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Distant Thunder (1988)

R | | Drama | 11 November 1988 (USA)
A troubled Vietnam war vet deserts his wife and child shortly after he returns from the war. He returns after 10 years, where he's been living like an animal in the forest. He finds himself... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lambert
Mark Lambert
Harvey Nitz
Barbara Lambert
John Kelly ...
Michael Currie ...
Coach Swabey
Robyn Stevan ...


A troubled Vietnam war vet deserts his wife and child shortly after he returns from the war. He returns after 10 years, where he's been living like an animal in the forest. He finds himself unprepared for the changes that he will have to cope with, and when the vet tries to contact his son, he realizes that he has caused more damage than he had imagined. Written by Brennan Storr

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The last echoes of war. See more »




R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

11 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Distant Thunder - The last echoes of war  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)


$156,188 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The 1966 Pontiac used in the film is not a real GTO. The taillights are single pod lenses making this either a Tempest or LeMans - a real GTO has segmented taillights which spans the rear header panel with a 12 inch blank center section. Also, a real GTO has the grille emblem in the driver side grille opening (same with the final 2004-06 generation) - the emblem is on the passenger side grille (the final muscle-era GTO produced for the 1974 model year has a vinyl graphic GTO logo placed on the passenger-side header panel). See more »


Jack Lambert: I'm not going to waste all of your time so I'm just going a few words. Like all of you, I would like to move on in life. Thank you.
See more »


Distant Thunder
By Bill Thumm & R.D. 'Luther' Fairbairn (as R.D. Fairbairn)
Performed by Keith Bennett
See more »

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User Reviews

Too good to be overlooked!
1 July 2001 | by (Gresham, Oregon) – See all my reviews

This movie was really good, and yet nobody has ever heard of it. John Lithgow gave a great performance as a disturbed bush-vet, and Ralph Macchio also gave an exceptional performance as his son. At first I thought that this was going to be stupid because Lithgow wouldn't be able to pull off a dramatic roll, since he is so funny in 3rd Rock, but I was proven wrong! He did a great job. The only problem I had was the stories of why the other two bush-vets were there, it barley explained Harvey and it didn't explain Mark's other "Amigo" (if you haven't seen it, that's what they call each-other); other than that, it was great!

It's ashame that Lithgow's next movies were him playing a snooty British accent (thank God he found 3rd Rock!). 8/10

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