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Author Topic: The Endless Thunderbolt & Lightfoot Gay/No Way Debate  (Read 69275 times)
KC
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« Reply #220 on: December 11, 2012, 07:43:40 AM »

LOL, I just saw a question posed to me....DUH.

I dont know, life happens quick. To quote Rod Stewart "Time is a thief when you are undecided".

Career, child....you know, typical thirties...that are...SIGH...well over now.

But, Im back, and with a vengeance. And I am making it a mission to liven this board up.

Well, I hope you stick around! And we have to have that movie night soon!  8)
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bdc28
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« Reply #221 on: December 11, 2012, 08:16:57 AM »

I KNOWWWWWW.

You already know me KC, I am so going to be looking with PAD AND PENCIL for any kind of gay references I can dig out of this movie. Im going to turn this into a witch hunt...with my own twist of course :)

Aint I a stinker? :)
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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #222 on: December 11, 2012, 09:33:24 AM »


But, Im back, and with a vengeance. And I am making it a mission to liven this board up.

Can we hold you to that?

We do need another movie night very soon. 

Don't go way again bdc28.  :)
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dennispotter
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« Reply #223 on: December 22, 2013, 09:12:11 PM »

I just revisited the film after not seeing it in over 20 years. I was a kid when I saw it first.
 I add my voice, the film has obvious gay undertones.  Al la Quentin Tarantino at the beginning of Reservoir Dogs, I think the film has a gay sub text narrative. Clint as the lead is a gay man who turned to celibacy to over come his homosexual urges. This is when Red, his former gay lover returns 'shooting' at him. I know it's a cliched metaphor ie gun/penis, but I think it's quiet deliberate in T and L. Red returning, possibly to reignite the relationship between them or to avenge a past hurt, makes Thunderbolt realizes he cannot escape his sexual urges. It's exactly at that moment that he runs in to the young and handsome Lightfoot (Lightfoot....come on?!? If that is not a reference to 'light on his loafers' I don't know what is!!) The two embark on a relationship. Red, the former lover, accompanied by his new lover, Goodie (who he treats like a nagging wife) is envious of the older mans new fond young partner eventually kill the younger newcomer. NOw, obviously, there's a heist movie along the way, but that's the essence of it.
Here's some examples. Women are mere objects  to the male characters in the film. This is not to reflect misogony, but to reflect that the male leads don't relate to them. The women in the film not depicted as objevtivly as you might think at first glance. They actually have attitude, they are not wall flowers.
 Thunderbolt does have carnal relations with one woman, but it ends badly. Lightfoot, he can't get it up 'red heads are bad luck'.
 L dresses up as a woman.
 REd steals a wig and crashes into a window display of female mannequins and dies soon after.
There's Clint's 'big gun'!
The school house scene, the money is packaged in red, surely a reference to the 'heart'. For T, finding the money, where it was along, is metaphorically him returning to what he knows. The fact that it's a school house hints at him wanting to re educate himself or learn to live again now he has accepted his sexuality. It is there he should find happiness 'the red packages/heart/love, but his dreams shatter soon after.
 I think the sub text possibly is a comment on the struggle of gay men in America, which is why the interior of the Cadillac is red, T's shirt is blue and white. It's clearly symbolizing the American flag.
I always thought of it as a buddy movie, a bromance in today's parlance. But I have to agree with what many are saying. As well as it being a buddy heist movie, it also works as a study of a lost generation of gay American men. Given the setting too, it could be seen as a 70's Brokeback Mountain!
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KC
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« Reply #224 on: December 22, 2013, 09:35:35 PM »

Thanks, dennispotter, fascinating post. If you've read through this thread, you know many will disagree with you, but I find much of what you say quite convincing.

And welcome to the Eastwood Web Board! :)
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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #225 on: December 23, 2013, 06:15:00 AM »

Thanks, dennispotter, fascinating post. If you've read through this thread, you know many will disagree with you, but I find much of what you say quite convincing.


I agree with KC. You have certainly dissected the movie and you have spotted things that I have never thought of before. It is a movie I watch about once a year, the next viewing will be with a completely different mind set.

Good to have you on the board.  :)
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #226 on: December 23, 2013, 12:34:15 PM »

Wow.  Interesting, yes, but I couldn't disagree more.  Thunderbolt And Lightfoot is as about as gay as John Wayne or Elvis Presley: Not at all.  At least, that's my perception.  If you don't mind, I will continue to view this as I originally saw it; a buddy-heist movie having nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 01:36:13 PM by Jed Cooper » Logged

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KC
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« Reply #227 on: December 23, 2013, 06:14:11 PM »

As various people have said many times in this thread ... that's why it's called subtext. ;)
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #228 on: December 24, 2013, 06:01:23 AM »

Just weighing in, as all.  To me, it's silly to even consider such a thing about any Clint Eastwood movie.  What's next, City Heat and The Rookie?!  :D  I am not prejudiced in any way, shape or form and did see Brokeback Mountain.  Before seeing the movie my first impression was, "Geez!  John Wayne's turning over in his grave!"  Afterwards, I thought it was a very well made film. 
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Whistledixie
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« Reply #229 on: December 24, 2013, 06:36:35 AM »

To me, it's silly to even consider such a thing about any Clint Eastwood movie.


Actually, particularly regarding Clint films of that era, it kinda seems like just the type of thing he would do/has done... in the sense that he seems an intentional iconoclast towards the very elements of his image, or aspect of the culture they're supposedly tied to, that he's most identified with, and turning them inside out. He did so quite purposely for example in Play Misty For Me, making himself the near-powerless victim. In Eiger Sanction, he delights in celebrating an inter-racial attraction/involvement in such an overtly frank manner that it dances the edge of being dated to still being cutting edge, and is an unmistakable thumb in the eye of anyone who might have a problem with it. In Dirty Harry he shows a gay man (on the way to meet Scorpio at the Cross) in a matter of fact manner...I can't recall the exact exchange there, and the guy is looking for a "date" up in the woods, so some may say it's a negative image...but truth is (ask anyone in San Fran at the time) it was actually just a spot-on depiction of one thing that was going on. Harry cracks a joke but does not demean him (from what I recall), and just the matter-of-fact depiction came off as non-judgmental acceptance. And of course the quintessential gay subtext comes right after that with Andy Robinson's improv "My, that's a big one"... which was left in no problem.

His films are actually riddled with bits of irony that deflate the very things he seems most associated with... unfettered machismo high among them. It's the unmistakable mark of a man so secure in his manhood he doesn't fear being seen otherwise...
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 06:59:42 AM by Whistledixie » Logged
Jed Cooper
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« Reply #230 on: December 24, 2013, 07:13:19 AM »

I see your point.  Mine is, however, that I don't see any of Eastwood's characters to date being anywhere near homosexual in any way, shape or form.  Same goes for John Wayne and Elvis on screen and off.  Yes, it's a different take on Thunderbolt And Lightfoot but one I wholeheartedly disagree with, respectfully.  There's a couple of other references; Eastwood posing as a gay delivery boy at the beginning of The Eiger Sanction and his conversation with a gay man in Tightrope.  Although Block's reply to "You don't know unless you've tried." is, "How do you know I haven't?" I didn't take that to mean his character had tried, rather he was seeing what kind of reaction he'd get from the other guy (regardless of the fact that Block was obviously a very sexually active man; I perceived that to be in a wholly heterosexual manner). 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 07:08:06 PM by Jed Cooper » Logged

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antonis
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« Reply #231 on: December 24, 2013, 10:02:56 AM »

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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #232 on: January 04, 2014, 08:31:41 PM »

I saw a Cimino interview a little while back where he scoffed at the suggestion of gay overtones in The Deer Hunter - I am pretty sure that would be his response to this film too.
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Whistledixie
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« Reply #233 on: January 04, 2014, 11:24:25 PM »

Scoff he might, but no matter how you slice it, them a couple purdy fellas.

I could see knocking down overtones in The Deer Hunter, if in reference to De Niro and Walken in the cage when he calms him down. But DeNiro and Walken weren't a couple of blonde dandies, either...

« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 11:26:34 PM by Whistledixie » Logged
BobbyMaxwell
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« Reply #234 on: August 08, 2019, 01:43:23 AM »

I don't call it subtext. I call it imagining something that's not there.  I caint count how many times I've seen the movie. Never even tried to go that way. Gays want to see gay everywhere, so they do.  More power to um.
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Matt
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« Reply #235 on: August 08, 2019, 08:57:08 AM »

I don't call it subtext. I call it imagining something that's not there.  I caint count how many times I've seen the movie. Never even tried to go that way. Gays want to see gay everywhere, so they do.  More power to um.


Eighteen years after the original debate was posted!  ;D

BobbyMaxwell, you were a prick in The Enforcer, but good to see you revive this debate.  :)
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BobbyMaxwell
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« Reply #236 on: August 08, 2019, 09:03:22 AM »


Glad to bring the thread back from the dead. Yes, I was a prick. But I was a fun prick, dammit all.
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Matt
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« Reply #237 on: August 08, 2019, 09:16:04 AM »

The Clint Eastwood forums could use a few extra fun pricks posting. Glad to have you aboard.
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BobbyMaxwell
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« Reply #238 on: August 08, 2019, 03:13:14 PM »

Thanks. I've been a member a while and am a huge fan. I have other interests that monopolize a lot of my time, so I don't visit often. I'll try to come around more.
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