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Rolling Thunder [Blu-ray]

90 customer reviews

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(May 28, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Major Charles Rane (William Devane) comes back from the Vietnam war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a hero. A group of sadistic thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver dollars from him and in the process kill his wife and son and destroy his hand. The Major wants revenge so he enlists the help of his war buddy Johnny to meet the thugs in a final showdown.

Special Features

Interviews With Actor William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones and writers Paul Schrader and Heywood Gould.

Original Theatrical Trailer

TV Spot

Product Details

  • Actors: William Devane, Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Haynes, James Best, Dabney Coleman
  • Directors: John Flynn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: May 28, 2013
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,881 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Larry VanDeSande VINE VOICE on February 16, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
I've loved this film since first seeing it in 1977 when its ultraviolent ending made viewers and critics cringe with shock and horror. Violence plays a significant thematic and on-screen role in this flick about war, horror, remembrance and revenge.

Briefly submitted, William Devane and young Tommy Lee Jones (before he hit stardom) are returning Vietnam war prisoners of war. Devane, an officer in the Air Corps, had spent time in the famous Hanoi Hilton prison and has occasional flashbacks of his torture.

Returning war hero Devane -- whose wife took up with another guy during his lengthy absnece, adding real life drama and a soap operatic agenda to the movie -- receives a generous local gift during ceremonies in his Texas hometown. Later on, a bunch of good old boys come to rob him of the gift. They torture him and off his family in the process.

The remaining 70 or so minutes of the film detail Devane's search for the killers and his revenge. He takes up with a lonely woman during the search while teaching himself to use a shotgun with his new mechanical hand (he lost the real one in the torture-robbery-murder back home.)

When he finds the killers, he looks up Jones, who is about to have dinner at home with his wife, dad and some other family members. What comes next is one of the greatest lines in all of macho male cinema:

"I've located the men that killed my family," Devane says. "They're in a whorehouse down in (Mexico)."

"I'll just get my gear," Jones retorts.

There's not much left to the flick after that except a few minutes of outright mayhem that was probably among the best of its type in 1977.
Read more ›
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tim O'Brien on February 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I am a huge movie buff and if you are looking for a raw, powerful, gritty movie experience, definitely check out this movie, which remains one of my all-time top three. I personally like this film better than "Taxi Driver", but if you liked "Taxi Driver" then you will definitely like this film, because it was written by the same guy and the themes are similar. I was blown away not only by the performances (particularly Tommy Lee Jones in a startlingly forceful role), but by the amazing amount of action. There is definitely more violence and action than there is in "Driver" and that's why I like it. Some people criticize the violence, but with the powerful storyline, disturbing violence is almost necessary. Definitely see this film. Along with "Driver" this film will awaken you to the horrors of the Vietnam War.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Regrae VINE VOICE on February 25, 2011
Format: DVD
looking back at this movie now is like going back in time for us who lived in the 70's. Rolling Thunder is a bleak movie that was made in the mood of the time and looks even bleaker now. Thunder is a no nonsense movie with no humor. It has sadness, rage against things that are beyond human control, and no promises of a bighter future. Devane never was an action type actor. A very good actor but not one who looked like an action star. However for those you who are new to the 70's movies or were not born then, that is the point the director was trying to make. Devane was every GI who came back fron Nam to a "hero's welcome." The people cheered for a minute then stopped and left you alone. People didn't understand what the war did to person. The movie shows in muted colors that no one comes home the same as they were as they left. It is sad that this movie,in hind sight, shows how love ones stopped loving and ran from the returning GIs. This is the saddest part of the movie, especially having know many who had this happen to them. The hand in the sink scene has not lost any of its grumsome violent effect on the viewer. You don't see it but you feel it. If you can detach yourself from the movie, watch Devane's change back to warrior as he prepares to go to "battle." It is cold and chilling but not flashy. I can not say enough about Tommy Lee Jones in this small part in this movie. He has the very same problem that Devane's character has and has felt what Devane has felt, yet his charcter is not a copy of Devane. The viewer is treated to two actors working together as one to create a mood and to honestly gilve dignity to two characters that could have been protrayed as psychos.Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Basic storyline is this. Major Charles Rane returns home, Texas, from seven years of torture in POW during Vietnam War. As a big welcome gift, he receives a Cadillac and a couple of thousands dollars from city. Charles soon finds out his wife fell in love with other man and his emotion starts to build up. Then people came after Charles' reward money kill his son and wife and Charles loses his hand. Charlie and his friend from the war, Johnny played by Tommy Lee Jones, get together for a revenge. I found out about this movie from the "King Pulp: The Wild World of Quentin Tarantino". The movie "Rolling Thunder" is written by Paul Schrader, writer from "Taxi Driver". Like "Taxi Driver", this movie is charged with gripping scripts and emotionally rich and powerful characters. Without showing any real battle scenes, the movie builds up very strong Vietnam war drama. Also, the sequence where Major Charles Rane (William Devane) drives to find killers of his son and wife with a girl reminds the stoyline of "Natural Born Killers". Performance by Tommy Lee Jones as a supporting actor is also interesting to look at. This movie is as powerful and brutal as "Taxi Driver".
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Rolling Thunder [Blu-ray]
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