Thunder Road

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"More Savage Than The Tommy-Gun Massacre of the Roaring Twenties...TODAY'S BILLION-DOLLAR WHISKEY WAR!"
  • Approved
  • 1958
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.6  (4,630)
  • 73

Thunder Road, released in 1958, is a crime drama film with a strong focus on action and other interesting elements. The movie stars Robert Mitchum as Luke Doolin, a Korean war veteran who engages in illegal moonshine running to sustain himself and his family. The plot follows Luke as he continues his family's legacy of bootlegging quality whiskey amidst increasing police crackdowns. Added to that, Luke's younger brother Robin has been recruited by the FBI to act as an informant, leaving Luke to question his own loyalties and whether he should continue his life as a criminal.

As the story unfolds, with Gene Barry in supporting role as Treasury Department agent Troy Barrett, the tension between the legal and illegal forces heightens. Luke is determined to carry on with his illegal business, while Barrett is just as dogged in his pursuit of Doolin.

Along the way, the plot finds a few twists and surprises that add to the thrilling ride of the movie. For instance, Doolin is forced to ally himself with a hardened criminal named Anges, played by Jacques Aubuchon, in order to evade the authorities. Meanwhile, Barrett puts his job on the line to capture Cuba, one of Doolin's associates.

One aspect that sets this movie apart from others of its genre is its focus on character development. The movie does not just portray its characters as tough and rough around the edges, but it takes time to delve into their personal lives and motivations. For example, Luke's love interest Francine, played by Keely Smith, is revealed to be a former alcoholic who has been sober for six years. Similarly, Luke's brother Robin is shown to be battling the guilt of betraying his family, all the while secretly yearning to take up a moonshiner's life himself.

What is also notable about Thunder Road is the blisteringly impressive automobile stunts and action scenes. Robert Mitchum himself was an excellent driver and handled several of the more intense driving scenes in the film. The driving sequences, especially the climactic chase scene, are thrilling and impressive even by the standards of today's movies.

The film was directed by Arthur Ripley, who had previously directed a number of acclaimed movies in the noir genre. He brings his experience to this film, and it shows in the darker tones and the grimmer edge to the storytelling.

Overall, Thunder Road is a riveting and engaging crime drama that deserves its place in movie history. Its focus on characters, impressive action sequences, and the sheer realism of its screenplay make it a gripping watch for fans of the genre. Not only is it an excellent movie, it also serves as a poignant reminder of the growing social and economic tensions in rural America in the 1950s.

Thunder Road is a 1958 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 73.

Thunder Road
Where to Watch Thunder Road
Thunder Road is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Thunder Road for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (4,630)
  • Metascore