HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Thunderbolt and Lightfoot Chance Meetings
Year: 1974
Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, George Kennedy, Geoffrey Lewis, Catherine Bach, Gary Busey, Jack Dodson, Eugene Elman, Burton Gilliam, Roy Jenson, Claudia Lennear, Bill McKinney, Vic Tayback, Dub Taylor, Gregory Walcott, Erica Hagen, Alvin Childress
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It seems like a quiet morning where the preacher (Clint Eastwood) is delivering his sermon in a rural church to a respectful congregation, but there's someone advancing on the building from outside. Shortly before, a young man, Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges), limped into a used car lot and right up to the flashest vehicle there, the salesman telling him this was the fastest there, and how about sitting in it to try it out? Claiming he has a wooden leg, the man does so, then after a brief bit of wavering, decides he'll take it - zooming off without even paying, leaving the enraged salesman in the dust. Soon Lightfoot is approaching the church, just by chance, when he sees the preacher racing across a field, a gunman in pursuit - this could be the beginning of something.

It was the beginning of Michael Cimino's directorial career, if nothing else, one which it's safe to say had its ups and downs: his next project after this was the award-laden The Deer Hunter, and right after that was the disastrous Heaven's Gate, whereupon a promising talent never really recovered. In some ways Thunderbolt and Lightfoot was Cimino's best film, certainly his most consistent, and he did acknowledge the assistance that Clint Eastwood gave him, offering his big break by inviting him to helm one of the star's Malpaso company's high profile efforts. As it turned out, this wasn't one of his biggest hits which was the source of some annoyance for Eastwood as he considered it one of his most underrated works.

Still, this may not have been a blockbuster, but regular television showings down the decades have built up a cult following, mostly thanks to an atmosphere that was both perfectly nineteen-seventies, jokes included, and downright quirky, with various scenes seemingly thrown in for the hell of it simply because they would lend themselves to the jamboree that was the movie's wayward plot. Once Thunderbolt, the nickname of Eastwood's character we later find out was given to him after a daring robbery, and Lightfoot, who we never find out very much about, team up there's a sense they could go anywhere whether there was a mad assassin after them or not, and although it resolves itself into a heist movie with a very old premise, there was an abundance of idiosyncrasy.

This was a road movie of sorts, and Cimino was displaying his eye for the painterly compostion with many vistas of America for the actors to inhabit, worthy of a Western which this could have been with a few tweaks and a different era. This genre thrived on the folks the characters would meet along the way, in this case ranging from a couple of prostitutes Lightfoot insists on bringing back to their motel room, including future Daisy Duke Catherine Bach, to Bill McKinney having a whale of a time as a maniac who gives the duo a lift, then proceeds to almost poison them with the exhaust fumes pumped into his car, rolls the vehicle by driving erratically, and once he clambers out opens the back to release a hundred or so white rabbits which he proceeds to shoot at with a shotgun.

It's touches such as that, scenes which do nothing but contribute a specific anything goes texture, which made Thunderbolt and Lightfoot rewarding. Even the recurring motif of ice cream and popsicles was there to craft a feeling of the raised temperatures the gang were operating under, as gang they become when Thunderbolt's old buddy Red Leary shows up and persuades him to try and secure the money they hid and lost in that heist. Red was played by George Kennedy in his most aggressively unlikable mode, a sharp contrast to the more easygoing Eastwood and Bridges styles, the fourth member being Eddie Goody (Eastwood stock company regular Geoffrey Lewis). It is Kennedy who lends this a sense of threat as they discover the school where they stashed the cash has been built on with a brand new establishment (that old chestnut) and so they must stage another heist, elaborately executed, instead. With what could have been a clash of acting methods paying dividends comedically and dramatically, this was unwieldy but highly enjoyable. Music by Dee Barton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2870 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Cimino  (1939 - 2016)

One of the most controversial directors to emerge from the burst of American talent of the nineteen-seventies. None of those directors had a totally easy ride from the critics or public, but he seemed to suffer the most, having started out moving from advertising to writing scripts for Silent Running and Magnum Force. Once Clint Eastwood noted his promise, he hired him to direct Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, which some still believe is his best effort thanks to Eastwood reining him in. But next was The Deer Hunter, an Oscar-garlanded Vietnam War drama that the world responded to far better than any before, and he had his pick of projects.

Alas, this success went to his head and he became increasingly unbalanced, as the horror stories from his next movie Heaven's Gate would show, a huge flop that still divides opinion on its merits to this day. Cimino resurfaced with Year of the Dragon, a Mickey Rourke cop vehicle tainted by racism, and The Sicillian, an unpopularly benevolent view of an Italian crime lord. The Desperate Hours was a remake laughed off the screen in most places, and his last feature was spiritual drama The Sunchaser, barely seen in cinemas. He was discussing new projects to the end, but it seems his ego continually sabotaged his undoubted talent.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: