6.7/10
2,459
65 user 21 critic

Thunder Road (1958)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 10 May 1958 (USA)
A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Hunters (1958)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1952, as the Korean War rages on, American officers land in Kyoto. Among them are Major Ceve Saville, assigned to a fighter squadron, and Lieutenant Carl Abbott. The latter neglects his ... See full summary »

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Robert Wagner, Richard Egan
The Lusty Men (1952)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A marine and a nun form an unlikely friendship. The marine is shipwrecked on a Pacific island and the nun has been left behind there; they find comfort in one another as the two wait out the war.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Dramatic story of the influential Hunnicutt family set in Texas during the late 1950s.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard
Adventure | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The titular river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.

Directors: Otto Preminger, Jean Negulesco
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by paroled convict Moose Malloy to find his girlfriend Velma, former seedy nightclub dancer.

Director: Dick Richards
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland
Crossfire (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan
Action | Crime | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A deported gangster's plan to re-enter the USA involves skulduggery at a Mexican resort, and gambler Dan Milner is caught in the middle.

Directors: John Farrow, Richard Fleischer
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price
War | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In 1941, the IRA plans a campaign to coincide with the planned German invasion of England. Dermott O'Neil (Robert Mitchum) finds it easy to get into the IRA, but can he get out?

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Richard Harris, Anne Heywood
Adventure

A children's action/adventure film set in the Australian bush about kids searching for the lost armour of the infamous Kelly gang.

Director: Daniel James Bevan
Stars: Xavier West, Cameron Hall, David Healy
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When a reclusive, enigmatic millionaire dies suddenly on the Riviera, his press agent begins to investigate his employer's shady past.

Director: Sheldon Reynolds
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Geneviève Page, Ingrid Thulin
Thunder Road (2017)
Drama

A U.S. Veteran struggling with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder comes to terms with the challenges of assimilating back into civilian life after multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stars: Matt Dallas, Charlie Bewley, Steven Grayhm
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lucas Doolin
...
Troy Barrett
...
Carl Kogan
Keely Smith ...
Francie Wymore
...
Vernon Doolin
...
Roxanna Ledbetter
...
Robin Doolin
Edit

Storyline

A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

More Savage Than The Tommy-Gun Massacre of the Roaring Twenties...TODAY'S BILLION-DOLLAR WHISKEY WAR! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jack O'Diamonds  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of director Arthur Ripley. See more »

Goofs

When Lucas Doolan is being chased by Kogan's goons, he pulls a knob, spraying oil on the road. The goons go over the cliff and it is obvious the car going over the cliff is a different car. It does not even have a rear bumper or tail lights. See more »

Quotes

Lucas Doolin: [to a noisy customer, about the nightclub's singer] She's trying to make a living. If you want to bray, go find yourself a barnyard.
See more »

Connections

Edited into They Saved Hitler's Brain (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

The Whipoorwill
Composed by Robert Mitchum and Don Raye
Sung by Keely Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Spectacular cult classic of the Moonshine Wars of the 40s, 50s
18 May 2003 | by (Chancellorsville VA) – See all my reviews

It's hard to describe the visceral jolt this film gives to anyone brought up in the South or to anyone who appreciates hot rods.

Unfortunately, my dad died shortly before this film came out or it would have been his favorite film. Raised in a poor sharecropper's family in Clay County, Kentucky, during the Depression, he and his brothers drove souped-up "tankers" running moon throughout Ky, Tenn and Virginia before and after they served in combat in WW2 and Korea. From their description of those rowdy days, THUNDER ROAD is as brutally accurate as can be. Not only were the dreaded T-Men a major hazard, with their brutal tactics, but the various families that cooked the "moon" and distributed it often had blood feuds that were resurrected or exacerbated by their competition for the illegal whisky business. The longest running feud in US history, the century-long White-Baker Feud (also called the Clay County Wars) was resurrected due to the two clans' competition in tanking the moon throughout Appalachia.

Inherently a sad but realistic work, Mitchum's excellent performance and an honest, understated script give us a snapshot of an American way of life that few outside of the rural South could ever comprehend. The culture of individualism and freedom from Federal oppression is much less today, but still exists. I believe the reason this film is such a huge cult film in the South is that it reminds us that not too long ago many of our ancestors were still willing to take on the tyrant face to face. We are, alas, just a pale copy of those who went before.

Truly one of the most under-appreciated films of the 50s, due in no small part to the overwhelmingly Yankee composition of the critics' circles. They couldn't possibly understand the film. It's a Southern thing.


77 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?