Thunder Road (1958)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Robert Mitchum (who also wrote the story and served as executive producer) stars in Thunder Road as Lucas Doolin, a Korean War veteran who returns home and promptly rejoins the family's bootlegging business. His father, Vernon (Trevor Bardette), runs the still and heads the family, while Lucas handles the driving and transporting of the moonshine (mostly to Memphis), and his younger brother, Robin (James Mitchum), takes care of the car he uses to outrun the competition and the Treasury agents; … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By: , , , ,
Written By: Robert Mitchum, Walter Wise, James Atlee Phillips
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 15, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment

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as Lucas Doolin

as Troy Barrett

as Robin Doolin

as Carl Kogan

as Francie Wymore

as Vernon Doolin

as Roxanna Ledbetter

as Mary Barrett

as Sarah Doolin

as Sarah Doolin

as Singer/Guitarist

as Jed Moultrie

as Stacey Gouge

as Niles Penland
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Thunder Road

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Bruce Springsteen borrowed its title and Burt Reynolds appropriated its anti-'revenooer' appeal, but just shy of its 60th anniversary, 'Thunder Road' remains very much the property of its actor-as-auteur leading man, Robert Mitchum.

Full Review… | May 15, 2015
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The world of moonshine transporters is keyed to Mitchum's fatalist-hobo wryness

Full Review… | September 25, 2009

The ultimate road movie.

Full Review… | June 20, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Southern drive-in staple Thunder Road is basically The Robert Mitchum Show.

Full Review… | May 1, 2006
Slant Magazine

Mitchum as a booze runner is fun enough, but his singing of the title song is the plus.

August 1, 2005

Audience Reviews for Thunder Road


Decent if unremarkable drama of a moonshiner and the feds who are trying to shut him down. A real study in star power with Robert Mitchum commanding the screen with seemingly little effort. An interesting contrast can be made between him and his son James, making his screen debut here, their appearance is so similar that you would think their performances would have a hint of the same similarity. The senior Mitchum owns the screen with an easy charm and magnetism while the young Mitchum is stiff with a vacant stare. Keely Smith contributes a couple of terrific numbers sung in her unique style but she also comes across as uncomfortable and mechanical in any scene which doesn't require her to sing. A huge drive-in hit in its day, it's easy to see why since it has a very laid back, low budget feel.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


I know this has become a pseudo-cult classic but there are really only three reasons you'd want to watch this film: 1)You're a fan of catchy theme songs. 2)You're a fan of Robert Mitchum. 3)You're a fan of incredibly bad acting (i.e. Robert's son James)

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Boring, droll and self-indulgent. It's funny to hear backwoods diction without the painful-sounding accents even if it's not believable. Even though I fell asleep halfway through, I could bitch about it for an hour.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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