6.7/10
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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.

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Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
...
Lucas Doolin
...
Troy Barrett
...
Carl Kogan
Keely Smith ...
Francie Wymore
...
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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Raw And Rough As Today's Billion-Dollar Whiskey War! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The locations heard in the song "Thunder Road" (sung by Mitchum) actually describe real places in East Tennessee and Kentucky. The "Thunder Road" route runs south from Harlan, KY thru The Cumberland Gap to Maynardville, TN just north of Knoxville. The moonshine runner then goes thru downtown Knoxville and onto Kingston Pike where he crashes on Bearden Hill (Bearden is a Knoxville suburb). The route is easily followed on a map. See more »

Goofs

During the opening chase between Doolin and the Treasury agents, the agents are driving a 1957 Chevrolet with a grill mounted emergency light. However, in one scene of the chase, the car changes to a 1957 Ford without the emergency light. (This Ford was part of another chase later in the movie.) The Chevrolet then reappears for the rest of the chase. See more »

Quotes

Vernon Doolin: [referring to Niles Penlands being ambushed] So it begins. Saw a corpse bird the other day, hadn't seen one in years, shoulda known it was an ill omen.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Explorers (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Hotrodding/Moonshining/Romancing/It's Got It All
7 December 1998 | by (Lexington, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

If ever there was a film that combined all the drama of hotrod cars, moonshine runners, romance and the family ties and traditions of Appalachia, this one's it. Robert Mitchum virtually owned this entire film. He wrote the story based on an actual incident that occurred just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee state police confirm that in about 1953, a moonshine runner crashed his "moonrunner" car at a place called Reardon, which is now part of the city, and died. How Mitcum found the story, we may never know. Mitchum also helped write the lead song "Thunder Road" and the second song in the movie, "Whipporwill." He also recorded the title song and it was high on the pop charts for months. And, he cast his own son as his brother in the movie. Though technically far from perfect (the cars seem to change styles during the chase scenes), and the acting in places leaves a LOT to be desired, old movie theater operators will tell you they can still fill all their seats with a double bill of "Thunder Road" and "Rebel Without A Cause." I'll certainly be there every chance I get.


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