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Thunderboat Row (1989)

A group of several different la enforcement agencies along with a race boat driver come together with a common goal of stopping the drug traffic to the US.


Thomas J. Wright




Credited cast:
Ash Adams ... Bobby Garland (as Jason Adams)
Rod Ball
Jefferson Black ... Hotel clerk
Dennis Boutsikaris ... Tom Rampy
Rob Estes ... Danny Paladino
Chad Everett ... Ben Bishop
Jsu Garcia ... Hector 'Detector' Cannero (as Nick Corri)
Robert Goodman Robert Goodman ... Captain Clark Hanover (credit only)
Anthony Rene Jones Anthony Rene Jones ... Lt. Jeffrey Cade
Peter Murnik ... Moby Griffin
Carrell Myers ... Tami
Todd Schaffer Todd Schaffer ... Lt. Adam Wheaton
Freddie Simpson ... Rose O'Shea
John J. York ... Lon Otto


Miami drug kingpin Tom Rampy uses boats with false bottoms, transponders on drug packages, radar jammers, and an experimental boat design capable of traveling in excess of 100 knots to evade the US Coast Guard and US Customs Service. Wealthy boat designer Ben Bishop, feeling guilty that his boat designs are used to smuggle drugs, uses his political influence to create an interagency "River Intelligence Unit". When two US Customs agents, two Miami narcotics officers, a Florida Marine Patrol officer, and a US Coast Guard officer apprehend one of Rampy's henchmen, but bicker over who gets the credit for the arrest, Bishop has them assigned to the unit. They are joined by a Bahamas Defence Force officer attached to the US Coast Guard. A former employee of Rampy's, a boat racer arrested after he broke into Rampy's house to take the money Rampy owed him, is persuaded to assist them. They form an uneasy team, lacking trust due to an apparent mole informing Rampy of their plans. Bishop ... Written by Reefmonkey

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama







Release Date:

10 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bahamas connection See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Excellent TV Movie
30 October 2010 | by jamesbwillSee all my reviews

Thunderboat Row is a TV movie filmed as a pilot for an ABC series, but the network chose not to pick it up. The film features some great shots of high-speed powerboats. The story concerns a task force made up of various law enforcement agencies in South Florida, chasing the bad guy drug runners in the fastest boats in the world.

Chad Everett stars as Ben Bishop. The Ben Bishop character is based on real-life boat builder and powerboat racing legend Don Aronow. Many of the events that are seen in this movie actually occurred in real life. The book "Speed Kills," by Artur Jay Harris, tells the story of how drug runners incorporated powerboats into their smuggling and anyone who reads this book will see that some of the incidents in the movie were taken directly from real life.

Also in the cast is the beautiful Freddie Simpson. She is best remembered for her role as Ellen Sue in the classic baseball movie, "A League of Their Own" (1992). In Thunderboat Row, Freddie Simpson has some very emotional scenes, and she handles them quite well.

Also in the movie are Jason Adams, sometimes billed as Ash Adams, Nick Corri, also known as Jsu Garcia, Dennis Boutsikaris as the bad guy, Anthony Rene Jones, Peter Murnik, Todd Schaeffer, John J. York, and Robert Estes, who later starred in the TV series "Silk Stalkings." Carrell Myers has a small role as Tami, Ben Bishop's girlfriend.

Thunderboat Row is an entertaining and exciting movie. It was very well made with great production values. Those sleek, super-fast powerboats ripping through the water are worth watching all by themselves. This is an old-fashioned good guys vs. bad guys movie and it will keep you interested from start to finish.

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