft was a one-of-a-kind production, filmed before the advent of sophisticated and real-looking digital fire effects. "Real-Life Firemen, Real-Life Stories" is a 10-minute tribute to a group of Chicago firemen who praise Backdraft for its realism while pointing out some of the differences between the film and the real-life details of firefighting. Of course, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 weigh heavily on these men, who acknowledge Backdraft as the first film to honor the bravery of firefighters prior to their news-making heroism in the wake of 9/11. --Jeff Shannon

    Product Description

    Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard's heroic action-thriller about the adventurous lives of professional firefighters is now available in an all new 2-disc Anniversary Edition. Kurt Russell and William Baldwin star as two feuding firefighter brothers who must set aside their personal differences in order to survive the burning, churning infernos set by a maniacal arsonist. Co-starring Robert DeNiro, Donald Sutherland, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rebecca DeMornay, this collectible, digitally remastered edition includes hours of bonus features that take you behind the heart-pounding pyrotechnics and Academy Award-nominated special effects!

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon update your details! September 8, 2006
    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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    16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    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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    22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A great film!! March 22, 2001
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    If you like to watch a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat with great special effects and wonderful, true to life character interactions, I definitely recommend Ron Howard's Backdraft. The interactions among all the actors come across as very natural, as if all the actors where actually who they were playing, making the characters more believable. Not only are the characters believable, but the special effects that continue through out the movie, whether big or small, pull everything together to make Backdraft one of the best films I have ever seen. The basis of this movie is that people around the Chicago area are dying by way of these backdrafts. It is up to the arson investigator, played by Robert DeNiro to find out what is going on. The other characters involved are two brothers who's father died serving the same fire department they work for. Kurt Russell plays the oldest brother, Lieutenant Stephen 'Bull' McCaffrey ,who has been with the force for many years, and William Baldwin plays the younger brother, Brian McCaffrey who just joined the force. Throughout the movie the two brothers battle conflict with each other relating to sibling rivalry among other things, and Brian ends up leaving the force to join the arson investigating office.. Other characters involved around the two brothers are Rebecca De Mornay, who plays Helen McCaffrey, the ex-wife of Kurt Russell. Her part is not that large, but the importance of her character in regards to Kurt Russell is definitely noticeable, and the friendship that still exists between them is easy to relate to. Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays Jennifer Vaitkus, the ex-girlfriend of William Baldwin, has a bit of a larger role. Read more ›
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    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars a flawed but admirable effort October 11, 2006
    By Cubist
    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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Backdraft review
    As a retired firefighter I believe this movie has the best effects that can be put into a movie to shoe the real thing.
    Published 13 days ago by Ruth Bray
    3.0 out of 5 stars As a firefighter, I was obligated to watch
    Every firefighter knows this movie. Of course it may be rather cheesy and unrealistic, but it still proves itself to be entertaining.
    Published 1 month ago by Christopher Majetich
    5.0 out of 5 stars great movie .i know its just movie but it inspires me soo much kurt...
    i rated it five stars ,good story line never slow and shows the brotherhood of firefighter and what they go threw .
    Published 1 month ago by carmen luddy
    4.0 out of 5 stars Cooler if you see it with a real firefighter
    Backdraft has always been an interesting movie for me. It is old,but since fires always happening and sometimes more dangerous and hard to understand than others. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Octavia
    5.0 out of 5 stars love this movie
    my husband loves this movie so much and has been trying to find it and this was the only place that I could find it for him
    Published 1 month ago by Sarah
    5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite
    One of my favorite movies ever. Now I can watch it on blu ray with special features. Also got a great deal on it.
    Published 1 month ago by Antrax255
    5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite movie
    It may be from the early 90's but its still one of the best firefighting movies ever, This coming from a 12+ year Volunteer Firefighter.
    Published 1 month ago by William Potts
    5.0 out of 5 stars Backdraft (Anniversary Edition) [Blu-Ray]
    This is an excellent movie. In any subject, this I feel is the very best Fire fighter movie I have seen. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by ROSS WOOD
    5.0 out of 5 stars Intense
    Acting only so so, but action and special effects make the film. I remember first watching this film as a teen - very cool seeing it once again on blu ray.
    Published 2 months ago by M. Turley
    3.0 out of 5 stars Great action!!
    Story - 10 stars
    Action - 10 stars
    Sound - 5 stars: Music and sound effects overshadowed the dialogue. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by T. collins
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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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