Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

“So why did you try to kill him then?” … “Because we were friends.” In this offbeat, rambling road movie/crime thriller written and directed by Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter), novice thief and all-around hellraiser “Lightfoot” (Jeff Bridges) befriends seasoned veteran bank robber “Thunderbolt” (Clint Eastwood), who has been hiding out as a preacher following the notorious robbery of an Montana armory. The duo soon teams up with the remnants of Thunderbolt’s old gang, short-tempered “Red Leary” (George Kennedy) and dimwitted “Eddie Goody” (Geoffrey Lewis), who had been trying to kill their former partner, thinking he had double-crossed them out of the loot. The money was actually hidden in a historic one-room schoolhouse that has seemingly vanished without a trace. The gang decides to rob the armory one more time with disastrous results. Look for brief appearances by Catherine Bach as “Melody,” Gary Busey as “Curly,” Vic Tayback as “Construction Company Owner,” Dub Taylor as “Gas Station Attendant” and Bill McKinney as “Crazy Driver” (who gives the hitchhiking Thunderbolt and Lightfoot a wild ride in one of the most bizarre scenes in film history!). Some critics have railed against the film’s rather disjointed nature but I actually enjoyed some of the scenes that are seemingly extraneous to the plot such as when Red and Eddie are driving around in the Frosty ice cream truck, the kid runs out and starts chewing them out for being on the wrong street and Red tells the punk to “Go fuck a duck!” Bridges was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor but lost out to Robert De Niro (The Godfather Part II).

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