Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

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Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is a 1974 crime film about a bank robber and his irreverent young sidekick who get his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.

Directed and written by Michael Cimino.
Thunderbolt... the man with the reputation. Lightfoot... the kid who's about to make one! (taglines)


  • I don't wish to be forward, but we'd like to exchange cars with you. So the faster you get out, the better it'll be for your ass.


  • You ain't no country preacher, Preacher.
  • [to a woman riding a motorcycle in shorts] Hey where did you get those pants? [the womans pulls out a hammer, pounds his truck and rides off] You freak! I love you, come back!

Red Leary

  • Go... fuck... a duck.


Melody: I didn't get your name.
Lightfoot: Well, I didn't give it to ya'. My name is Lightfoot.
Melody: "Lightfoot"?
Lightfoot: That's right.
Melody: That's a dumb name. I mean, what kind of person would name a kid that, ya' know?
Lightfoot: What's your name?
Melody: Melody.
Lightfoot: "Melody"? That's not a dumb name?... Hey, maybe we had the same father?

Thunderbolt: What's your name, boy?
Lightfoot: Lightfoot.
Thunderbolt: You Indian?
Lightfoot: Nope. Just American.

Red: Does he know everything?
[at the same time]
Thunderbolt: No.
Lightfoot: Yes.

Lightfoot: Thunderbolt! Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. That sounds like somethin'.
Thunderbolt: You're forgetting I'm a lot older than you.
Lightfoot: There are plenty of guys twice my age who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.
Thunderbolt: I won't fault you there.

[a woman runs out of a motel crying rape]
Woman in car: You really want to stay here?
Husband: [smiling] Why not?

[Lightfoot shows up with the van, newly dented by the girl on the motorcycle]
Red Leary: Where'd you get the dents?
Lightfoot: Progress. I dreamt about you last night.
Red Leary: What about?
Lightfoot: I dreamt you said hello to me.
Red Leary: Don't you get smart with me. I'll break both your arms.
Lightfoot: I'll keep that in mind.
Red Leary: Remember what I said. John and me go back a long way. But you don't mean nothin' to me, understand? Nothin'!
Lightfoot: What'd you try and kill him for then?
Red Leary: Because we were friends.

Lightfoot: [John Doherty, aka Thunderbolt, dressed in preacher's garb, has jumped into Lightfoot's stolen Trans-Am] I thought you were the heat.
John: Do I look like heat?
Lightfoot: You look like one crazy son-of-a-bitch for a preacher, I'll tell you that.

Lightfoot: Howdy. How's business?
Station Attendant: In this business, you're always one step away from bankruptcy. Funny money, credit, speculation... Somewhere in this country's a little old lady with $79.25. The $0.05 is a buffalo nickel... If she crashes in her investment, whole thing'll collapse. General Motors, the Pentagon, the two-party system and the whole and the whole shebang... We're all running downhill. Got to keep running faster or we'll fall down.

Thunderbolt: In small-town banks, they leave the telephone off the hook in the vault at night so the local operator can listen in.
Lightfoot: People walk into these banks with paper sacks, fill 'em with money and walk out. Anybody can do it.
Thunderbolt: Bullshit. The newest bank vaults have walls of reinforced concrete five feet thick, backed by six inches of steel. The vault door is stainless steel-faced. It's an inch and a half of cast steel, another 12 inches of burn-resisting steel, and another inch and a half of open-hearthed steel... A vault door has 20 bolts, each an inch in diameter. Eight on each side, two top and two bottom. This holds the door into a 16-inch steel jamb set in 18 inches of concrete. It's crosshatched by steel bars running both vertical and horizontal. This door is precision-made so you can't pour nitro between the door and the vault. If that isn't enough, there's microphones, electric eyes, pressure-sensitive mats, vibration detectors, tear gas, and even thermostats that detect the slightest rise in temperature. Still interested in banks?
Lightfoot: I knew you weren't a preacher!

Lightfoot: You know... you know somethin'? I don't think of us as criminals, you know? I feel we accomplished something. A good job. I feel proud of myself, man. I feel like a hero.
Thunderbolt: Are you all right, kid? You don't look too well.
Lightfoot: I believe you're right.
[Slumps over]
Thunderbolt: Lightfoot!


  • Thunderbolt... the man with the reputation. Lightfoot... the kid who's about to make one!
  • He has exactly seven minutes to get rich quick!


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