Thunderbolt

1929

Crime / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.6

Synopsis


Downloaded 206 times
7/22/2021 1:12:44 AM

1080p 720p
1.74G
Normal
English
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85 min
P/S 0 / 0
1.52G
1456*1072
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English
23.976 fps /
85 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.10G
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English
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85 min
P/S 0 / 0
838.35M
978*720
Normal
English
23.976 fps /
85 min
P/S 0 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AlsExGal 8

... at least for early sound. The title character in particular, Thunderbolt, played by George Bancroft, is a rather complex gangster character for a dawn of sound movie. What do you say about a man who&#39;d go to great lengths to kill a fellow he has never met just on general principle but who loves the stray dog that causes him to finally get pinched and put in the death house to the point that when the death house warden grants him a favor, Thunderbolt asks for that same dog to stay in his cell as a pet? Fay Wray, only 21 at the time, plays Ritzy, Thunderbolt&#39;s girl, with a sense of world-weariness that is wise beyond her years. When the film opens she&#39;s being hassled by the police to give up Thunderbolt&#39;s hiding place in some really classic early sound police interrogation scenes. Ironically, she really wants to be free of Thunderbolt, who swears he&#39;ll never let her go, especially if there&#39;s another guy involved, and there is - bank teller Bob Morgan played by Richard Arlen.<br/><br/>The first third of the film moves about quite a bit with some great jazz age settings, but the last two-thirds is primarily confined to the death house where Thunderbolt awaits his appointment with the chair. There&#39;s lots of atmosphere in this one with the death row quartet that keeps getting broken up as one fellow is executed and then restarted as another inmate enters. The death row warden is an interesting fellow, with eccentricity and nervousness balanced by a humane streak to the point that he seems misplaced - he seems like he&#39;d be happier managing the shoe department in some retail store.<br/><br/>The end has a surprise twist to it that makes Thunderbolt rethink his rather complex plan of revenge just as he makes that last walk to the chair. I&#39;m being intentionally vague here so I don&#39;t ruin it for you. Watch it for the surprising sophistication of this early sound piece, for the kind of atmosphere you can always count on in a von Sternberg film, and for that general touch of class that you find in the early Paramount talkies.

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Reviewed by Bunuel1976 7

Sternberg&#39;s first Talkie is virtually a retread of his UNDERWORLD (1927), with the same leading man – George Bancroft – no less. However, while ably flanked by his co-stars there, he is practically the whole show this time around (Fay Wray and Richard Arlen being no match for Evelyn Brent and Clive Brook) and, consequently, the role earned Bancroft his sole Oscar nomination (and the film&#39;s as well)! Anyway, the director&#39;s approach to Sound was not as experimental as may have been anticipated (resorting to Death Row histrionics and even a number of songs to showcase the format!) and the end result is hardly dazzling in this regard – though the dialogue is surprisingly clean, i.e. audible, for such an early example. Conversely, the visual aspect of the film, usually the director&#39;s main concern, is greatly diluted here through the poor quality of the copy I watched which also sported forced German subtitles! <br/><br/>Bancroft is once again a gangster (as before, his activity remains undisclosed throughout, apart from lording it up in an almost exclusively-black nightclub!) and his moll eventually leaves him for another, younger and handsomer, man. Here, too, the mobster is caught and imprisoned – in a wonderful scene where he shows compassion for a mutt, subsequently proving inseparable, thus preceding Raoul Walsh&#39;s HIGH SIERRA by 12 years! Yet, he ingeniously has his associates frame the rival for a murder they committed (the development of this particular plot strand is unfortunately rather muddled) and the hero winds up in the cell opposite Bancroft&#39;s. As in UNDERWORLD, Fred Kohler also appears here to antagonize the latter – besides lanky warden Tully Marshall and an Irish guard whose name the protagonist continually tries to guess (with the droll pay-off coming at the film&#39;s very conclusion).<br/><br/>Wray and her mother plead with the gangster to do the right thing and clear Arlen of his crime but, of course, he will have none of that at the start. Again, however, Bancroft is softened and confesses his role in the young man&#39;s entrapment just hours before his execution is due; I have to wonder here why he, a first-time felon, is scheduled to die before the much sought-after &quot;Thunderbolt&quot;! – yes, the film&#39;s title is a reference to the character&#39;s nick-name. In any case, the moll&#39;s own admission that she had left her lover for the gangster rather than the other way around makes the latter realize, as was the case in UNDERWORLD, that he is in the way and gladly accepts his fate. Incidentally, speaking of references to the director&#39;s earlier work, Wray and Arlen are made to undergo a hasty marriage here – much like Bancroft himself and Betty Compson in THE DOCKS OF NEW YORK (1928)!

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Reviewed by MartinHafer 6

In 1929, talking pictures were still a novelty and some pictures in Hollywood were still coming out silent. So, it&#39;s not very surprising that this Josef von Sternberg movie comes off as a bit old fashioned. It&#39;s lack of incidental music* makes it seem a bit too quiet...but that was true of all the sound films of the day. Likewise, some of the acting is a bit stilted...and this was not at all unusual for 1929. So, I try to cut this and other movies from 1927-30 a bit of slack.<br/><br/>The title character, Thunderbolt Jim Lang (George Bancroft), is one of the most-wanted men in the country. He&#39;s been responsible for many bank robberies and deaths and the police are desperately searching for him. But their only lead is his old girlfriend, Ritzie (IMDB incorrectly spells it &#39;Ritzy&#39; and she&#39;s played by Fay Wray). But she&#39;s sick of him and wants to go straight--and has taken up with a nice guy, Bob (Richard Arlen). But Thunderbolt has promised that if she takes up with ANYONE other than him, he&#39;ll get them...and he does this in a most peculiar way...while he&#39;s in prison! Huh? How does he do this and how does it all end? See the film and find out for yourself.<br/><br/>The film has some very good things going for it--particularly the mobster talk throughout the movie. It&#39;s all very tough and fun. Bancroft&#39;s performance is also quite entertaining (not necessarily GOOD but entertaining). Still, the movie&#39;s plot is very tough to believe though it is still entertaining to see today...even with its old fashioned style and bizarre scenes with Thunderbolt inexplicably in his cell with a pet dog!<br/><br/>*Instead of the usual background music, it&#39;s a quiet film--normal for 1929. But in all the death row scenes, there is often some sort of spiritual being sung...and wow were they annoying and overdone!

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