Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  24 May 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 14,911 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 59 critic

With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Goody
Curly (as Garey Busey)
Vault Manager
Eugene Elman ...
Tourist (as Gene Elman)
Burton Gilliam ...
Claudia Lennear ...
Crazy Driver
Mario Pinski
Station Attendant
Used Car Salesman


Seven years after a daring bank robbery involving an anti-tank gun used to blow open a vault, the robbery team temporarily puts aside their mutual suspicions to repeat the crime after they are unable to find the loot from the original heist, hidden behind a school chalkboard. The hardened artilleryman and his flippant, irresponsible young sidekick are the two wild cards in the deck of jokers. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He has exactly seven minutes to get rich quick! See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 May 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Letzten beißen die Hunde  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)


$25,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First of two cinema movies that actor George Kennedy made with Clint Eastwood. The other was a year later with The Eiger Sanction (1975) where Eastwood directed Kennedy. They also both appeared in an episode of Rawhide (1959), that being Rawhide: The Peddler (1962). See more »


As Thunderbolt and Lightfoot are being chased by Red and Eddie, Lightfoot careens the stolen Buick Riviera off the highway and down a steep embankment. Clint Eastwood's character (Thunderbolt, in the passenger seat) has obviously been replaced with a dummy. In addition, in some of the shots you can clearly see a large camera assembly, mounted behind the back seating area of the Riviera. See more »


Lightfoot: [Asking about a former heist in which Thunderbolt played a role] Montana Armored? How did you get into the vault?
John Doherty: 20mm cannon with armor-piercing shells. Wasn't too hard.
See more »


Featured in The Cinema Snob: Heaven's Gate: Part 1 (2015) See more »


Where Do I Go from Here
Composed and Sung by Paul Williams
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User Reviews

"Stop you FREAK - I love you"
8 March 2006 | by (Oldham, England.) – See all my reviews

Thunderbolt & Lightfoot might just be the second best film in both Eastwood & Bridge's career. For Eastwood, I can't see anything excelling The Good, the Bad & the Ugly. As for Bridges, I think his pinnacle was in The Big Lebowski. But whatever - today we're discussing Thunderbolt & Lightfoot and it is a great great film.

Doherty (Eastwood), an ex con / bank robber is by fate, recklessly aided by Lightfoot (Bridges) helping Doherty make a sharp exit from his former criminal associates (played by G Kennedy & G Busey). All four characters are forced to overlook their pasts and differences, we see a transformation and are strung a long a brilliant story of classic-buddies-plotting-to-beat-the-impossible-odds. Michael Cimino (Director) immediately throws the story and the characters into quick pace. He litters the film with good looking sets, sweet colour and oddly placed obstacles - for instance, a deranged hick driving by with a boot full of white rabbits.

Maybe it was unintentional, but I think Cimino created one of the first films to really stage what we know as black-humour. 2 hours of tragic events, lined up one after the other underlined by stupidity and smart wit, of course we can not forget George Kennedy & Gary Busey's super assistance in supporting roles.

Jeff Bridges is a remarkable and funny actor in this film, his part reveals a warm and naïve handsome young fella, yet somehow edged with that wise-fool-20-something vision that provides infectious viewing, especially the line to Clint "I don't know want your money man. I want your friendship". Clint Eastwood, is as you expect - laidback, dry and completely handy. Nothing new, but nothing you'd want to take away from that screen presence or enigma he's carefully carved over the years.

Thunderbolt & Lightfoot was overlooked back in the day, United Artists must have been insane not to push, or help sparkle such a strong piece of golden nugget that was laid amongst so many other rough pebbles.

~Paul Browne.

24 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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