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Author Topic: THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT: Acting 1: Eastwood's Performance  (Read 6390 times)
Matt
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« on: June 27, 2004, 10:52:18 AM »

Quote
He [Cimino] created the part for Eastwood and in doing so drew greatly on his actual personality. For those people who know the real Clint Eastwood, no film part better conveys the style, the warmth and the dry delivery of the man himself.
( The Man With No Name, by Iain Johnstone, p.106)

What do you think of Eastwood's performance as John "Thunderbolt" Doherty in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot? Discuss scenes in which you feel his performance is the most enjoyable, and describe what in particular you like about it. Is there anything you dislike?

Iain Johnstone's book was first published in 1981. Do you agree that Thunderbolt is the role that is closest to the "real Clint Eastwood" of all the roles he had performed up to that time? What other roles since then have seemed to come close to the "real" Clint?
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mgk
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2004, 01:36:40 PM »

I enjoyed  Eastwood's performance as Thunderbolt in this film.  It was nice to see him relaxed and seeming to enjoy his role.  He also seemed to thoroughly enjoy watching Lightfoot (Bridges) with his reckless abandoned approach to life, his youthful energy, and his enthusiastic attitude that they could do anything if they put their minds to it....even get rich quick in only seven minutes.  It was nice to see Eastwood smile and even laugh in a role as opposed to his deadly serious ones.

However, one scene I thought he was exceptional in is quite serious.  It's the last scene.  He expressed, first, his genuine concern for Lightfoot's well being and then so successfully expressed his genuine sorrow for Lightfoot's death and, therefore, the death of his friend.  With very little effort, Eastwood's facial expressions said more than any lengthy dialogue could have.

I'm not privy to know what the "real" Eastwood is like but, based on seeing him in interviews and relaxed situations and based on what his wife (Dina) said about his role in The Bridges of Madison County, I would have to say that his role as Thunderbolt is probably more like the real Eastwood than any film he had done up to that point.  As mentioned above, Dina said that the character of Robert Kincaid was the closest to being like the real Eastwood than any other role he had ever done and I guess she would know better than any of us.  If so, then his role as Robert Kincaid and his role as Thunderbolt show us a more gentle side to the "Man-With-No-Name" and the non-conforming "Dirty Harry" than any of his other films and it was very pleasant to watch him in  those roles.



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misty71
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2004, 05:52:59 PM »

I loved Clint in that movie

I think t&b is in my ever changing top 5 eastwood flicks, and if not, well its in the top ten for sure

I would rather agree with Dina about clint beeing closer to robert kincaid, because...well...she should know better than me ;)

but apart from BOMC I would guess that TB is as close as seeing the real clint we ever came to onscreen, yes

he was even more laid back in that role, more relaxed and funny...
 
 
 as MGK said, very pleasant
indeed
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2004, 11:09:12 AM »

I liked Clint alot in this film because he seemed so laid back and just enjoying himself, at least until the last scene where he was all sad.   I can see where Thunderbolt is a lot like Clint, just from what I've read and comparing, but Kincaid to me seems like what Clint would most be like.   But in this one he's very enjoyable.  
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allycat
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2004, 04:15:40 PM »

Yes Clint seems pretty laid back and as though he is enjoying himself a lot. I felt his performance did not stand out as much in that the character he is playing isn’t meant to stand out exactly, he’s quite laid back although he can’t relax quite as much as Lightfoot! He seems to be more the foil for Bridges/Lightfoot if that makes sense.

I feel Robert Kincaid is also closest to the ‘real Clint’ since Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. The character demonstrated Clint's ability to reveal his warm and tender side in an acting role.
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2004, 03:16:14 PM »

since he wasn't director here you would expect him to be more relaxed - i don't think clint is at his best - but he certainly is charismatic and the best of the bunch - but thats probably easy because i would say he has the best male role
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Matt
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2004, 07:36:11 PM »

I think that the role of Lightfoot is more interesting than the role of Thunderbolt. Lightfoot seems to be more the central character and his role is a little more fleshed out than Thunderbolt. Or, maybe that's just my impression... what does anyone else think?

In the hands of a quality director, I think Clint gives some of his finest performances (In the Line of Fire, Dirty Harry, The Beguiled and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot). As Thunderbolt, Clint does seem more laid back than usual and since Cimino's aim was to catch Clint laughing on camera (and he achieved that) I don't think we would have the same film or see the same "Thunderbolt" if Clint had directed.

I think that Clint's performance in this film is one of his best and that Cimino was the perfect director for this film. It's obvious they all enjoyed making this film, and Cimino's love for the project definitely shines through. Sometimes I feel like Clint just goes through the motions to get a film in the can (though there are obviously many films of his where he gives special attention to detail like Bird, Bronco Billy, Bridges and Unforgiven) and this film seems to have that same attention to every detail and the pure joy of making a film that some of the other titles lack.
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Christopher
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2004, 08:40:34 AM »

I really like Eastwood's performance in this film too. Very natural and relaxed. It comes across that he and Jeff Bridges really enjoyed themselves while making the film. Their chemistry is great (and I don't mean that in any other way! ;)).
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mgk
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2005, 06:02:40 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 #9 on: September 03, 2011, 05:55:26 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 #10 on: September 03, 2011, 06:25:05 PM »

I think that the role of Lightfoot is more interesting than the role of Thunderbolt. Lightfoot seems to be more the central character and his role is a little more fleshed out than Thunderbolt. Or, maybe that's just my impression... what does anyone else think?

I agree. I would even go further and say that it was Clint in the supporting role with Bridges in the lead. Lightfoot is the young cocky playboy and Clint who is the brains and has the experience for the crime. Clint does look laid back in the film and his scenes with just Jeff Bridges sort of bring out a sort of father figure to the younger man. The first scenes in the car, the scene sitting at the lake talking about the original robbery and of course the final touching moments in the Cadillac. Maybe the beginning of the film where Clint is playing a priest is sort of a message about him being a father figure in the film?
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 06:58:46 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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