Clint Eastwood is hardened bank robber John ‘Thunderbolt’ Doherty and Jeff Bridges is his sassy young apprentice, Lightfoot, in another film in the familiar Eastwood mould.
In the first half-hour of the film, there are two car thefts, a shoot-out in a church, a hot pursuit through a mid-Western wheat field, a girl screaming rape when Thunderbolt refuses to drive her home, and an incident involving a farmer, Clint Eastwood and a trunk full of rabbits . . . none of which add anything to the plot.
For the first half of the film, heavy Red Leary (George Kennedy) is trying to murder the duo. When he finally catches up with them, they all mutter a few words to each other about the past and then, right in front of our eyes, turn into one big happy family and drive off to rob a bank together.
Michael Cimino (made famous by his Deer Hunter some years later) directed his own script for this long but colourful film. He complicates things somewhat by placing Bridges in drag for a third of the movie.
John “Thunderbolt” Doherty