You be the Critic: “Backdraft”

BackdraftOak Park Arms presents its popular series “You Be the Critic” at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. The 1991 film “Backdraft” will be viewed and reviewed with radio announcer Dan Kane.

Written by Gregory Widen and directed by Ron Howard, this action thriller stars Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Donald Sutherland, Robert De Niro and J.T. Walsh.

Chicago firefighters cope with a serial arsonist who uses a fictional chemical substance (trychtichlorate) to set fires across the region. Rookie firefighter Brian McCaffrey (Baldwin) tries to earn the respect of his older brother, firefighter Stephen “Bull” (Russell), but Stephen is convinced his brother is not cut out for his line of work.

When Brian is transferred to a “safe” assignment, he helps an arson investigator, Donald Rimgale (De Niro), make sense of a series of fires involving an oxygen-induced ball of fire called a backdraft. The investigation reveals a link between corrupt Alderman Marty Swayzak (Walsh) and imprisoned pyromaniac Ronald Bartel (Sutherland). As more evidence is collected, Brian beings to suspect that his brother – a much-decorated hero – may be the “inside” man setting up the arsons.

Domestically the film grossed more than $77 million and more than $74 million from foreign markets making it the highest grossing film ever made about firefighters. The film received three Academy Awards nominations and grossed a total of more than $152 million worldwide.

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The event is free and open to the public. Call Heather Lindstrom at 708-386-4040.