movies

authors index

books index

e-mail

home


JOE MILLARD
from the screenplay by Michael Cimino
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot


click to enlarge

Award, New York, 1974
(price: 35p; 158 pages)


The blurb on the back:

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot has everything! 'Suspense, excitement and a wild, explosive climax!'
They teamed up to rob a bank. One did it to prove he still had the professional touch. The other to find out if he was a man.


opening lines:
The car with the out-of-state license was expensive and nearly new. Neither the fierce summer sun nor the eternal dust of the Idaho flatlands had yet dimmed the luster of its acrylic finish.


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
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


movies
home