Another movie today, and a treat. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is written and directed by Michael Cimino, who would go on to make The Deer Hunter and, most notoriously, Heaven’s Gate.
But here he’s directing Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges for Clint’s own Malpaso production company, so he’s not allowed to let his ego get the better of him, and here he delivers a great two-hander for Eastwood and Bridges.
We first meet Eastwood preaching to his congregation in a small country church. But when a man arrives and starts shooting at him, we suspect he might not be the holiest of preachers.
Escaping from the gunman, he almost literally runs into Jeff Bridges, driving a car he’s just stolen, who then actually literally runs into the gunman.
Pretty soon they’re almost a team, Eastwood reluctantly, Bridges enthusiastically. Then its 70s roots start showing. Bridges goes out, picks up two women, leaves one of them with Eastwood. When they’re finished canoodling, she asks to be taken home, and Eastwood says no. and she says ‘I’ll run out of here half naked and scream Rape.’ He still says no, so she does exactly that. A middle-aged couple are just driving past the motel, she asks “Do you think we should stay here?” and he replies, smiling, “Why not?”
I’m sure I didn;t have a problem with this stuff when I watched this back in the 80s.
George Kennedy is after Eastwood, after a previous bank robbery, and tries a couple of times to kill him, but when Eastwood tells him that the old schoolhouse where he’d hidden the money is no longer there, they team up.
The group then plan an elaborate bank robbery, but mostly because Kennedy hates Bridges, it all goes a bit pear-shaped.
It’s not a bad film, but not quite the classic I remember. Bridges and Eastwood are charming, Kennedy is sweaty and loathsome, and therefore perfect for his role. But the central heist section does drag a little.
Weird credit spot – Gary Busey is credited as Garey Busey.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 11th March 1985 – 22:05
After this, there’s a rundown of programmes for Tuesday.
There’s some weather, and a public information film about fostering, before BBC One closes down.