- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Best Early Car Movie
- Jim Paule
Seeing Lucas driving the souped up Olds 88 in the movie was a thrill for me as I also drove a 1950 Olds 88 as a 17 year old at that time! When he graduated to the 1957 Ford later in the movie, that was fun watching him dual with the Chevy driven by the Feds. Ballad of Thunder Road is still requested at classic car shows these days. The "Whippoorwill" sung in the movie by Keely Smith is a terrific song that should have been a hit. Thunder Raod is still one of my favorite all-time movies.
A Robert Mitchum Tour de Force
- C L Ervin
Its all-out war in the backwoods of Appalachia! This movie has a drive-fast, live-free spirit that is infectious and overcomes production that feels low-budget today. It's a cult classic. The locations look authentic, and much of the movie was filmed in the Appalachians, around Asheville, NC. I'm a Tennessean, and even though this film was released well before my era. It feels like an honest depiction of the times; its evocative of an era. Robert Mitchum delivers one of his all-time best performances in this backwoods-based thriller that literally has his fingerprints all over it. He initiated the idea for the film, produced it, wrote the title song, and his son Jim plays his younger brother. Gene Barry, as FBI agent Troy Barrett, serves as a contrast for Mitchum's character, someone who strictly follows the rules and upholds the law. The film makes clear the real enemy of the people is the big city mob and its ruthless boss Carl Kogan, played by Jacques Aubochon- not the moonshiners themselves. Here's a bonus for torch-singer aficionados: 50s sensation Keely Smith plays nightclub singer and Luc Doolin love-interest Francie. Caught in the crossfire between big-city mobsters and federal treasury agents, feeling the heat from his neighbors in the illegal whiskey business, and his family as well-due to his teenage brother's desire to follow in his footsteps. The film features backroads car chases aplenty, and the action never stops, even when Doolin's fellow moon runner Jethro Moultrie (real name) is killed by the big city mob. Lesson: If you're determined to live by your own rules, uncaged and independent, be ready to pay the price. The iconic Robert Mitchum personifies this spirit.
I love Thunder Road
I am 67 years old and grew up out in the country of north west Ga. Quite a few people in our area made liquor back in the 50's and 60's when I was a kid. We would be playing in the yard or just sitting on the porch and watch the hot cars go buy ,some had the tail up in the air and others would be sitting down in the back. We knew what they were doing but didn't think much about it. I just enjoyed seeing the cars. Watching Thunder Road takes me back to my child hood days and I enjoy it even though they messed up the sound of Doolin's engine. I have the movie on vHS and DVD and get up early about once a month to watch it again and get my Thunder Road fix! I also have a 57 Ford that I get out of the garage a few times a week to ride back in time. Thanks for the movie
- Charlotte Gillespie
THUNDER ROAD IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER. I ENJOY IT EVERY CHANCE IT IS ON. ROBERT MITCHUM WAS GREAT IN THIS ROLE. IT SHOULD BE ON MORE OFTEN, EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON. SORRY SO MANY MISSES IT WHEN IT PLAYS LATE AT NIGHT. FOR US SENIORS WHO LOVE THIS TYPE OF MOVIE IT IS WAY TO LATE. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK IN SHOWING WHAT MOVIES SHOULD BE AND NOT THE KILLING, GUNS AND BAD LANGUAGE THAT THEY PUT OUT TODAY. THANKS AGAIN FOR GREAT MOVIES.
thunder road movie
- robert pineault
hi. I loved thunder road movie. James mitchum bought the 51 ford movie car when it ended . Some cars were bought by the film crew from the real moonshiners. thanks. rob
The Chase scenes
- Dan A Hayes
I am 57 years old born in 1957. To me this is the movie that started the modern day Chase scenes in movies. Thank about it. What movie before this one had a better chase. To me none. Yes today it looks hokey. But back in it day it was very real. Remember cars up till the early to late 1950.s were still new to alot of people. In that time many people in the south did not own but one car if one at all so to see a street car all super up and fly like hell on a country road was a real treat. And let's face it had very few kings of cool. Before Steve McQueen who to me was Mr cool. Mitcham was the king of cool. What makes cool? Low key even tempered. Slow to anger. That is what king of cool is. A moonshiner. Had to be cool or get caught. The ultimate poker player. A whiskey hauler.
The Emotional Impact of WW II
Watching this movie again after 40 years, I was struck how much Luke Doolan (Mitchum's character) had been changed by WW II into a person who no longer felt he fit, either in the holler or elsewhere. Coming back home to do what he had been doing and trying to fit into his family was what he tried to do, but -- tellingly -- was not what he wanted for his kid brother.When I first watched it, the engine sounds, the chases, and Mitchum's coolness (including the cigarette) were all I could notice. All of that is entertaining still, as sort of GHG porn. But the undertones are what give the film staying power.A great film!
A cult classic that's one of the best bootlegging films ever made. Mitchum is a former soldier-turned-bootlegger who fights the law and a local gang, Mitchum's eldest son was cast as his kid brother. The story is far-fetched at times, but has rich characters and exciting action. Mitchum co-wrote the title song and Bruce Springsteen wrote a hit song after only seeing the poster. I give it a 3.5/5.
"The Ballad of Thunder Road"
To set the record straight, the Randy Sparks rendition of the title song was the one used in the opening credits of the film. While Robert Mitchum did co-write the song and recorded it, he didn't release his version until later, when it appeared as a bonus track on a reissue of his calypso (yes, CALYPSO) album called "Calypso - Is Like So". The Mitchum version earned Billboard Hot 100 status twice, in 1958 and 1962. Due to its ongoing popularity, many people assume that the Mitchum version was used in the original soundtrack; unfortunately, this was not the case, since it is much superior to the Sparks version...Later, "The Ballad of Thunder Road" would be covered by such artists as Jim & Jesse, Flatt & Scruggs, and The Charlie Daniels Band. The impressively multi-talented Robert Mitchum usually sang his own parts in musical films, and would later record several country songs, some of which earned Top 10 rankings on the Billboard country charts...
Robert Mitchums sunglasses
while filming Thunder Road in Asheville North Carolina, Robert actually stopped at my grandfathers old country store that sold gasoline, groceries and cigarettes. Robert bought a pack of cigarettes and left his 50's silver metal sun glasses at the store. I was given them by my dad yesterday! I am so excited to have such a piece of hollywood history. I actually wear them!
- james call
I seen this movie when i was about 12 years old. But comeing from the foothills of north carloina Ithis was the greatets move i had ever seen. WISH IT WAS IN COLOR .
thunder road comments
- m luther
the 1958 robert mitchum movie thunder road is a movie i always try to watch when it returns to cable. i was a young boy in asheville, north carolina when the movie was filmed. it caused quite a large amount of local interest at the time. whenever i returm to asheville, i can drive by a number of city buildings and landmarks that were featured in the movie. even after all the special effects of today's movies and even after seeing the chase in bullitt filmed ten years after thunder road, the car chase scenes in thunder road are still great to watch. yes, it's a cult flick, still watched and enjoyed by many gearheads!
Two or more endings?
- Joseph F. Richmond
Were alternate endings to Thunder Road produced? I distinctly remember seeing Thunder Road end when Lucas drives hard into a curve where one of Carl Kogan's men had discharged dozens of calthrops (4-pointed antipersonal "tacks" which always land with one point sticking straight up) on the road. This instantly gave Lucas 4 flat tires; in attempting to regain control of his car, Lucas drove into the electrical substation and was electrocuted. This all occurred while Troy Barrett and his partner were racing to warn Lucas that Kogan was going to get Lucas killed that night, without fail. A corrupt, local sheriff may have been the one spreading the calthrops, on Logan's order.
- Hank Holden
I first saw Thunder Road when I was a teenager growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. Robert Mitchum's portrayal of a tough "rum runner" who bucked the "system" impressed me very much. I often imagined myself in that role whenever I got behind the wheel of an old Packard that my father owned. Luckily, I never got caught for speeding or reckless driving during one of these wild romps through the delta of west Tennessee. However, I still think back to those wild rides whenever I have an opportunity to watch the movie once again. A great movie to watch for entertainment, but not one to try to live in reality.
Thunder Road (1958)
- James Higgins
Exciting thriller, with a solid and mesmerizing performance by Robert Mitchum. The script is taut, the pace is excellent and the black and white cinematography is very effective. Good atmosphere, great screenplay.
LOCAL COLOR OF THUNDER ROAD
- GEORGE ROYSTER
i LIVE AND GREW UP IN OAK RIDGE,TENNESSEE NEAR WHERE A MOON RUNNER WAS KILLED IN BEARDEN NEAR KNOXVILLE THUNDER ROAD WAS LOOSELY BASED ON THIS MOONRUNNER WHO WAS FROM ROCKHOLDS,KENTUCKY AND WAS NICKNAMED TWEET O LOW TWILL MITCHUM BROUGHT THE MOB INTO THE PLOT AS THEY WERE KNOWN TO TRY AND INFILTRATE THE MOONSHINE BUSINESS WHICH THEY DID IN COCKE COUNTY,TENNESSEE WHERE NEWPORT WAS ONCE CALLED LITTLE CHICAGO
Thunder road movie
This is one of Robert Mitchums greatest movie.His family should be very proud of him.His son done a very good job also.Robert is so proud of him.
Tough Mitchum Action Film
- Bruce Reber
"Thunder Road" is one of Robert Mitchum's best films, and he's at his toughest playing a Tennessee moonshiner fighting against both the "revenooers" and a gangster trying to take over his operation. They must have spent a lot of money on cars, since most of the cars that get smashed up are new (for 1957), especially the '57 Ford Lucas Doolin (Mitchum) uses to run his moonshine. Mitchum's real life son James plays his brother whom he is trying to keep from becoming a moonshiner himself. I liked the rear bumper gimmick at the beginning (Lucas has his bumper rigged to come off, and the T-man (Gene Barry) ends up with an extra bumper on his car). I also like the theme song, which Mitchum wrote and also had a hit with in 1958 singing it.
How dare you?
This is the "one" film I've seen more than fifteen times. TCM should respect and honor the "fact" that Robert Mitchum did the singing of the theme song "Thunder Road". It wasn't sung on tonight's veiwing and I, for one, am so very disappointed. I thought "you" were a "classic" producer and re-producer of original material. Shame on you. Damn you! Larry: at firstname.lastname@example.org How can I submit a rating when you didn't give the real representation?
- Marvin Gardens
Mitchum's best performance. Pre Bond car chases.
Robert Mitchum's performance
In my opinion this was Robert Mitchum's most memorable performance