6.7/10
2,522
66 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
Popularity
1,307 ( 11,644)

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An ambitious barrister and his wife are targeted by blackmailers. In trying to save her husband, the wife becomes involved in a murder case her husband is trying. For his part, the husband's actions make him a suspect in a related murder.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Lewis Stone
Angel Face (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman
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
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A naive small-town girl comes to New York City to meet her husband, and discovers that he may be a murderer.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Kim Hunter, Dean Jagger
Crack-Up (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Art curator George Steele experiences a train wreck...which never happened. Is he cracking up, or the victim of a plot?

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall
Tight Spot (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A female inmate is whisked out of prison and into a police guarded hotel until the D.A. can convince her to testify against the mob in the upcoming trial.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Edward G. Robinson, Brian Keith
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During World War II, an American destroyer meets a German U-Boat. Both captains are experts, and so begins a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Curd Jürgens, David Hedison
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A "Romeo and Juliet"-inspired Cold War satire starring, written and directed by Peter Ustinov. A tiny but otherwise inconsequential and powerless European country called Concordia holds the... See full summary »

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Sandra Dee, John Gavin
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During WW2, Pulitzer prize winner and war correspondent Ernie Pyle joins the army and writes articles about his comrades in his daily columns.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum, Freddie Steele
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Chorus girl Eadie is determined to marry a millionaire without sacrificing her virtue.

Directors: Jack Conway, Sam Wood
Stars: Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Lionel Barrymore
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
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mexican and American federal agents tackle a vicious gang exploiting illegal farm workers in southern California.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Howard Da Silva
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:

YOU'LL NEED SHOCK ABSORBERS! (original ad - all caps) 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

Robert Mitchum and his son James Mitchum play brothers. See more »

Goofs

In the opening where Luke's '50-'51 Ford rolls over and is immediately able to drive off, you'll notice as it rolls it's obviously resting on its side. Quick editing gives the impression that it landed on all four wheels. 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

Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Kamandi at Earth's End #3 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad of Thunder Road
(uncredited)
(Theme song)
Composed by Robert Mitchum
Sung by Robert Mitchum
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Overlooked Gem
17 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Thunder Road is an outstanding film and occupies an interesting place in Mitchum's evolution as an actor. It is a compelling and believable look at the moonshine-running culture of the Appalachian Mountains, pitting moonshiners not only against Alcohol, Tax, and Firearms (ATF) agents and state authorities but, as well, against organized crime seeking to control the trade for their own ends. Mitchum is thoroughly believable in the kind of role--a rural, Scots-Irish mountaineer--that many others have tried and failed at. The film never descends into parody or sneering elitism. The moonshiners and the authorities are both shown as individuals of good will, seeking to do their duty as they see it, and devoted to values that are basically decent and trustworthy. The mobsters are not cardboard cutouts or over-the-top villains, and this, somehow, adds to their menace. At the time he did this film, Mitchum was already well-established, with Night of the Hunter behind him, and, as well, his most recent film The Enemy Below, in which he played a Navy Captain confronting shrewd U-boat skipper in a battle of wits. After these kind of films, one might wonder why he would take this role--but I think it is because he saw that it offered some real-challenge, a role that forced him to play a gritty character in an unusual setting. Mitchum is shown as a man of great complexity--trying to encourage his younger brother to get involved with something other than fast cars and moonshine, recommending that he join the service and get involved with advanced aviation technology. His girlfriend, a roadhouse singer, is one of the most sympathetic heroines of the 50's late-film noir genre. The chase sequences are riveting--VERY well done by the standards of the time, and in many ways Thunder Road offers a rural companion piece to Bill Hickman and Steve McQueen's great chase sequence in Bullitt. This is a film to be savored, particularly by anyone who has driven through twisting Appalachian mountain roads at night, reflecting on the tough, decent, and hard-scrabble folk in that part of America.


28 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?