MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 11,582 this week

Thunderbolt (1929)

 -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  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 222 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 250 titles
created 19 Apr 2011
 
a list of 100 titles
created 09 Aug 2011
 
a list of 280 titles
created 28 Mar 2013
 
a list of 252 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 2 months ago
 

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 »
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Bancroft ...
Thunderbolt Jim Lang
...
Ritzy
...
Bob Morgan
Tully Marshall ...
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 | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Thunderbolt  »

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

 
THUNDERBOLT (Josef von Sternberg, 1929) ***
6 March 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Sternberg's first Talkie is virtually a retread of his UNDERWORLD (1927), with the same leading man – George Bancroft – no less. However, while ably flanked by his co-stars there, he is practically the whole show this time around (Fay Wray and Richard Arlen being no match for Evelyn Brent and Clive Brook) and, consequently, the role earned Bancroft his sole Oscar nomination (and the film's as well)! Anyway, the director's approach to Sound was not as experimental as may have been anticipated (resorting to Death Row histrionics and even a number of songs to showcase the format!) and the end result is hardly dazzling in this regard – though the dialogue is surprisingly clean, i.e. audible, for such an early example. Conversely, the visual aspect of the film, usually the director's main concern, is greatly diluted here through the poor quality of the copy I watched which also sported forced German subtitles!

Bancroft is once again a gangster (as before, his activity remains undisclosed throughout, apart from lording it up in an almost exclusively-black nightclub!) and his moll eventually leaves him for another, younger and handsomer, man. Here, too, the mobster is caught and imprisoned – in a wonderful scene where he shows compassion for a mutt, subsequently proving inseparable, thus preceding Raoul Walsh's HIGH SIERRA by 12 years! Yet, he ingeniously has his associates frame the rival for a murder they committed (the development of this particular plot strand is unfortunately rather muddled) and the hero winds up in the cell opposite Bancroft's. As in UNDERWORLD, Fred Kohler also appears here to antagonize the latter – besides lanky warden Tully Marshall and an Irish guard whose name the protagonist continually tries to guess (with the droll pay-off coming at the film's very conclusion).

Wray and her mother plead with the gangster to do the right thing and clear Arlen of his crime but, of course, he will have none of that at the start. Again, however, Bancroft is softened and confesses his role in the young man's entrapment just hours before his execution is due; I have to wonder here why he, a first-time felon, is scheduled to die before the much sought-after "Thunderbolt"! – yes, the film's title is a reference to the character's nick-name. In any case, the moll's own admission that she had left her lover for the gangster rather than the other way around makes the latter realize, as was the case in UNDERWORLD, that he is in the way and gladly accepts his fate. Incidentally, speaking of references to the director's earlier work, Wray and Arlen are made to undergo a hasty marriage here – much like Bancroft himself and Betty Compson in THE DOCKS OF NEW YORK (1928)!


2 of 3 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:
?