Friday, July 13, 2012
Across the street, in the highly exclusive country club golf course that costs a fortune to play, two well-appointed golfers just strolled past with a driverless robotic caddy close behind carrying their clubs. A few minutes later, the gods--being playful if nothing else--launched a terrific thunderstorm. Now rain is falling on the golf course, the neighborhood, upon the rich and poor alike.
Thunder! A thunderstorm is a good excuse to play this tune from a dark B-movie (what the French would discover as "art," and call a film noir) "Thunder Road," starring Robert Mitchum as Lucas Doolin, a bootlegger's son who ran his daddy's whiskey in a hopped-up 1951 Ford 2-door hot rod with a custom tank in the back for moonshine. Being a film noir, Doolin was doomed from the start, but he followed his own code--even though it put him at odds with society. The final chase scene is classic.
Along with acting, Mitchum produced the 1958 film, co-wrote its screenplay, and some say even directed much of it himself. He also co-wrote the theme song, "The Ballad of Thunder Road," which he sings here in all its doomed glory.
He left the road at 90; that’s all there is to say.
The devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy that day.