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Author Topic: THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT: The Story 6: The Wolf and The Lamb  (Read 8305 times)
KC
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« on: June 27, 2004, 10:32:29 AM »

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)

Thunderbolt says the first half of this verse twice in this film. The first time is in the opening scene in the small church where "Rev. John Doherty" is preaching to his small congregation. As soon as he says "kid," the scene shifts to show Lightfoot walking near the railroad tracks. The second time is just after Thunderbolt and Lightfoot have met up with Red and Leary, and Thunderbolt's old cronies have learned that the loot from their big job was lost. As the four men drive through the Montana countryside, Lightfoot suggests they copy the robbery of the Montana Armored Depository.

Quote
THUNDERBOLT: And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

GOODY: What's that... a poem?

THUNDERBOLT: It's a prayer.

What is the significance of this Bible verse? How does it apply to the story? Why do you think Thunderbolt repeated those words in the scene in the car when they were first talking about recreating the bank robbery?
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allycat
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2004, 04:11:13 PM »

I noticed this, too. There is a similar quote in the diner just after Thunderbolt and Lighfoot have ordered food, just before they are shot at by Red and Goody.

Quote
Lightfoot: How you feelin' today, Preacher?

Thunderbolt: The clock uncoils the working day, and he wakes up feeling his youth has gone away.

Lightfoot: Now what the hell is that? A prayer?

Thunderbolt: A poem.

In fact, this quote is a reversal of the later scene, where Goody asks if Thunderbolt is quoting a poem, and in fact, this time, he is quoting a prayer. Interesting, don't you think?

It's significant that Lightfoot calls Thunderbolt 'Preacher'. This made me think of Pale Rider in many ways. Even after Thunderbolt has stopped pretending to be a preacher, he quotes verse as though he is one. Thunderbolt is older and wiser and Lightfoot seems to look up to him. Lightfoot's enthusiasm and youthful exuberance contrast with Thunderbolt's more cautious, even deadpan nature. So perhaps Lightfoot being the 'kid' means that he is relatively inexperienced and needs Thunderbolt to guide him. But, the situation is dangerous, hence, the 'wolf'. I wonder if Red is the 'wolf' because he is ultimately responsible for Lightfoot's tragic death in the end.

Alternatively, the bible phrase is basically saying that, 'As under the Redeemer's gentle reign,' all animals will lie down together, which implies that the natural instincts of the wild animals to hurt the lamb and the kid will be tamed. This may suggest that, for the time being, Red (the wolf?) is tame, but then later, he reverts to his natural state in betraying Thunderbolt, and kills the 'kid'. It's as though Thunderbolt is repeating this as a 'prayer'...this is just a theory, but, it's rather prophetic, because perhaps he senses that something is going to go wrong, and he repeats the line as a kind of hope that all of the men can exist together, as he states at the beginning of the film, "Remember that we are all imperfect..." and ends, "Peace and goodwill to all men."

(Aside note: For me, Lightfoot represents Thunderbolt's youth, which Thunderbolt refers to in the first quote. For a time, Lightfoot 'brings back' Thunderbolt's youth. The clock, of course, represents the passage of time. I will write more about this on the 'Themes' thread if that's the right place for it :))
« Last Edit: July 01, 2004, 04:14:41 PM by allycat » Logged

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allycat
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2004, 03:27:33 PM »

I noticed that Red finally gets to Lightfoot for the first time when they’re discussing the plans for the robbery.  As Lightfoot’s confidence wavers for the first time, Red's choice of words here are significant:

Lightfoot says,  "I don’t know if I can pull this off." Red, laughing, calls him ‘Billy the kid’. This emphasises idea of Lightfoot as both a kid but also evokes the quote at the beginning: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid…For the first time, Lightfoot doesn’t laugh. Goody and Red laugh at his expense. For the first time, Lightfoot looks rather vulnerable, and perhaps this is a portent of what's to come.
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I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2004, 03:24:21 PM »

certainly red seems like the wolf he prays on the weak - both goody and lighfoot and he certainly sacrifices goody by throwing him out of the car

however in some ways they are all wolves because except for the kid they are all criminals and in the end lighfoot dies in the company of thunderbolt

so actually in the end there are no redeemers
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mgk
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2005, 05:56:30 PM »

Thanks to everyone for participating in this discussion. This topic is now closed, please post any additional thoughts in the General Discussion forum.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 05:50:14 AM »

This topic has been temporarily unlocked.  Feel free to post any additional thoughts or discussion here.
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 06:53:22 PM »

Thanks, everyone! This thread is now locked.  Please post any additional thoughts you have on this topic in the General Discussion forum.
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