Rolling Thunder

Rolling Thunder

DVD - 2010
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When Major Charles Rane returns home to Texas, he is given a true hero's welcome. He and his friend Johnny Vohden have endured eight years of physical and mental torture in a POW camp. Charlie's big homecoming includes a Cadillac convertible and a couple of thousand dollars ... and the news that his wife has fallen in love with another man
Publisher: [U.S.A.] : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2010
Copyright Date: ©1977
Branch Call Number: DVD Rolling 1977
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (99 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
Audience: MPAA rating: R

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oldwestfan
Nov 01, 2018

"You learn to love the rope. That's how you beat 'em. That's how you beat people who torture you. You learn to love 'em. Then they don't know you're beatin' 'em."

o
oldwestfan
Nov 01, 2018

"I found them."
"Who?"
"The men who killed my son."
"I'll just get my gear."
"They're in a whorehouse over in Juarez right now. There's the four that came into my home, and there's eight or ten others."
"Let's go clean em' up."

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oldwestfan
Sep 25, 2018

Genre mini-gem not forgotten by many who saw it back in 1977: A number of memorable scenes may stick with you. Lean, character-driven, effective revenge flick well-penned by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Affliction, others), edited with no extra fat. Bell-bottoms flared wide, cars were mostly big, gas was 49.9, the world felt forever young, and end credits lasted about 30 seconds.

Major Charles Rane (William DeVane) and Johnny Vohden (Tommy Lee Jones) are returning traumatized Vietnam War vets. Both are convincing, but a young Jones inhabits his smaller role with the magnetic screen presence - especially later in the movie - that led to enduring big-time stardom.

But what the heck ever happened to Linda Haynes, with the 2nd largest role here but only 3rd billed?? Her character wore a POW bracelet with Rane's name on it while he was away, presents him with the silver dollars at his homecoming, and charms her way past his hard exterior. Her good performance and one-of-a-kind appeal standout and appear to suggest a career in front of her. Well according to IMDB she just decided she'd had enough of the culture and left the biz. Her bio and personal quotes there are interesting.

Trivia sighting: Paul Partain on his own two feet in a small role here. 3 years prior, he peaked as the memorably annoying and whiny wheelchair-bound Franklin in the iconic original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Sadly, he died in 2005 from cancer with only 7 credits to his name. But that's 7 more than me. :)

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oldwestfan
Sep 25, 2018

Traumatized and tightly-wound Vietnam vets Major Charles Rane (DeVane) and Johnny Vohden (Jones) return to a Texas homecoming heroes celebration. Maj. Rane was in a POW camp and is presented with a red Cadillac convertible and a case filled with 2,555 silver dollars - one for every day he was a POW. The event is covered by the local news.

Rane is now a highly-disciplined man of few words, long silences, and intense eye-contact. He tells the crowd "God and faith in our families" kept him going, but privately explains that to conquer physical and emotional pain you learn to love the torment and your tormentors, that way they don't know that you're beating them.

Well, god and family aren't done welcoming the long-suffering hero home...

He learns his wife is asking for a divorce because while he was away she fell for another man and wants to marry him; Rane's young son becomes his only remaining emotional attachment and object of tenderness. But his welcome home is still not over! Thieves invade his home looking for the case of silver dollars; they inflict torturous pain on him to get him to reveal its' location, which he endures by flashing back to his POW days and stating only his name and serial #. They remove his right hand in a way that is non-graphic but which you are unlikely to forget; he still refuses to give them what they want. Suddenly his wife and son enter the house; his son, begging them to stop hurting his dad, retrieves and hands over the silver dollars. Nonetheless the thieves eliminate them both and sadistically leave Rane alive.

The gang resides in Mexico; Now sporting a sharpened hook in place of his right hand, Rane heads south and uncovers their favored hangout described as a Mexican whorehouse. He returns to Texas and after silently sitting through the empty dinner conversation of his war-buddy's family, he takes Vohden aside and informs him that he's found his son's killers.

Donning their military parade best and their dog tags, they head down to Mexico where Rane unleashes business-like bottled-up payback and Vohden a rapturous spasm of catharsis.

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