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 ... See full summary »
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. Written by
All of the "moonrunner" cars in the film had actually been used by moonshiners in the Asheville, North Carolina, area, where the film was shot. The moonshiners sold the cars to the film company in order to buy newer and faster cars. See more »
Thunder Road was filmed in and around Asheville, NC. However, some of the scenes take place in Memphis, TN. In one of the Memphis scenes, Robert Mitchum pays a visit to the mob boss (Kogan) who is trying to horn in on his family's moonshine business. Mitchum parks his car in front of a building with "Asheville Pharmacy" in clear lettering on the window. See more »
[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.
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Filmed in 1957, and sent to theaters in 1958, it had the 'Rods' of the day. This was a film of youth, and wild rebels. In some ways, you had to be born then to understand it. I saw it for the first time at the Flying Cloud Drive-In. Siting in a 1951 Ford Custom with a full race flat head engine, and my best girl at my side. Three duces, Lakers, and overdrive trans. The car, not her. To this day I can close my eyes and hear the the high pitch voice singing the theme song. "Let me tell the story, I can tell it well, 'bout the whipperwill that drove...", well you know the song if you have seen the movie.
Imagine a drive-in filled with 'Rods'. On the screen you see a 50 Ford, with its lights out, driving down a dark country road. A 57 Chev pulls out from a hiding spot and gives chase. All heck lets loose, not on the screen, but in the drive-in. Fifty 'Rods' rev their 'Mills' with the Lakers open. Flames shoot from the pipes, and the noise pounds in your guts. Outside the drive-in 20 cops are waiting for the movie to end, and play time to start. Have this picture in your mind? That's the way it was back then. The movie showed a 50 Ford front clip on a 51 Ford. The inside view of the car shows a 51 dash. I spotted that when I first viewed the movie. The 57 Ford, that Bob drove later in the movie, had a 312 supercharged engine. I know that engine well. I had to get one after I saw the movie. Oh, and the car to go with it. Bootleging is not a southern exclusive. I grew up in a small town in Minnesota, and we had 'shiners, and 'runners here. Minnesota 13 was the 'shine of the Volstead Days. Sorry, I forgot what this is all about, and no, I will not say if I did any of that. All my friends knew the song by heart, and we would sing it all the time. Bad guys drove Chev (Feds) and the good guys (Runners) drove Fords.
Simple, plain, and all 1950's. Lots of bad acting. Lots of continuity errors. Lots of hot cars. Lots of great action shots. A great title song. Look, if you were not born then, you have to see what Grandpa and Grandma made out to when they were young. No Drive-ins are around today. My 2002 Thunderbird has computers that limit my speed. I still know all the words to the song. I can still close my eyes and hear the roar of the 'mills', and see the flames from the Lakers, today. I still wish it was 'way back then', and 20 cops were waiting to play. "And when his engine roared, they called the highway Thunder Road"
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