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Offshore Radio on Film and TV

Blown Away

Ryan Gaerity (Tommy Lee Jones), an Irish terrorist, escapes from his cell in prison in Northern Ireland, killing a guard and his cellmate in the process, after turning a toilet into a bomb.

In Boston, Lt. Jimmy Dove (Jeff Bridges) is a veteran member of the police's bomb squad, on the verge of retirement and helping to train newer recruits. He hides the secret that he is really Liam McGivney, a former member of a Northern Ireland terrorist cell. He had been friends with Gaerity, but when Gaerity tried to trigger a bomb that would have included many civilian casualties, McGivney interceded, ending up in the death of his girlfriend and Gaerity's sister and leading to Gaerity's imprisonment. Devastated, McGivney moved to Boston and took on the Dove identity, hoping to find atonement in defusing bombs and save others.

Gaerity makes his way to Boston, taking residence in an abandoned casino boat, and tracks down Dove. He takes on the position of a janitor in the police department to learn more about Dove's present life and those of his co-workers. Gaerity sets up bombs specifically designed to kill the defusers, killing three members of the bomb squad. Dove recognizes Gaerity's work in the bomb designs, and realizes that his wife Kate (Suzy Amis) and daughter are in danger. He explains his true past to them, and convinces them to go into hiding at a nearby beach house.

In analysing the debris of another bomb attack, Dove finds a roulette ball that points to the abandoned ship, and tracks Gaerity there. Gaerity reveals that he has set up another bomb in Kate's car and activates its arming mechanism before engaging with Dove in a large fight throughout the booby-trapped ship, rigged to blow up in a few minutes. With Dove gaining the upper hand. Gaerity handcuffs himself to Dove, preventing him from leaving. Dove is saved by Franklin (Forest Whitaker), who had followed Dove to the ship, and the two escape in time before the ship explodes.

They race back to the city, hoping to stop Kate before she starts the car.  Dove jumps into her car, finds the complex bomb and manages to defuse it in time. As they recover, Franklin tells Dove he knows his past identity but will keep it a secret if he can take credit for taking down Gaerity; Dove agrees and gives Franklin his badge before leaving with Kate and his daughter.


Jeff Bridges - Jimmy Dove/Liam McGivney

Tommy Lee Jones - Ryan Gaerity

Suzy Amis - Kate Dove

Lloyd Bridges - Max O'Bannon

Forest Whitaker - Anthony Franklin

Stephi Lineburg - Lizzie

John Finn - Captain Fred Roarke

Caitlin Clarke - Rita

Christofer de Oni - Cortez (as Chris de Oni)

Loyd Catlett - Bama

Ruben Santiago-Hudson - Blanket

Cuba Gooding, Jr. - Bomb Squad class member

Ed O'Keefe - Press Photographer

Mike Starr - Francis the Barkeeper

Director - Stephen Hopkins

Writers -  John Rice(story), Joe Batteer (story),

Jay Roach(story) Joe Batteer(screenplay),

John Rice(screenplay)

Producers -  Joe Batteer (Associate Producer), Pen Densham (Producer), Richard Barton Lewis (Producer), Dean O'Brien (Co-producer), Christian L. Rehr (Associate Producer),  John Rice (Associate Producer), Jay Roach (Associate Producer), Lloyd Segan (Executive Producer),  John Watson (Producer), Kris Wiseman McIntyre (Associate Producer)

Music - Alan Silvestri    

Cinematography - Peter Levy (Director of Photography)

Film Editing - Tim Wellburn   

Casting - Allison Cowitt, Mike Fenton

Production Design - John Graysmark  

Art Direction - Steve Cooper, Lawrence A. Hubbs

Set Decoration - Peg Cummings, Bobbie Frankel (Set Decorator, Boston)

Costume Design - Joe I. Tompkins

Makeup - Edouard F. Henriques (Makeup Artist), Steve LaPorte (Makeup Artist/Makeup Effects)

Production Management - Dean O'Brien (Unit Production Manager)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director - Xochi Blymyer (Second Assistant Director), Christopher T. Gerrity (First Assistant Director), Josh McLaglen (First Assistant Director)  

Full crew credits

Release Date  (USA) - 1st July 1994

Release Date  (UK) - 2nd September 1994

Released on VHS (UK) - 14th December 1994

Released on DVD -

Running time - 121 minutes

Promotional trailer for Blown Away

Click to enlarge

Offshore Radio Connection

Although the storyline of this film has nothing to do with offshore radio, the ship used is the MV Sarah, former home to Radio New York International (RNYI).

Al Weiner, who operated RNYI sold the Sarah to MGM studios in 1993 and she was converted for her role in the film - a new plywood deck was constructed, 500 feet of fuse wire was laid leading to 30 pounds of explosives.

The explosion was carried out by members of the Boston Police Explosive Ordnance Unit.

Two stuntmen leapt from the deck just before the explosion, which sent a 300’ fireball into the air. Hundreds of windows in buildings were blown out by the explosion  and the film company was inundated with claims for damage. Fortunately significant insurance had been taken out to cover these claims.

The charred hull of the Sarah was later towed to a pier in Charlestown Naval Base where a salvage company began operations to scrap the vessel.


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Amateur video recording of the ship explosion scene from  Blown Away

The ship explosion scene from  Blown Away


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