Thunderbolt

85 minutes 2013

Except for The Saga of Anatahan, this 1929 release is probably the most underrated of Josef von Sternberg's sound pictures, and it's underrated for the same reason: Sternberg is known almost exclusively as a visual stylist, but the most exciting thing here is the highly creative sound track. It's Sternberg's first talkie—a near remake of Underworld, a spiritual romance about a doomed gangster, with the same lead (George Bancroft) and Fay Wray—and although this is a minority opinion, I find it better than the original in many ways. With Richard Arlen and Tully Marshall.

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