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Reviews Counted: 9

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 196


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

Thunderbolt was Josef von Sternberg's first American talking picture. George Bancroft, a von Sternberg regular (despite frequents clashes between the two men), plays a death row inmate who may be on the eve of eternity, but who has still one more murder on his mind. He plans to kill the young lover (Richard Arlen) of his former girl friend (Fay Wray); fortuitously the lover is incarcerated in the same prison where Bancroft awaits the chair.


George Bancroft
as Thunderbolt Jim Lang
Richard Arlen
as Bob Morgan
Fay Wray
as Ritzy
Eugénie Besserer
as Mrs. Morgan
James Spottswood
as `Snapper' O'Shea
Fred Kohler
as `Bad Al' Friedberg
Robert Elliott
as Prison Chaplain
E.H. Calvert
as District Attorney McKay
George Irving
as Mr. Corwin, Bank Officer
Mike Donlin
as Kentucky Sampson
S.S. Stewart
as Convict
William L. Thorne
as Police Inspector
King Tut
as The dog
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Critic Reviews for Thunderbolt

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (5)

With streaks of shadow and jolting contrasts of light to match the film's eccentric lurches between violence, comedy, and onscreen musical performance... Sternberg evokes a nerve-jangling city of macabre menace.

Mar 18, 2019 | Full Review…

A museum piece, then, for Sternberg completists only.

Oct 3, 2013 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

There is nothing edifying about this production, and it is hardly an entertainment.

Oct 3, 2013 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

This one is foolish.

Oct 3, 2013 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Probably the most underrated of Josef von Sternberg's sound pictures.

Oct 3, 2013 | Full Review…

Brilliantly filmed tale of romance and the underworld.

Nov 21, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Thunderbolt

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