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Thunder and Lightning

Where to Watch Thunder and Lightning

PG
1981

Thunder and Lightning is a rollicking action-adventure film from the 1970s long before the time of computer graphics and digital special effects, although what it lacks in technical effects it makes up for in real stunts, vibrant characters, and the pure thrill of the old-school chase. Gritty, suspenseful, and brimming with charm, the movie features riveting performances from famed actors David Carradine, Kate Jackson, and Sterling Holloway; their charisma making every scene enthralling to watch.

Set in the rollicking world of rough-hewn, rural America during a time where automobiles were the prowess of speed and freedom, Thunder and Lightning delivers excitement from its opening scene. David Carradine plays Harley Thomas, a no-nonsense, down-to-earth, and valiant truck driver who loves his job just as much as he loves his hometown. His world is thoroughly entrenched in the classic American trucker archetype, providing a backbone of simplicity and raw humanity amidst the chaos that soon ensues.

Carradine's character, Harley, becomes romantically entwined with Nancy Sue Hunnicutt, played with exuberant charm by Kate Jackson, who exudes a confluence of vulnerability and toughness. The chemistry between Carradine and Jackson makes the aspect of their forbidden love even more enticing. This is somewhat because Nancy Sue happens to be the daughter of a well-connected, predominantly wealthy man, who won't take Harley's courting lightly.

Rounding off the leading cast, Sterling Holloway steps in as Rudi Hunnicut, Nancy Sue’s comically intrusive grandfather. Holloway's performance provides surprising depth and nuance, injecting many scenes with memorable moments of comic relief.

Developing upon the initial scenario, Thunder and Lightning draws our protagonists into a web of deceit, corruption, and danger that is bigger than the two of them combined. At its core, it is a tale of a traditional town in the throes of upheaval over conflicts with big-business interests, with our protagonists inadvertently embroiled in the middle of it all. With its action-packed sequences interspersed with impactfully emotional scenes, this film proves to be an engaging and heart-racing narrative filled with twists, turns and plenty of high-octane action.

Most compelling are the high-speed chases throughout, which seem to be a resonating factor of the film. Thunder and Lightning boasts a variety of astonishing vehicular stunts clearly forging the path for upcoming car chase films. These sequences exemplify the era of fearless, unmodified stunt work: pure, undiluted and performed with real physical vehicles instead of CGI.

Furthermore, Thunder and Lightning showcases the cinematic style prevalent in the 1970s. The cinematography captures the beauty and simplicity of the period and sites, transporting viewers to an era teeming with vintage aesthetics, wardrobes, and sceneries; everything that one might associate with classic America. The underlying themes of corruption, loyalty, love, and courage are timeless, creating a perfect blend that appeals to a wide range of audiences.

A significant allure of Thunder and Lightning lies in its ability to hold onto its innocence while taking viewers on a thrilling journey with compelling twists. With an adventurous spirit at its heart, the film never forgets its roots in character-driven storytelling. It is as much about the characters as it is about the thrilling chase scenes, ensuring that viewers are not only excited for the next big explosion or car flip but also genuinely invested in the fates of Harley and Nancy Sue.

Thunder and Lightning is, on the surface, a simple good-guys-against-the-bad-guys narrative, but its strength lies in how it takes you on a thrilling ride, making you care about the individuals in the process. It's ultimately a rollicking, sometimes chaotic, celebration of the spirit of adventure, wrapped up in old-school American iconography, and imbued with classic charm. It's a film that will certainly take you on an exciting journey down memory lane, echoing homely, nostalgia-laden vibes, and endearing itself to the viewer every step of the way.

Thunder and Lightning is a Action, Comedy movie released in 1981. It has a runtime of 95 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.2..

How to Watch Thunder and Lightning

Where can I stream Thunder and Lightning movie online? Thunder and Lightning is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Thunder and Lightning for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

5.2/10
Director
Corey Allen
Stars
David Carradine, Kate Jackson, Sterling Holloway
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