6.6/10
466
8 user 12 critic

Thunderbolt (1929)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 20 June 1929 (USA)
A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Moran, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl. ... See full summary »

Writers:

Charles Furthman (story), Jules Furthman (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Underworld (1927)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson
Stars: George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent
The Racket (1928)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost
The Dragnet (1928)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Evelyn Brent, William Powell
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A boxer has difficulty balancing his sport with a budding romance; both are further jeopardized when the United States enters the first World War.

Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Molly O'Day, Lawford Davidson
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A German noblewoman enters into a loveless marriage with the dim-witted, unstable heir to the Russian throne, then plots to oust him from power.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In late 19th century Vienna, Lena Smith, a naive peasant girl from Hungary, has a child by a corrupt young cavalry officer, and goes to work his house as a servant, hiding the truth from ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Esther Ralston, James Hall, Gustav von Seyffertitz
The Letter (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jeanne Eagels plays the bored and restless Leslie Crosbie who turns to another man, Geoffrey Hammond (Herbert Marshall) for attention when neglected by her husband Robert (Reginald Owen). ... See full summary »

Director: Jean de Limur
Stars: Jeanne Eagels, Reginald Owen, Herbert Marshall
Certificate: Passed Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A charming, happy-go-lucky bandit in old Arizona plays cat-and-mouse with the sheriff trying to catch him while he romances a local beauty.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Warner Baxter, Edmund Lowe, Dorothy Burgess
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova
Dynamite (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford
The Barker (1928)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A carnival barker wants his son to become a lawyer, but his son gets side-tracked into joining the carnival too.

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Milton Sills, Dorothy Mackaill, Betty Compson
The Valiant (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After killing an unknown man for an unknown reason, a mysterious drifter turns himself to the law, under a false name intending to protect his own family's honor. But when the news of his ... See full summary »

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Paul Muni, Marguerite Churchill, Johnny Mack Brown
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Bancroft ... Thunderbolt Jim Lang
Fay Wray ... Ritzie
Richard Arlen ... Bob Moran
Tully Marshall ... Warden
Eugenie Besserer ... Mrs. Moran
James Spottswood ... 'Snapper' O'Shea
Robert Elliott ... Prison Chaplain
Fred Kohler ... 'Bad Al' Frieberg
E.H. Calvert ... Dist. Atty. McKay
George Irving ... Mr. Corwin
Mike Donlin ... Kentucky Sampson - Prisoner #4
S.S. Stewart S.S. Stewart ... Prisoner #7 - Piano Player
William L. Thorne ... Police Inspector
Edit

Storyline

A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Moran, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl. Thunderbolt hopes to stave off the execution long enough to kill young Moran for romancing his girl. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The dynamic star of the screen See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Debandada See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)| Silent (one version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Features George Bancroft's only Oscar nominated performance, though nominations were not official that year. See more »

Quotes

Prisoner: Do you sing tenor?
Thunderbolt Jim Lang: Who me? I kill tenors.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Made in both sound and silent versions. See more »

Soundtracks

Daddy, Won't You Please Come Home
(uncredited)
Written by Sam Coslow
Sung by Theresa Harris with Curtis Mosby and His Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
George Bancroft and Richard Arlen Shine
24 December 2010 | by drednmSee all my reviews

For some reason I thought this film was a talkie remake by Josef von Sternberg of his great silent Underworld. Although George Bancroft is again the star here (and won an Oscar nomination for best actor) this is an entirely different storyline.

Bancroft stars a a tough hood in love with Fay Wray. But she's trying to go straight with Richard Arlen, who works in a bank. A man hunt captures Bancroft and convicts him to death row. But even from the cell, Bancroft is able to frame Arlen for a murder during a ban robbery. Arlen is sentenced to death row and ends up across the hall from Bancroft. Will there be fairness? Will there be redemption? As in Underworld, Bancroft is terrific as the obsessed and all-powerful thug. His voice is great as he growls and groans and threatens. Wray looks stunning, and Arlen is good as the innocent man.

For a 1929 talkie, this film has its stagnant moments when the editors didn't know when to cut. But it also features some terrific work by von Sternberg.

The entrance scene into the jazz club is a barrage of trellises and picket fences... quite beautiful... and also boasts a really nice song from Theresa Harris (who usually played a maid). There's also a wondrous scene where Arlen has been hurt and is being tended by his mother (Eugenie Besserer). While's she's applying iodine, he pulls his hands away and the bottle smashes. Both try to clean it up and the scene ends in a giggling tickle fight. Totally unexpected and totally wonderful.

Fred Kohler plays a convict. Tully Marshall is marvelous is a jittery warden.

The ending is probably expected but is beautifully done.


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed