6.7/10
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66 user 21 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.

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

YOU'LL NEED SHOCK ABSORBERS! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

10 May 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jack O'Diamonds  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspiration for the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. See more »

Goofs

When Luke and Francie are sitting on a sofa, he has his right arm around her shoulder. In close-up her right hand is up, caressing his hand; after the cut to mid-shot, her right hand is holding a drink. 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.
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Connections

Edited into They Saved Hitler's Brain (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Danza Española nº 5 Andaluza
.Written by Enrique Granados (uncredited)
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User Reviews

The film I love
25 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

Filmed in 1957, and sent to theaters in 1958, it had the 'Rods' of the day. This was a film of youth, and wild rebels. In some ways, you had to be born then to understand it. I saw it for the first time at the Flying Cloud Drive-In. Siting in a 1951 Ford Custom with a full race flat head engine, and my best girl at my side. Three duces, Lakers, and overdrive trans. The car, not her. To this day I can close my eyes and hear the the high pitch voice singing the theme song. "Let me tell the story, I can tell it well, 'bout the whipperwill that drove...", well you know the song if you have seen the movie.

Imagine a drive-in filled with 'Rods'. On the screen you see a 50 Ford, with its lights out, driving down a dark country road. A 57 Chev pulls out from a hiding spot and gives chase. All heck lets loose, not on the screen, but in the drive-in. Fifty 'Rods' rev their 'Mills' with the Lakers open. Flames shoot from the pipes, and the noise pounds in your guts. Outside the drive-in 20 cops are waiting for the movie to end, and play time to start. Have this picture in your mind? That's the way it was back then. The movie showed a 50 Ford front clip on a 51 Ford. The inside view of the car shows a 51 dash. I spotted that when I first viewed the movie. The 57 Ford, that Bob drove later in the movie, had a 312 supercharged engine. I know that engine well. I had to get one after I saw the movie. Oh, and the car to go with it. Bootleging is not a southern exclusive. I grew up in a small town in Minnesota, and we had 'shiners, and 'runners here. Minnesota 13 was the 'shine of the Volstead Days. Sorry, I forgot what this is all about, and no, I will not say if I did any of that. All my friends knew the song by heart, and we would sing it all the time. Bad guys drove Chev (Feds) and the good guys (Runners) drove Fords.

Simple, plain, and all 1950's. Lots of bad acting. Lots of continuity errors. Lots of hot cars. Lots of great action shots. A great title song. Look, if you were not born then, you have to see what Grandpa and Grandma made out to when they were young. No Drive-ins are around today. My 2002 Thunderbird has computers that limit my speed. I still know all the words to the song. I can still close my eyes and hear the roar of the 'mills', and see the flames from the Lakers, today. I still wish it was 'way back then', and 20 cops were waiting to play. "And when his engine roared, they called the highway Thunder Road"


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