Thunderbolt (1929) - Rotten Tomatoes


Thunderbolt (1929)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Thunderbolt Photos

Movie Info

Thunderbolt was Josef von Sternberg's first American talking picture. George Bancroft, a von Sternberg regular (despite frequents clashes between the two men), plays a death row inmate who may be on the eve of eternity, but who has still one more murder on his mind. He plans to kill the young lover (Richard Arlen) of his former girl friend (Fay Wray); fortuitously the lover is incarcerated in the same prison where Bancroft awaits the chair.


George Bancroft
as Thunderbolt Jim Lang
Richard Arlen
as Bob Morgan
Fay Wray
as Ritzy
Eugénie Besserer
as Mrs. Morgan
James Spottswood
as `Snapper' O'Shea
Fred Kohler
as `Bad Al' Friedberg
Robert Elliott
as Prison Chaplain
E.H. Calvert
as District Attorney McKay
George Irving
as Mr. Corwin, Bank Officer
Mike Donlin
as Kentucky Sampson
S.S. Stewart
as Convict
William L. Thorne
as Police Inspector
King Tut
as The dog
View All

Critic Reviews for Thunderbolt

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5)

With streaks of shadow and jolting contrasts of light to match the film's eccentric lurches between violence, comedy, and onscreen musical performance... Sternberg evokes a nerve-jangling city of macabre menace.

March 18, 2019 | Full Review…

A museum piece, then, for Sternberg completists only.

October 3, 2013 | Full Review…

There is nothing edifying about this production, and it is hardly an entertainment.

October 3, 2013 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

This one is foolish.

October 3, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Probably the most underrated of Josef von Sternberg's sound pictures.

October 3, 2013 | Full Review…

Thunderbolt was Josef von Sternberg's first talkie (a silent version was also produced) and nabbed George Bancroft his only Best Actor Oscar nomination.

July 24, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

There are no featured reviews for Thunderbolt at this time.

Thunderbolt Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features