A Kurt Russell Classic Is Returning To Theaters For Its 30th Anniversary

Kurt Russell

Ron Howard’s Backdraft is almost the quintessential 1990s action thriller. It’s got a big budget, a cast packed full of recognizable faces and some showstopping set pieces achieved without a hint of CGI. The box office smash hit is also grounded in something tangible, in this case, the trials and tribulations of being a firefighter.

It was a major success at the time, landing three Academy Award nominations and hauling in $152 million during its theatrical run, a solid return when you consider the $40 million budget. However, when you watch Backdraft 30 years later, you get a genuine understanding of just how batsh*t crazy this thing really is.

Even in the very first scene, Kurt Russell plays the father of his own character in a flashback, for reasons that remain a mystery. The plot follows a serial arsonist using the titular phenomenon to murder a string of victims in explosive fashion, which is as preposterous now as it was back then.


Donald Sutherland shows up for two scenes to play somebody that can best be described as Hannibal Lecter on crack, except with a penchant for fire instead of human flesh, while Robert De Niro’s fire inspector cleaves his own backstory and arc in two during the final act by aiding a cover-up. In short, Backdraft is wild.

It’s also incredibly entertaining, so entertaining, in fact, that the movie is returning to theaters to celebrate its 30th anniversary, where it’s coming attached with a new making-of documentary. Backdraft was already a butt-number to begin with at 137 minutes, so an additional prelude means that the re-release might be one for the diehards only.