I think the usual norm for this place is to talk about something shitty – or at least to do some shitty writing about something shitty or maybe even something I like. Mostly horror – the bad ones – I think mostly everyone else covers the good ones. I’ve been watching bad horror movies my whole life – from the times we used to walk up to the the video store and once we’d seen all of the popular ones, we went ahead and dug into those copies with the dust all over them and probably didn’t ever need any re-winding. Here and there, people have wondered why or how I can watch these things but that’s easy – I always have and even if I don’t love them – I love them. You’ve got to watch the bad ones to appreciate the good or some shit OR – you’ve just got to watch the bad ones. I’ll still have a beer with them even if I don’t like them. Except for maybe Only God Forgives. That one can eat shit.
With that intro out of the way – this movie is NOT a horror and I love it. Also – its not about the following who is one of my favorite musical artists:
I could copy and paste the synopsis of this movie but – really – that’s not necessary. Eastwood is a bank robber in hiding from –> George Kennedy (!) of all people (most people probably only know him from Naked Gun) – who a drifting hippie (!) named Jeff Bridges before he sadly became The Dude and after a bunch of car chases, rabid racoons, Daisy Duke (!) and even a bare knuckle fistfight (!) they all team up to rob a bank (!) again (!). Eastwood has his name Thunderbolt from the last time they stole money and he used a 20 MIL cannon to bust open the vault. Lightfoot has his name for no explained reason and it’s funny because they make fun of it often. One thing I’ll try and touch on later if my writing doesn’t go off the rails is the actually writing of this movie – which is excellent. It’s not full of someone who just wrote a script and stuck some things in when it felt convenient at times, but, maybe I’ll remember to touch on it later. For example – will I return to Gordon Lightfoot or is that just some random thing that popped into my brains earlier because of the movie title?
I guess I should mention something about that whole The Dude remark and the dear reader can hate me more now than ever but I never liked The Big Lebowski and I’ve always hated that character of The Dude. There, it’s said and I’m not apologetic because that’s how I feel but I wish Bridges hadn’t just become that in his life. Well, that and whatever the fuck that was in that sequel to Tron. That was kind of disgusting.
I’ve always liked Eastwood, not for the most part but for the majority part. I know he’s had some problems and this good family friend of ours HATES him and thinks I should hate him too but I don’t. This is being written before Cry Macho comes out and I’ll watch it because I will and his last movie, The Mule, kind of sucked but, hey, I’ll give it a chance. This movie came around in 1974 so FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK, almost 50 years ago…. he plays someone not quite so macho but still ready to drink a pop-top beer, punch some people for good measure and load up a heavy artillery weapon to make his own money. I mean, who wants a job?
This isn’t quite a serious as the Dirty Harry movies which I think is interesting since this is written and directed by the guy who did The Deer Hunter. God damn that was grim. Aside from Bridges who has lines like “Redheaded girls are bad luck!”, “I’ve got a wooden leg” and picks up chicks for the sex (Daisy Duke [!]) there’s a strange dynamic between his character and Kennedy’s. I guess because Kennedy is a Korean war vet and Lightfoot is a smartass hippie but Kennedy always wants to kill or beat the shit out of him. There’s this one part where they’re looking at the target and Bridges makes a comment like “It doesn’t look too impressive” (or something) and Kennedy starts chasing him around trying to kick his ass. It’s odd and not something the scene focuses on but, it’s hilarious.
There’s also a section where they all go get jobs to try and make a little money while they order the parts for the cannon they’ll need. Eastwood gets a job welding, Geoffrey that’s right Every Which Way But Loose Lewis drives an ice cream truck and Bridges gets a job installing a sprinkler system. But, in the sense of everything, aside from just seeming random, they make sense. Lewis is plotting out the city, Eastwood is honing up his mechanics and the crew needs that truck in the background of that pic. Plus, for good measure, they throw in Vic Tayback, Gary Busey and a random nude woman just for the fun of it. Oh – and Kennedy has a job cleaning floors in the local department store which is guarded by viscous dogs at night. And, he has hayfever.
Oh – and Daisy Duke. There probably won’t be many times on this blog I get to talk about her – many young boy’s OOO LA LA. Aside: I’ll never forget you Sarah Jane and Tegan and Nyssa and Peri but –> Daisy Duke…
So Cimino sets it all up and the actors do things that actors had to do back in the 70s like move props and drink glasses of warm beer and oh fuck there’s a redhead and oh fuck that hay fever thing comes into play and oh fuck – so do those guard dogs. It seems that – and don’t forget, I fully acknowledge I don’t know shit about shit and have trouble typing up the word acknowledge but, it seems, I don’t really watch things where pieces of the plot make a difference later (but I also watch really shit movies). Much like all of the movies where people that don’t smoke carry convenient Zippos all over town. Or dial tones on cell phones. Wait, that last one’s just stupidity.
I doubt anyone in the world will remember the post where I waxed all sad-sacky about how I made some girl really cry years ago because I didn’t really want to go out with her any more and I told her that I wasn’t the hero in her story. I got that from an old Gordon Lightfoot song called “If You Could Read My Mind” that I used to play on my record player back when I was a kid. Here’s a blurb of the lyrics but the point is that I’ve never thought of myself as the hero and there was a point to me bring up Gordon in this post earlier. But really, I didn’t have some fucked up childhood, I just grew up sad and lonely.
When you reach the part where the heartaches
Come the hero would be me
But heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just to hard to take
On one of CPD’s posts I mentioned that I used to mope around to Alan Parsons and Pink Floyd when I was young but Lightfoot also did the trick.
In the end, what did we glean from this today? I really liked this movie. I wish there never was The Dude. I’ve always liked Clint Eastwood. The Mule kind of sucked, Cry Macho looks only OK and, even though I didn’t mention it, Last Blood fucking rocked my lame ass. Oh – don’t fuck with a Korean War hero you goddammed hippies and get a fucking haircut and a real job and quit smoking dope and taking uppers and downers and wear some fucking pants and wash your motherfucking feet and tattoos are only for marines and dirty shithouse convicts what kind of people are you running with I raised you better than that don’t drink or smoke.
FILED UNDER: THEY ALMOST MADE IT TO THE HAPPY ENDING
7 thoughts on “thunderbolt and lightfoot (1974)”
I wonder why they don’t make movies about bank robbers anymore? One of my mystery shows had an episode earlier this year that was a takeoff on Dog Day Afternoon but I don’t remember the last time I saw a movie about it. Anyway, this sounds like something I would like seeing as how it’s the Every Which Way But Loose duo. I didn’t know you didn’t like Lebowski!
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I’ve always thought this one was pretty good! It’s a zillion times more believable than a bunch of kids doing magic tricks. And how can you go wrong with a cannon? And pop top beer? I’m sold!
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I love this movie. Hate the end though
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I don’t think I know any Gordon Lightfoot songs at all. And I still only really know Eye in the Sky from Alan Parsons Project. I should listen to something of theirs. They prog rock?? Prog is good for sleepin’! Gonna stick on an album now since I’m in bed. I’ll go for the Eye in the Sky album! (I was absolutely obsessed with Pink Floyd for a couple of years in my early 20s so no need to look into their stuff). 😊
Okay, I’ve definitely heard this first song! Sirius? I like it! I looked it up because I swore it was in a movie but looks like it was used in Cobra Kai. Ha! I love that show… 👍
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Soooooooooooo???? Did you farther than the first song?? They had a few albums with that song on it . If it’s the same list, Old and Wise is one of my favorite songs. I mean, not like I want to go listen to it right now but it’s my sad reflecting song about the end of my life. How’s that for happy??
Cry cry cry
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I’ll listen to more Alan Parsons. It’s good for sleeping but means I don’t hear much as I keep falling asleep! 😴