Monday, March 2, 2009

Thunder Road (1958)

Director: Arthur Ripley

Starring: Robert Mitchum, Gene Barry, Jacque Aubuchon, Keely Smith

More Info: IMDB


Plot: A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.

My Rating: 5/10

Would I watch it again? Once was enough, thank you.

This is not that good of a film. Don't believe the hype. It sounds like like a fun hillbilly action movie that's loaded with fast cars and barefoot hillbilly women. Nope. It's a typical, run-of-the-mill Hollywood melodrama set in Tennessee about running moonshine. Yeah, there are a few car chases but they're not exciting in the least. If you take Robert Mitchum out of this no one would know this movie existed. It's drab.

I'm sleepy

Going into this I was kind of excited. Sometimes it doesn't take much to keep me excited but TR just sat there. Now I digs me some Robert Mitchum. He's done some great stuff. OUT OF THE PAST (1947), THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955), CAPE FEAR (1962), THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (1973) - all great films with excellent performances. Here he seems stuck in a low budget potboiler surrounded by very little talent. Why is that? It's probably because it was something that he was really behind but no one else was and since he had some Hollywood clout he was able to get some money together (not much) and get this made. Besides starring in it, he wrote the story, produced, co-wrote one of the songs and sang the title tune. His son, James, plays his younger brother. He's not good.

I'm sleepy, too

Of all the leads and second leads in the picture, the only one that really stands out is Gene Barry as the Treasury Agent. He's great. My biggest issue with the acting is that nearly every person in the film looked like they were "acting". Know what I mean? You could see their thought processes. Even R Mitchum. He's OK and better than most here but this is one of the worst performances I've seen of his so far. It's just by-the-numbers. He called it in.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT! KEELY SMITH IS IN THIS MOVIE!!! She needs to have my babies.

As stated earlier, this takes place in the hills of Tennessee so you'd think that everyone would have, uh, um, let's see, a, uh SOUTHERN ACCENT, right? WRONG! Not one person has, or is even trying for one. WTF? At least fucking try. Being from the South it's difficult to take shit like this lightly. It's just like when Keven Costner played Robin Hood or when Tom Cruise played a Nazi with their middle American accents. I need more than that.

Keely Smith sings. Ahhhhhh. What a beautiful voice. I'm a huge fan of hers from her days with Louis Prima back in the 50s and 60s. In TR she plays a nightclub singer who's gettin' some Bob Mitchum on the side. OH YOUR FUCKING GOD! She's a terrible actress. This is painful to watch. I'm pulling out. She does not need to have my babies. I feel so sad now. She's bad. Woof. Lovely voice, though.

Gene Barry as Indiana Jones

If you're a die-hard Robert Mitchum fan then you've already seen this or will at some point. If not, then there's not much reason to watch it. It's average at best. It's more like CLOUDY AND MILD WITH A LIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS ROAD. Movin' on...

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