7.0/10
6,663
78 user 110 critic

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 ... 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:

In just two weeks an all-American town gives a war hero a reason to pull the trigger again. 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:

Der Mann mit der Stahlkralle 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

Years later, William Devane talked about his regrets with the film not being a bigger hit, stating that the studio lost confidence in it after a disastrous sneak preview that he and Tommy Lee Jones weren't able to convince/force them to stick with their wider release plan. Devane noted that Warren Beatty "knew how to play the game" when he similarly overcame fierce opposition from Warner Brothers regarding "Bonnie and Clyde" and was able to engineer a re-release that ended up making that film and enormous hit; Devane said "I didn't know how to do that. I still don't know how to do that!" See more »

Goofs

At least two instances of incorrect uniform nameplates appear in the movie. Actual Air Force nameplates include only the last name of the wearer. However, Major Rane's plate shows his first name and middle initial in addition to his last name. And his doctor's nameplate includes his rank (Lt Colonel) as well as his last name. 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

Featured in Sneak Previews: Take 2: Vietnam Movies (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

San Antone
Written by Barry De Vorzon (uncredited)
Sung by Denny Brooks
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User Reviews

 
One Look Says It All!
26 October 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Boy, it's good to see a film one really likes that is just about unknown.....and read other reviewers who share your high opinion of that movie.

That's the case here in this simple revenge tale. My attraction to this film, outside of the interesting story, is the acting performance of William Devane, who plays the lead character. Seldom have I seen such a fascinating character.

Devane's character, "Major Charles Rane," had some interesting things to say BUT his silence was downright fascinating. Just the looks on his face and the absolute silence when his wife tells him she had been fooling around in his absence (when he had been suffering as POW, no less!) or when the robbers are giving him a horrible, sadistic beating. With the exception of one, maybe two outbursts, his language was surprisingly civil, too.

The movie had what I call "that gritty '70s look" to it but was well-filmed and probably would look very good on DVD. (We are still waiting for that to happen.) There were some solid closeup and shadow shots which added nicely to the neo-noir story. The violence is no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point and, with one exception at the end, realistically brutal........ but not overdone. The film starts slowly for the first 10-15 minutes but is a fast ride once the thieves enter the picture.

Co-star Linda Haynes reminded me of Tuesday Weld but not quite as pretty and a tiny bit harder looking. Nonetheless, she was an interesting new face and one I still don't recall ever seeing in any other film. It's also fun to see such a young Tommy Lee Jones.

Revenge movies can be a dime-a-dozen but this has at least one scene I guarantee you will never forget.


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