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3.6
402 Ratings

Rolling Thunder

Directed by John Flynn
United States, 1977
Drama, Thriller, Action

Synopsis

Major Charles Rane comes back from the war a hero, and is given a number of gifts from his hometown for his service. Some greedy thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver dollars gifted to him. In the process, they also manage to kill his wife and son, and destroy his hand…

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Rolling Thunder Directed by John Flynn

Critics reviews

The most searing-in-the-brain moments aren’t even the cathartic bloodbath, which for all its shotgun blasts is strangely bloodless (no hand being shot off ala Taxi Driver) and we never see Devane’s own bloody stump, BUT we do get to see him drive his hook up into a deserving crotch, which automatically bumps any revenge film a star or two. And most of all, there’s that chill Devane’s brilliantly flatline performance brings.
July 07, 2013
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On paper, Rolling Thunder is a conventionally macho potboiler that, in the vein of many 1970s films, dresses up a Death Wish scenario with token nods to the politically charged despair that followed in the wake of the Vietnam War, and even people who only casually attend movies will probably assume early on that Rane’s going to kill several people before the end of the film. But Devane and Jones’s performances… display a refreshing empathy for the soldiers’ torment.
May 27, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • Nicholas Gregory's rating of the film Rolling Thunder

    Stoic characterization works wonders, keeping the Devane character grounded and realistic due to his deep torment. Rolling Thunder is a gritty and nasty revenge film with a final sequence that slightly recalls the famous action-orgy crescendo of The Wild Bunch. Obvious as a shotgun blast in its now-dated setup and formula, but at times it has the empathetic impact of one, too. Rare happy ending for the genre, also.

  • Scorpio Velvet's rating of the film Rolling Thunder

    Combines the classic revenge plot, road movie, action, and war veteran drama. Paul Schrader's screenplay reminded me little bit of TAXI DRIVER, especially the ending, but this is Schrader at his rarest work. The film could have been more entertaining if added little more action-packed moments, overall it was a fine '70s revenge drama I've seen. Also featured one of Tommy Lee Jones' earliest roles as well.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Rolling Thunder

    Blues, disenchantment and difficulties of communication are some of the themes that haunted the American cinema of the 70's. William Devane and an already constipated Tommy Lee Jones, with hair, could well be the archetypes of the heroes of this cinema that will soon die and be replaced by the flashy bad taste of the films of the 80's. Recommended.

  • Pierluigi Puccini's rating of the film Rolling Thunder

    B-movie heaven. An unjustly neglected revenge classic with a simple but compelling plot that sets up William Deveane and Tommy Lee Jones in low key, no nonsense performances, leading up to a bloodbath reminiscent of "The wild bunch". As gritty and heartbreaking as almost anything written by Paul Schrader.

  • Ghostman's rating of the film Rolling Thunder

    Rolling Thunder is a skillful thriller that suffers from a fascist point of view and, to be frank, is a racist film. It's one of those movies when the better made it is, the more despicable it is. You know that's true because the screenwriter even condemned it as such. Apparently this is one of Tarantino's favorite movies, which makes sense as to why he is the way he is.

  • Ethan's rating of the film Rolling Thunder

    This is one very underrated film. William Devane gives a stellar performance as a Vietnam vet with PTSD who is thrown into even more stressful situations. There's an early badass Tommy Lee Jones in this too. The 70s were a great time for filmmaking because you could get any kind of film made and a lot of times it was some of the best work you've ever seen.

  • josé neves's rating of the film Rolling Thunder

    The decade in which the American cinema has purged the traumas of its society, pretending to be exorcism which most often were no more than triviality. Taking advantage of this "mal de vivre", Schrader is once again responsible for a racist script, justifying the purpose to achieve the means, incurring in that inversion in a repeated fascist exposition, in this case minimized by an inoperative realization.

  • Checkpoint Charlie's rating of the film Rolling Thunder

    The direction is fairly inspired, and knowing Schrader's penchant for an above average meditation on violence around this time, the picture is slightly elevated above a mere revenge fantasy number. Here, we see at least glimmers of the hollowness and anticlimactic truth of violence as vengeance. Thankfully, it doesn't try to indulge in many glamorous clichés, though it could've dug deeper into the Devane character.

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