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Rolling Thunder [Double Play - Blu-ray + DVD]
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A favourite of Quentin Tarantino, Rolling Thunder is a quintessential revenge film from the 1970s. After eight years of torture in a POW camp, Major Charles Rane (William Devane, Marathon Man) returns home to receive a hero’s welcome and is awarded a big cash prize. Struggling to re-adjust to his former life, Rane faces another ordeal as a sadistic gang of thugs set their sights on his prize, killing his family and destroying his hand in the process. Now living only for vengeance, he enlists the help of his war buddy Johnny (Tommy Lee Jones, No Country For Old Men, Men in Black) to exact his own brand of justice. Rolling Thunder was co-written by Hollywood legend Paul Schrader and was his first produced screenplay after Taxi Driver. The film’s title was also the inspiration for Tarantino’s short lived video/DVD label, Rolling Thunder Pictures.
Extras: - Audio Commentary with Co-Writer Heywood Gould, Moderated by Roy Frumkes - Theatrical Trailer with Eli Roth Introduction and Commentary - Exclusive Interview with Linda Haynes - Original TV Spot
Top Customer Reviews
However, still well worth a watch, and I can see why film directors might rate the film highly for its integrity and singlemindedness. There must have been an enormous tempatation to end the film with some sort of return to normality for the broken souls involved.
When Major Charles Rane (Devane) returns from being a POW in Vietnam, he finds the world is a different place. His wife has been unfaithful and wants a divorce, his son doesn't know him and not everybody appreciates his service in the war effort. When some sympathetic town citizens hold a ceremony and give him 2,555 silver dollars, it signals the start of violence that takes Rane into a new war......
I'm just gonna sit here.
When Quentin Tarantino proclaimed Rolling Thunder as one of his favourite movies of all time, it was both a blessing and a curse. It's great that this undervalued and under seen gem hit the press notices, even getting a new Blu-ray release in the process, but with Quentin's name comes the millstone of exploitation and cheap flea-pit cinemas showing grubby movies. Nothing wrong with that, many film fans, myself included, enjoy 70s exploitation films and spent time in the afore mentioned sticky carpeted and tobacco perfumed theatres. But Rolling Thunder deserves better than being part of this filmic cultured arc, to have interested new parties seek it out purely with expectation of a revenge driven bloodbath movie.
You learn to love the pain.
John Flynn's movie is one of the finest of all the revenge driven movies out there. It has rich characterisation, thoughtful insight into the pain and tragedy of post war adjustment.Read more ›
I don't see what people are complaining about, for the price (£8), this is a magnificent release. Ok so it's a little light on extras, but it's hardly Taxi Driver (Paul Schrader abandoned his name from the the screenplay, as he wasn't happy that it didn't live up to Taxi Driver standards, but then again, it's a tough thing for ANY film to live up to Taxi Driver's standards).
Instead what we get is a great little exploitation classic, that builds like a pressure cooker until the big finale.
But there is substance too. Devanes Character as a post Vietnam vet shows how cold and emotionally detached he is by his surroundings. His wife marries his best friend, he doesn't care. A beautiful young blonde has the hots for him, he doesn't care. He gets tortured, doesn't care. Charles Rane seems to be some kind of distant cousin to Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle, except with Travis, he seemed to think about his surroundings too much but was still shook up by the Vietnam war and those negative thoughts lead to a path of psychosis, with Rane, he simply feels completely numb, barely seems to think or care about anything expect a way to express his underlying thoughts of violence, yet both of them have one thing on their mind only- violence and vengeance at the expense of self destruction.
The extras comprise of an interview with Linda Haynes, a poster gallery, a trailer, and a trailer with a commentary by Eli Roth who is a huge fan of the film (including his new boyfriend Tarantino).Read more ›
It's also one of Tarantino's favorite films. A fan of Paul Schrader won't be disappointed.
Blue Collar is another perfect Seventies film to seek out.
But when his home is invaded, he becomes disfigured and worse still, people close to him are killed, the result of which prompting the major to get himself together and go on a hunting trip, to find the aggressors and take his bloody revenge..
A really good Vietnam vet vigilante film this, with Devane giving us the laconic hero who goes on a hook handed road trip of vengeance. The pacing some will find maybe a little slow but the underlying tensions of an ill adjusted man about to erupt are handled quite well and the ending is nothing short of explosive. With Devane teaming up with his fellow POW pal Tommy Lee Jones (another ticking time~bomb who has more loose screws than a spillage in an ironmongers) in order to storm a Mexican brothel and attempt to kill every bad guy in sight. With the precedings being topped off by the appearance of the always welcome Luke Askew, as one of the nasties. . . oh yeah, and there's a lot of stuff involving aviator shades being used to hide people's souls from scrutiny.
For those of you who haven't seen this before, imagine a sort of cross between perhaps Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia and The Exterminator and you're kind of on the right lines. And if you like either of those then you're most likely onto a winner here.
The print on the UK (studio canal) special edition blu ray is sharp enough, with only a little grain. Those of you mad about extras maybe a little disappointed though, with just a short interview, a couple of trailers and a commentary.
4.25/5 stars at least.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I chose it because of the tarantino connection, nut I would advise to avoid.Published 6 months ago by S. T. Pearson
an excellent thriller from 1977, Great Directoring, Great acting perforances
SHOUT FACTORY blu-ray reissue has an excellent 1:85:1 HD transfer which has very nice sharp &... Read more
Good service and pleased with the item, enjoyed the film.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best but strangely least known of the revenge thrillers from the 1970's. A must see for those who like films like Taxi Driver ,Sorcerer and Deliverance.Published 21 months ago by Mr A Wetherall
Great seventies revenge action movie. William Devane is the taciturn Major returning from the Vietnam war a damaged hero. Read morePublished 22 months ago by fastforwardfan