Blue Steel (1990 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kathryn Bigelow|
|Music by||Brad Fiedel|
|Edited by||Lee Percy|
|Box office||$8.2 million|
The film was initially set to be released by Vestron Pictures and its offshoot label Lightning Pictures, but it was ultimately released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer which acquired the film due to Vestron's financial problems and eventual bankruptcy.
Megan Turner (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a rookie NYPD patrol officer who shoots and kills a suspect (Tom Sizemore) with her service revolver while he is holding up a neighborhood market. The suspect's .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 29 handgun lands on the floor of the market as the suspect is blown backward through the front window.
As she continues to the checkout area, Turner nearly steps on the suspect's handgun directly in front of Eugene Hunt (Ron Silver), a psychopathic commodities trader. Unnoticed, Hunt takes the gun and slips away, using it to commit several bloody and brutal murders over the next few days. Because the robber's weapon was not found at the scene, Turner is accused of killing an unarmed man.
While she attempts to clear her name with Assistant Chief Stanley Hoyt (Kevin Dunn) and her superiors, the suspended Turner begins dating Hunt, who has become obsessed with her. One night, he reveals that he was in the supermarket at the time of the hold-up, and that he left with the perpetrator's gun. He also implies that he is the person behind the recent killings. Turner arrests him but he is freed by his attorney, Mel Dawson (Richard Jenkins), due to a lack of evidence.
Turner fights to keep her badge and solve the murders with the help of Detective Nick Mann (Clancy Brown). Hunt turns up at her apartment and kills her best friend, Tracy (Elizabeth Peña), before rendering Turner unconscious. This causes Turner to have an emotional breakdown. She goes to Hunt's apartment with Mann to arrest him, but Hunt's attorney prevents her from doing so and threatens to have her fired.
Seeking comfort from her mother, Turner visits her family home, an uncomfortable place because her father physically abused her mother throughout her childhood. When she arrives, she finds that her mother has again been abused by her father. Enraged, Turner handcuffs her father and drives off with him to talk, in an attempt to finally put an end to his abuse. When they return to the house, Hunt is sitting with her mother. A tense exchange takes place between the two, where they both imply that they are armed. When he leaves, she follows him to his apartment, where she spends the night staking him out.
The next morning, Turner follows Hunt to the park, where he has buried his gun. Mann interrupts another standoff between Hunt and Turner, and Hunt runs off. Believing that he will return for the murder weapon, they stake out the park. Turner sees the beam of a flashlight and assumes it is Hunt searching for the gun. She leaves the car to apprehend him, but not before handcuffing Mann to the steering wheel to prevent him from following her. The flashlight turns out to be a ruse: Hunt paid a homeless person to hold it. Back at the car, Hunt is holding Mann at gunpoint and is about to kill him. Turner appears and fires her gun, shooting him in the arm.
Mann and Turner return to her apartment, where unbeknownst to them, Hunt is patching up his wound in her bathroom. Turner and Mann sleep together. Mann is ambushed by Hunt when he goes to the bathroom. Turner doesn't hear the shot because it was muffled. Hunt attacks and rapes her, and she shoots him, but he flees. Mann is unconscious and taken to the hospital, where Turner is told that he will make it.
Determined to find Hunt and finish him off, Turner finally shoots and kills him after a long and violent confrontation in the middle of Wall Street and a bullet wound to her shoulder. She is then taken away in an ambulance.
- Jamie Lee Curtis as Megan Turner
- Ron Silver as Eugene Hunt
- Clancy Brown as Nick Mann
- Elizabeth Peña as Tracy
- Louise Fletcher as Shirley Turner
- Philip Bosco as Frank Turner
- Richard Jenkins as Dawson
- Kevin Dunn as Asst. Chief Stanley Hoyt
- Tom Sizemore as Robber
- Mary Mara as Wife
- Skipp Lynch as Instructor
- Mike Hodge as Police Commissioner
- Mike Starr as Superintendant
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 71% based on reviews from 21 critics. On Metacritic the film has a score of 54% based on reviews from 20 critics. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.
Film critic Roger Ebert compared it to John Carpenter's Halloween, noting: "Blue Steel is a sophisticated update of Halloween, the movie that first made Jamie Lee Curtis a star. (...) What makes it more interesting than yet another sequel to Halloween is the way the filmmakers have fleshed out the formula with intriguing characters and a few angry ideas."
- "Black-Leather Director in a Business World : Cult Favorite Kathryn Bigelow Brings Her 'Dark' Style to an Action Film". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- "BLUE STEEL (18)". British Board of Film Classification. June 5, 1990. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "Blue Steel (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "Thrill Me! : 'Blue Steel' and 'Impulse' put a new twist on conventional crime films--the lead cops are women, and so are the directors". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- James, Caryn (February 5, 1990). "Critic's Notebook; Hollywood Tactics Invade the Sundance Festival". The New York Times. p. 11. Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : 'Red October' Doing Fine in March". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- "Blue Steel (1990)". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "Blue Steel". Metacritic.
- "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
- Ebert, Roger (March 16, 1990). "Blue Steel Movie Review & Film Summary (1990)". www.rogerebert.com. Chicago Sun Times.
- SHEILA BENSON; JACK SMITH (March 16, 1990). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Blue Steel': A Low-Caliber, Bloody Thriller". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- Janet Maslin (March 16, 1990). "Review/Film;A Deranged Yuppie With a Thing for His Lover's Gun". The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- "Blue Steel". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 25, 2019.