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Thunder Road (1958)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  10 May 1958 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,109 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 24 critic

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 »

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Title: Thunder Road (1958)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lucas Doolin
...
Troy Barrett
...
Carl Kogan
Keely Smith ...
Francie Wymore
Trevor Bardette ...
Vernon Doolin
Sandra Knight ...
Roxanna Ledbetter
...
Robin Doolin
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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. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Robert Mitchum Blasts the Screen! (rerelease) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of director Arthur Ripley. See more »

Goofs

In the scene at the gas station where Jed Moultrie and the treasury agent are the victims of a car bomb planted by Kogan's men, there is a dark-colored early '50s Mercury parked at the gas pumps. The force of the explosion supposedly causes it to roll on it's side, however a heavy cable can be seen attached to the roof of the car and being used to pull it over. In fact, the Mercury starts to roll over slightly in advance of the explosion. 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 Grease (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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.


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