Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

I'm still on holiday. Yesterday Paul came around and we played a bit of draughts and I introduced him to a classic game called TWIXT. You can actually play it online here if you want to discover it. While we played we listened to the Legacy Edition of The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Anyway, after all this we filled our pot of tea and sat back to watch a film Paul had chosen from the library, he chose a little known classic, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

Paul sold it to me as, "you know, a buddy movie". A what movie? Doherty (Eastwood), an ex con / bank robber is by fate, recklessly aided by Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges) helping Doherty make a sharp exit from his former criminal associates (played by G Kennedy & G Busey). All four characters are forced to overlook their pasts and differences, we see a transformation and are strung a long a brilliant story of classic-buddies-plotting-to-beat-the-impossible-odds. Michael Cimino (Director) immediately throws the story and the characters into quick pace. He litters the film with good looking sets, sweet colour and oddly placed obstacles - for instance, a deranged hick driving by with a boot full of white rabbits.

Amazon describes it thus: Jeff Bridges actually corralled an Oscar nomination for his spirited, oddball performance in this genre crime story, directed by first-timer Michael Cimino who (a short two films later) would bring down a studio with Heaven's Gate. Clint Eastwood plays a bank robber par excellence with a flair for explosives who is being hunted by his former partners, who think he has their loot from their last job. Bridges is his eager apprentice and sidekick, who helps him escape; when Eastwood finally makes peace with his hunters, Bridges convinces them to try a daring robbery--but things inevitably go awry. The relationship between Eastwood and Bridges is both funny and touching in this, one of Eastwood's better post-Dirty Harry efforts.

Anyway as Paul said, "I think you can tell I loved it by the number of times I said that was great". It's fun, laugh-out-loud funny, and enjoyable. I'd reccomend it.

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