Rolling ThunderDVD - 2010
From the critics
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"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."
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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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