Who doesn’t get a bit of a thrill every time a helicopter scene pops up in a movie? Whether it’s a straight-up action flick, a nail-biting suspense film or a hilarious buddy cop comedy, there are plenty of examples of iconic scenes involving helicopters.
Here are a few of the favorites of the team at our helicopter company in Montana.
One of the greatest war movies ever made also has the greatest helicopter sequence of all time. Even if you haven’t seen the entire movie, you’re probably familiar with the scene—as Martin Sheen’s character gets air strike support from the crazed Lieutenant Colonel played brilliantly by Robert Duvall, who leads his air team in a helicopter attack on a Vietcong stronghold, Wagner’s masterpiece “The Ride of the Valkyries” blares out over the loudspeakers to frighten the natives below. Not only is it an impressive piece of filmmaking, but it showcases the way helicopters were used in the Vietnam War.
Black Hawk Down
This 2001 movie directed by Ridley Scott is based on a true story about the Battle of Mogadishu. It prominently features helicopters throughout the movie. As the name suggests, a pair of Black Hawk helicopters are shot down by the Somali militia, which leaves the pilot and soldiers at the mercy of the natives in the area.
If Apocalypse Now has the greatest helicopter scene ever made, then Blue Thunder is the greatest helicopter movie ever made. This 1983 thriller is about testing new military technology over Los Angeles as a means of crowd control. A Vietnam veteran battles with a U.S. Army Pilot for control of the skies, using the Blue Thunder helicopter, a super-charged helicopter weapon. It features some dazzling aerial stunts, such as flying under bridges and dodging skyscrapers.
Birds of Prey
This 1973 movie tells the story of a World War II veteran pilot who becomes the local “eye in the sky” traffic watcher for Salt Lake City. He discovers a heist in progress at a bank, and follows the getaway car in his chopper on a lengthy aerial chase as the thieves get into an Alouette II helicopter parked on a rooftop. Again, there are some extremely impressive stunts in this movie, including flying under bridges. The vast majority of this movie takes place up in the air.
Say what you will about the Rambo franchise, but the third installment includes some impressive technical work with helicopters. There are several types of helicopters featured in the movie, with some amazing flying and stunt work. Just try to ignore the dumbest stunt of the movie, in which Rambo destroys a massive helicopter with nothing but a high-tech bow and arrow!
At Rocky Mountain Rotors, these are easily our five favorite helicopter movies and scenes. Do you have any you think should be added to the list? Leave us a comment below and submit your favorites to our helicopter company in Montana. We look forward to hearing what you think!
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