Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), written and directed by Michael Cimino.

Clint Eastwood's partners from an old bank job finally track him down. After negotiations involving gunfire and fisticuffs they add young adventurer Jeff Bridges and decide to do it again.

This is one of those great, quirky, scruffy-looking mid-70s oddities, a combination road movie, buddy film and heist story. It takes place in the weird mythical landscape of the northern plains where you just might be picked up by an exhaust fumes addict with a shotgun, caged racoon and a trunk full of bunny rabbits. Where men rob banks with anti-tank guns.

There are hints that Jeff Bridges' character is not a confident heterosexual. ("Lightfoot", get it?) He talks loud and large about women, as if he is over-compensating. Maybe he's just shy. When he gets back from one date he just says "Redheads are bad luck." He pretends to kiss George Kennedy and has to dress in drag.

Eastwood blames bad marketing by the studio for the film's poor showing and he might be right. I remember not wanting to see this film:

Brief nudity. Filmed in Montana. Cimino's first as director.

Netflix doesn't have it. It's out of print in region 1 so I imported a PAL edition. According to DVD Compare every disc made has been 4:3 letterboxed, which is shabby treatment for a 2.35 aspect ratio title. Criterion has shown interest, which would be a good thing.

(Later: Twilight Time limited edition Blu-ray).