Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) - Plot Summary Poster


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

  • 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.

  • A middle aged man nicknamed Thunderbolt (Clint Eastwood) has been masquerading as a preacher at a church located in the western American countryside. When he is found by one of the many who know who he really is, Thunderbolt is able to escape when he literally runs into a twenty-something man nicknamed Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges) (in reality, when Lightfoot runs into him). Despite not knowing anything about the other, the two decide to hang out together since they seem to have a similar temperament as two good old boys who have a penchant for doing things to bring them on the wrong side of the law. As they travel the American west together, there are people on their tail trying to kill them. When Lightfoot brings up the topic of robbing a bank, Thunderbolt's true history comes to light: he's a bank robber whose last job netted five hundred thousand dollars still hidden where only he of the surviving team members knows. The media reported that the money had been recovered, which, in reality, was a sting operation by the Police to draw out the robbers. It, however, led to Thunderbolt's accomplices believing he double-crossed them, hence the reason they now want him dead. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot learn that recovering the money may be a difficult task at the same time that two of Thunderbolt's old team members, Eddie Goody (Geoffrey Lewis) and Red Leary (George Kennedy), who are out to kill him, also learn the truth that the money was never recovered, and that Thunderbolt did not double cross them. In light of these new circumstances, Lightfoot believes he has an ingenious plan which requires the assistance of the old team, which, if successful, would make them all rich. Will the magic happen this second time around with Lightfoot added to the mix? And will old and new allegiances hold fast through to the completion of the scheme?



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