IMDb > Rolling Thunder (1977)
Rolling Thunder
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Rolling Thunder (1977) More at IMDbPro »

Rolling Thunder -- Trailer for Rolling Thunder


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Popularity: ?
Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Paul Schrader (screenplay) and
Heywood Gould (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Rolling Thunder on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 February 1978 (Sweden) See more »
Major Charles Rane Is Coming Home To War! See more »
Major Charles Rane comes back from the war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a war hero... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A Cult classic of 70's cinema. See more (75 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

William Devane ... Major Charles Rane

Tommy Lee Jones ... Johnny Vohden
Linda Haynes ... Linda Forchet

James Best ... Texan

Dabney Coleman ... Maxwell

Lisa Blake Richards ... Janet (as Lisa Richards)

Luke Askew ... Automatic Slim
Lawrason Driscoll ... Cliff
James Victor ... Lopez
Cassie Yates ... Candy
Jordan Gerler ... Mark

Jane Abbott ... Sister
Jerry Brown ... Patrolman 1
Jacque Burandt ... Bebe
Anthony Castillo ... Street Urchin
Charles Escamilla ... T Bird
Rudy T. Gonzales ... Bartender
Robert K. Guthrie ... Reporter 3
Ray Gutierrez ... Tex-Mex
James N. Harrell ... Grandpa
Randy Hermann ... Sanchez (as Randy Herman)
Michael Nakamura ... The Torturer
Pete Ortega ... Melio
Paul A. Partain ... Brother-in-Law
James Conner Pribble ... Patrolman 2
Cheyenne Rivera ... Gato
Carol Sowa ... Betty Ann
Robert Raymond Reyes ... Reporter 2
Arturo R. Tamez Jr. ... Bartender
Bob Tisdale ... Mr. Williams
Autry Ward ... Texan 2
West Ward ... Card Player
William Vance White ... Bob
Michael R. Witte ... Reporter 1
Alan Wong ... Billa
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Janet Quist ... (uncredited)

Directed by
John Flynn 
Writing credits
Paul Schrader (screenplay) and
Heywood Gould (screenplay)

Paul Schrader (original story)

Produced by
Lawrence Gordon .... executive producer
Norman T. Herman .... producer
Original Music by
Barry De Vorzon 
Cinematography by
Jordan Cronenweth (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Frank P. Keller 
Casting by
Jane Feinberg 
Mike Fenton 
Art Direction by
Stephen Myles Berger  (as Steve Berger)
Makeup Department
Charlene Roberson .... makeup artist (as Charlene Robertson)
Production Management
Tony Wade .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joseph Lenzi .... assistant director
Richard A. Wells .... second assistant director (as Richard Wells)
Art Department
Mark Wade .... property master
Sound Department
Gene Corso .... sound effects
Jay M. Harding .... sound re-recording mixer (as Jay Harding)
Donald F. Johnson .... sound recording mixer (as Don Johnson)
Special Effects by
Richard O. Helmer .... special effects (as Richard Helmer)
Autry Ward .... stunts (uncredited)
Steve Ward .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Thomas Del Ruth .... camera operator
Ron Veto .... car rigging grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Nancy McArdle .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Cliffe Oland .... assistant editor
Music Department
Greig McRitchie .... orchestrator (as Greg McRitchie)
Jay Alfred Smith .... music editor (as Jay Smith)
Mariachi Uclatlan .... performer: mariachi music
Transportation Department
Greg Van Dyke .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... presenter
Elaine Gyorke .... assistant to producer
David Sheldon .... production executive
Frank Tudisco .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R | Australia:MA (TV rating) | Finland:(Banned) | France:16 (original rating) | France:12 (re-rating) | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:16 (video rating) | Norway:(Banned) (1982-2003) (cinema release) | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R | West Germany:16 (f) (cut)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

James Best initially turned down playing the role of the Texan because he objected to the profanity in the script. However, Best eventually agreed to play the part after he learned that both William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones were attached to the movie. Moreover, Best put ice cubes under his cowboy hat to convey that his character was always sweating.See more »
Factual errors: MSgt Vohden mentions that he has been in the U.S. Army for ten years. He also served in Vietnam and was a POW there for an unspecified period (probably several years). However, his uniform lacks the required service stripes and overseas bars (both worn on the sleeve) to indicate the duration of his service and the length of time he served overseas.See more »
[first lines]
Johnny:Major, I sure do hate to face all them people.
Major Charles Rane:Then put your glasses on, John.
See more »
Movie Connections:
San AntoneSee more »


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28 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
A Cult classic of 70's cinema., 10 September 2009
Author: RedRoadster from London, England

I'm always fascinated by some of the wonderful and lesser known cult films from the 1970's. The Grainy film stock, the reliance on character and story rather than effects. "Rolling Thunder" is an excellent noir / revenge example of how atmosphere and the "less is more" style can propel a movie along in such a gripping way. With a screenplay by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) and a haunting theme song by Denny Brooks, this is a quality example of the genre.

Major Charles Rane (William Devane) is a man who has been pushed beyond his limits during an eight year incarceration in the Hanoi Hilton. Returning home with his friend Sergeant Vohgel (Tommy Lee Jones)and being a minor celebrity to his home town, He is presented with a new Cadillac car and a briefcase full of silver dollars (one for every day he was a POW) He tries to adapt to civilian life with his wife, who is now engaged to another man, and his son who doesn't remember him. Any chance at healing his soul is destroyed when a gang of thugs show up at his house to steal the silver dollars. After trying to torture the location (unsuccessfully) of the briefcase out of the Major, his son reveals where it is in an effort to spare his father any more pain. Once in possession of the money they kill his wife and son as they witnessed the crime and leave him for dead. Big Mistake.

This is a complex film which shows you a traumatised and quiet protagonist who is emotionally dead inside. Having suffered so much already , he can barely show any emotion over losing his family. When he decides to hunt the killers down, there are no outbursts just a cold resolve to do what he must.

Devane and Jones are excellent as two men who share an unbreakable bond of camaraderie and are both destroyed by the horrors they suffered in Vietnam. Its interesting how neither fear conflict but are both uneasy in their own homes. Linda Haynes gives good support as a waitress who is attracted to Rane and his celebrity but then realises he is psychologically existing on a different level.

One of the most interesting "revenge" films that i've seen due to the complex nature of the characters and the total lack of glorification involved in the scenes of violence. There are similarities to "The Wild Bunch" (1969) and the final shootout is a scene worthy of Peckinpah himself.

(At time of writing, this film is only available on a Spanish import DVD or rare VHS copies which you might be able to track down on e bay. Lets hope for a studio DVD release soon.)

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Like a little more violent episode of Magnum P.I. roosterillusion1
Rolling Thunder Soundtrack pinbackwiggly
My Only Complaint blameline
Whats your Favorite Scene.... msinthrop
Tune with quotes from movie sampled oiltanker
Just got it on Bluray and watched it for the first time... SpaceMonkey907
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