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Rolling Thunder (1977)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
A returning war veteran loses his family to a violent home invasion and decides to seek and retaliate against those responsible.

Director:

John Flynn

Writers:

Paul Schrader (screenplay), Heywood Gould (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Devane ... Major Charles Rane
Tommy Lee Jones ... Johnny Vohden
Linda Haynes ... Linda Forchet
James Best ... Texan
Dabney Coleman ... Maxwell
Lisa Blake Richards Lisa Blake Richards ... Janet (as Lisa Richards)
Luke Askew ... Automatic Slim
Lawrason Driscoll Lawrason Driscoll ... Cliff
James Victor ... Lopez
Cassie Yates ... Candy
Jordan Gerler Jordan Gerler ... Mark
Jane Abbott ... Sister
Jerry Brown ... Patrolman 1
Jacque Burandt Jacque Burandt ... Bebe
Anthony Castillo Anthony Castillo ... Street Urchin
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Storyline

Major Charles Rane comes back from the war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a war hero. Some greedy thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver dollars from him. In the process they also manage to kill his wife and son and destroy his hand. The Major wants revenge so he enlists the help of his war buddy Johnny to meet the thugs in a final showdown. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Major Charles Rane Is Coming Home To War! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 February 1978 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Rolling Thunder See more »

Filming Locations:

Pearsall , Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color | Black and White (flashbacks)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Characters Fat Ed, Automatic Slim and T - Bird are featured in the theatrical release of "Grindhouse" (2007) as members of "Acuna Boys" Mexican Food. The logo for the fictional company shows up again in Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" as part of "Grindhouse". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Johnny: Major, I sure do hate to face all them people.
Major Charles Rane: Then put your glasses on, John.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.148 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

San Antone
Written by Barry De Vorzon (uncredited)
Sung by Denny Brooks
See more »

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User Reviews

Simply the Schraderest
26 October 1999 | by nunculusSee all my reviews

Paul Schrader's very best screenplay--and yes, I include the one about the guy who drives a cab--is this 1977 masterpiece, which wins my vote for most underrated movie of the seventies. (That's a long list, too.) Major Charles Rane (William Devane) is one of Gogol's dead souls. When he comes home after seven years of bone-crunching torture in the Hanoi Hilton, the missus has taken up with the guy next door. After a band of outlaws descend on the Rane manor to steal the Major's one precious possession, tragedy descends on Major Rane a second time, stealing whatever shred of humanness was in him, and sending him on a one-way destination: vengeance at any cost.

ROLLING THUNDER is the pulpiest, the sharpest, and the most humanly rich of all Schrader's "God's lonely man" sagas. The scenes between the Major and his new lover (Linda Haynes, magnificent) are a case study in the meeting point between the broken and the empty. Their scenes--in which the Major almost never utters a word--are a better approximation of the high points of Raymond Carver than Robert Altman's scrambled version. The director John Flynn--who also directed the tip-top THE OUTFIT with Robert Duvall as a Major Ranish hoodlum--never makes one false step. The guts of the finale--a Schraderish reprise of the last act of THE WILD BUNCH--seems amazing even for 1977.

ROLLING THUNDER is out of print and hard to find. Seek it at any and all costs. If seventies cinema were to be defined in a nutshell, this movie is it.


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