from the screenplay by Michael Cimino
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Award, New York, 1974
The blurb on the back:
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot has everything! 'Suspense, excitement and a wild, explosive climax!'
Here's the thing with movie novelizations: most of 'em aren't very good. You take a perfectly decent film (if you like crime caper stuff) like Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, written and directed by Michael Cimino and starring the likes of Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges and Geoffrey Lewis, and then you give it to some hack to put down on paper, and - hey presto! - you lose whatever magic the thing had in the first place.
Part of the problem is that a movie doesn't need much of a story to be watchable: a criminal finds that the site where he buried his ill-gotten gain has been built upon? That'll do nicely. You can get away with tasteful visuals, decent acting and a general feeling that an hour and a half eating popcorn doesn't ask too much of your audience. For a book, on the other hand, some kind of originality in the narrative really does help.
So forgive me if I didn't finish the book: I had something better to do.
ARTISTIC MERIT: 1/5