Blu-ray Review: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot - Twilight Time Limited Encore Edition

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Two years ago Twilight Time's limited edition Blu-ray release of Michael Cimino's directorial debut Thunderbolt and Lightfoot promptly sold out. Luckily for fans of the 1974 film, which stars Clint Eastwood and an Oscar-nominated Jeff Bridges (Best Supporting Actor; he lost to Robert De Niro), Twilight Time has issued an additional 3,000 copies as an "Encore Edition." Aside from new cover art, this is the same disc as before.

The late cinematographer Frank Stanley shot Thunderbolt, the third of four Eastwood films he lensed in a row. His work here looks great in a 1080p transfer struck from clean source materials. The audio is unfussy in lossless DTS-HD MA 1.0 mono—no fidelity issues to report. The late composer Dee Barton (who also scored Eastwood's Play Misty For Me and High Plains Drifter) is featured in a DTS-HD MA 2.0 isolated score track. 
Thunderbolt encore BD (301x380).jpg You can read more extensive thoughts about Thunderbolt and Lightfoot in my review of the original Blu-ray release. Suffice it to say, Eastwood fans who haven't seen this somewhat obscure film (or those who have, but not anytime recently) should waste no further time seeking it out. He's in fine semi-comic form here as bank robber Thunderbolt. His chemistry with Bridges' thief Lightfoot is effortless. There are offbeat jokes (including some random reflections on pistachio ice cream) and an ambling tone that lends a real charm to the proceedings. Red (George Kennedy) and Geoffrey (Eddie Goody) provide opposition as as criminals who feel jilted out of their share of a past caper with Thunderbolt. Only the maudlin conclusion puts a damper on Thunderbolt's spirits.

Special features on this encore edition mirror those found on the original release. In addition to the isolated score, there's an analysis and factoid-filled audio commentary courtesy of Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo, and Nick Redman. For ordering information, while supplies last, visit Screen Archives or the official Twilight Time site.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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