MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,666 this week

Thunderbolt (1929)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  20 June 1929 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 235 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 5 critic

A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Morgan, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl, ... See full summary »

Writers:

(story), (story), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Related News

Forgotten Pre-Codes: "Afraid to Talk" (1932)
| MUBI
square shot
| MUBI
The Forgotten: One Way Street
| MUBI

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8738 titles
created 25 Mar 2013
 
a list of 54 titles
created 14 May 2013
 
a list of 4532 titles
created 30 Sep 2013
 
a list of 763 titles
created 10 months ago
 
list image
a list of 1080 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Thunderbolt" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Thunderbolt (1929)

Thunderbolt (1929) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Thunderbolt.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Atwill, Edward Everett Horton
Dynamite (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The queen of mythical Sylvania marries a courtier, who finds his new life unsatisfying.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A former Imperial Russian general and cousin of the Czar ends up in Hollywood as an extra in a movie directed by a former revolutionary.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent, William Powell
The Big House (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing
Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone
Madame X (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young lawyer unknowingly defends his mother who abandoned him when he was three.

Director: Lionel Barrymore
Stars: Lewis Stone, Ruth Chatterton, Raymond Hackett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Lally is a rich girl whose father writes books and plays Polo. After 23 years of marriage, he decides to divorce his wife, and marry Mrs. Chevers. This sours Lally on all men, while on ... See full summary »

Director: E. Mason Hopper
Stars: Norma Shearer, Belle Bennett, Lewis Stone
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An all-star revue featuring MGM contract players.

Director: Charles Reisner
Stars: Conrad Nagel, Jack Benny, John Gilbert
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Princess is destined to marry the Emperor, until her sister steps in.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Franchot Tone, Grace Moore, Walter Connolly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A free-spirited bartender on a tropical island has a reputation as a "pagan lady", who hops from man to man and bed to bed. The young son of the island's fire-and-brimstone evangelist ... See full summary »

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Evelyn Brent, Conrad Nagel, Charles Bickford
Condemned (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Ronald Colman, Ann Harding, Dudley Digges
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Bancroft ...
Thunderbolt Jim Lang
...
Ritzy
...
Bob Morgan
...
Warden
Eugenie Besserer ...
Mrs. Morgan
James Spottswood ...
'Snapper' O'Shea
Fred Kohler ...
'Bad Al' Friedberg
Robert Elliott ...
Prison chaplain
E.H. Calvert ...
Dist. Atty. McKay
...
Mr. Corwin
Mike Donlin ...
Kentucky Sampson
S.S. Stewart ...
Convict
William L. Thorne ...
Police inspector
Edit

Storyline

A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Morgan, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl, without knowing of their relationship. Thunderbolt hopes to stave off the execution long enough to kill young Morgan for romancing his girl. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The dynamic star of the screen

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Debandada  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)| (one version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the earliest of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since. See more »

Soundtracks

Thinkin' About My Baby
Written by Sam Coslow
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A different kind of gangster film...
13 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... at least for early sound. The title character in particular, Thunderbolt, played by George Bancroft, is a rather complex gangster character for a dawn of sound movie. What do you say about a man who'd go to great lengths to kill a fellow he has never met just on general principle but who loves the stray dog that causes him to finally get pinched and put in the death house to the point that when the death house warden grants him a favor, Thunderbolt asks for that same dog to stay in his cell as a pet? Fay Wray, only 21 at the time, plays Ritzy, Thunderbolt's girl, with a sense of world-weariness that is wise beyond her years. When the film opens she's being hassled by the police to give up Thunderbolt's hiding place in some really classic early sound police interrogation scenes. Ironically, she really wants to be free of Thunderbolt, who swears he'll never let her go, especially if there's another guy involved, and there is - bank teller Bob Morgan played by Richard Arlen.

The first third of the film moves about quite a bit with some great jazz age settings, but the last two-thirds is primarily confined to the death house where Thunderbolt awaits his appointment with the chair. There's lots of atmosphere in this one with the death row quartet that keeps getting broken up as one fellow is executed and then restarted as another inmate enters. The death row warden is an interesting fellow, with eccentricity and nervousness balanced by a humane streak to the point that he seems misplaced - he seems like he'd be happier managing the shoe department in some retail store.

The end has a surprised twist to it that makes Thunderbolt rethink his rather complex plan of revenge just as he makes that last walk to the chair. I'm being intentionally vague here so I don't ruin it for you. Watch it for the surprising sophistication of this early sound piece, for the kind of atmosphere you can always count on in a von Sternberg film, and for that general touch of class that you find in the early Paramount talkies.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD? jellyree
Discuss Thunderbolt (1929) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?