Written by / 11/25/2019 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

CANVASING THE PICTURESQUE 'THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT'

Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot circa 1974
There's a quote in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT, a movie about an experienced ex-bank robber played by Clint Eastwood teamed with Jeff Bridges as a young and freewheeling upstart...

"Stick with me, kid, you're gonna live forever" is ironically Jeff's line as Lightfoot to Clint's Thunderbolt since this enigmatic kid  speaks in almost all hackneyed adages...

Quips ranging from "You're only as old as you look" to "In for a penny, in for a pound" to "A rolling stone gathers no moss," he's the most interesting and offbeat aspect in an Eastwood vehicle that's miles beyond his other action-genre Modern Westerns. But in a visual, stylistic sense, the director (and writer) makes all the difference...

Clint Eastwood drinks Olympia in Thunderbolt and LIghtfoot
Future THE DEER HUNTER Oscar winner and more relevant, co-writer of Dirty Harry's MAGNUM FORCE a year before, Michael Cimino fully captures the gorgeous Montana landscape ranging from endless wheat fields to lake-viewed mountains to vast rolling hills, as if this were in fact a genuine Cowboy classic ala John Ford...

The locale is its very own character in capturing and framing the human characters, especially during the first half (featuring a cranked-up rabbit-shooting hillbilly to a "party" with gorgeous starlets Catherine Bach and June Farchild) with various chase scenes as our heroes are stalked by a formidable villain, who's soon one of the "good guys," for a while: George Kennedy, along with sidekick/driver Geoffrey Lewis, are both former partners of Eastwood, and with newcomer Bridges they all wind up partnered-up again to rob a government vault: the same one, in fact...

Jeff Bridges as Lightfoot steals a Firebird SCORE: ****
Kennedy's hard-nosed Red and Eastwood's fair-minded Thunderbolt go back to the Korean War, and there's a terrific anti-chemistry between these equally tough guys who both fear and respect each other. And this is an almost equal ensemble piece...

All four men get their own jobs in a small town during the second half, with even more intriguing fun in the build-up planning stages than when things come to a head: Which includes a long and intentionally uncomfortable death that's bizarre and heartbreaking, and even perhaps unnecessary since the titular pair could have done so much more. Funny how sometimes the wrong films result in sequels. Then again, THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT is a unique and vulnerable "muscle movie" that stands completely on its own. Twofold.
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Jeff Bridges and Clint Eastwood in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
A touch of North by Northwest and even Prime Cut in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Catherine Bach, Jeff Bridges and June Fairchild in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
June Fairchild as Gloria in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
June Fairchild as Gloria in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
June Fairchild as Gloria in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
June Fairchild w/ Jeff Bridges in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
June Fairchild as Gloria in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot Geoffrey Lewis, George Kennedy
Jeff Bridges and Gary Busey in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Clint Eastwood in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Catherine Bach and Jeff Bridges in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Catherine Bach and Jeff Bridges in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Catherine Bach and Jeff Bridges in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Catherine Bach and Jeff Bridges in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
George Kennedy takes a bulwark aim in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Director Michael Cimino heavily includes Montana in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
George Kennedy's Red is full-loaded and pissed-off in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
George Kennedy, Geoffrey Lewis, Clint Eastwood & Jeff Bridges in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Crazy Driver Bill McKinney squeals like a bunny aka Trunkbunnies
Jeff Bridges asked Erica Hagen for "American Fries" a term that'd anger Democrats in years to come
Erica Hagen as the Waitress in THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Erica Hagen in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot proving this is a film made for men
Clint Eastwood as Thunderbolt in Michael Cimino's THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot reviewed the first time here
A pained Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges driving nowhere in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
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