6.7/10
2,734
68 user 22 critic

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.

Director:

Arthur Ripley

Writers:

James Atlee Phillips (screenplay), Walter Wise (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Lucas Doolin
Gene Barry ... Troy Barrett
Jacques Aubuchon ... Carl Kogan
Keely Smith ... Francie Wymore
Trevor Bardette ... Vernon Doolin
Sandra Knight ... Roxanna Ledbetter
James Mitchum ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 May 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jack O'Diamonds See more »

Filming Locations:

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

D.R.M. Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of the major stars of this movie only two are still alive. They James Mitchum son of Robert and Sandra Knight. See more »

Goofs

Luke delivers 250 gallons of alcohol in his 1950 ford. This would take 4.5 55 gallon drums and weigh approximately 1750 pounds, impossible to fit in a car trunk. See more »

Quotes

Lucas Doolin: [talking on pay telephone] Hello, Kogan?... Doolin.
Carl Kogan: What's on your mind, Mr. Doolin?
Lucas Doolin: You. You're on my mind. You finally made the big mistake tonight, Kogan. Niles Penland was a mistake... Jethro Moultrie and Williams - that was a mistake, that was a big mistake, a bad mistake, but tonight you made the *big* mistake. You put your dirty, fat hands on my kid brother. I swore I'd *kill* anybody who tried to make him a whisky runner. I'm on my way into Memphis right now, and when I get there you're ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Kamandi at Earth's End #3 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Danza Española nº 5 Andaluza
.Written by Enrique Granados (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A star is born ... literally
21 August 2015 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

More than a half-century before Yost The Younger decided to bring Harlan County back to the small screen in Justified (see my many reviews on the IMDb) you have this little gem.

As one of the characters laments on screen, "We've been making shine here for more than 250 years" and that is all the reason anyone really needs for this film.

Enjoy the chase scenes. Get a rare opportunity to catch Keely Smith (one of the greatest and most under-rated singers of the era) in a dramatic role. See a young Gene Barry puff and strut. And of course watch Mitchum give a breakout star performance.

At the risk of generalizing, in his later films Mitchum was cast as the Alpha Male and he merely had to maintain the image. Here the audience gets to see him earn that image. It is a treat.

Holds up well over the years but suffers from the same issues as many other 50's films. Too many wide-screen static shots. Black and white but never any greys. And every ostensibly "authentic" Kentucky boy in the film is wearing freshly creased coveralls with not a mark of dirt.

See it anyway. It is a one of a kind.


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