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Author Topic: THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT: Acting 3: George Kennedy's Performance  (Read 6924 times)
Matt
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« on: June 27, 2004, 10:51:13 AM »

George Kennedy portrays Red Leary in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. What do you think of Kennedy's performance? In what scenes do you feel Kennedy was especially good? Are there any scenes where you think his performance was less than satisfactory?
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mgk
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2004, 09:46:14 AM »

Kennedy's performance as Leary was very good.  He really made you hate him from the beginning.  He was such a very angry person......seemed to be mad at the world and especially mad at Thunderbolt at first because he thought Thunderbolt had cheated him out of the money from the original armory heist.

However, his best performances in this film seemed to come when Lightfoot was around.  Lightfoot seemed to cause such rage in Leary and Kennedy showed us that rage well.

Remember Kennedy in The Eiger Sanction?  He played Ben Bowman, the lovable and funny friend of Jonathan's.  This role in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is so opposite from that role.  He was so likeable in Eiger and so unlikeable in this film.  Quite a contrast.
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Christopher
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2004, 03:01:40 PM »

Has George Kennedy ever played such a bad guy in any other film? I can't think of any that I know of, and he's great in this movie too!
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Bronco_Billy
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2004, 08:34:39 AM »

Big George Kennedy is well used to throwing his brawn about but I agree he is plum mad dog mean in this picture.



 
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Agent
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2004, 01:28:35 PM »

As I mentioned in another thread, Kennedy's performance in this reminds me alot of the character he played in Cool Hand Luke, except in this movie he's very unlikable and hates everyone. You actually feel glad when he meets his demise.

Kennedy does great at playing dominant bossy-types. This picture is no exception.
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allycat
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2004, 03:22:01 PM »

Very convincing, really found it hard to like this character – the polar opposite of Lightfoot! I agree that Kennedy is at his best (or worst!) when sparring with Lightfoot. He resents Lightfoot because he doesn’t like everything for which the kid stands – youth, exuberance, spontaneity, also Lightfoot's good-looking and confident and he knows it, as evidenced by the scene where he picks up the two girls. But Red reads Lightfoot completely wrong.

It’s true that Lightfoot is the complete antithesis of Red, and that’s why Red hates him so much. He’s young, good-looking, easily attracts women, and has a really positive outlook on life. In short, he is everything that Red is not. Worse for Red, he assumes the position of Thunderbolt’s sidekick very easily, and Red is probably very bitter about that. But even Red’s constant put-downs don’t dampen Lightfoot’s spirit. Red takes every opportunity to put Lightfoot down. He constantly calls him a kid, and when Lightfoot suggests they rob the armoury, he says, “The blind leading the blind. He’s a kid, he eats pistachio ice-cream.”

Hard to believe he turned up in The Naked Gun the other day on tv. I could scarcely believe it was the same guy. And, in the Eiger Sanction, too. I almost forgot it was him!
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2005, 06:01:22 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 #7 on: September 03, 2011, 05:54:25 AM »

This topic has been temporarily unlocked.  Feel free to post any additional thoughts or discussion here.
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2011, 06:35:44 PM »

You actually feel glad when he meets his demise.

When I want to see a character get what's coming to him so bad, I know they've put in a great performance. Kennedy is part of the heist team but he's so opposite to the other three that I can't help but dislike his character.

Great performance. :)
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 06:57:40 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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