Monday, May 18, 2020

What I Learned From "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot"

Friends, last night I went on a pop culture fact-finding mission by watching the Clint Eastwood classic Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, upon the recommendation of the senior statesman from the great state of Kansas, whom you all know and love.  I enjoyed the film.  It was a real piece of Americana!  I would describe it as a hybrid of a buddy film and a heist movie.  Here's what I learned:

1.  Robbing banks is generally a bad idea.  It doesn't work out well for the vast majority of perps.

2.  Of the cars in the film, my favorite for style and roadworthiness was the Buick Riviera.  The Trans Am was cool and well worth stealing, I'll grant you.  But I guess the upshot of the film is that when you've "arrived" in life you drive off into the sunset in a Cadillac Eldorado.  I'm in no position to disagree!

3.  The best way to pick up a hot lady is to trick her into getting in your car and then drive off with her.  If you throw in a bowl of chili, she'll offer you one of her friends in return.

4.  Montana isn't called "Big Sky Country" for nothing.

5.  The 2nd Amendment sensibly protects our right to bear a 20mm cannon.

6.  When you lose the use of the left-hand side of your body, seek medical attention.

Here endeth the lesson.

If you haven't already seen it, folks, go out and watch Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, released in the Year of Our Lord (and of my birth) 1974.  Amen.


And here's a must-read article on the true fatality rate of the coronavirus:

And check out this article.  Pretty damning stuff!


  1. Dr. Waddy and Ray: Haven't seen this one; my favorite of his is Coogan's Bluff.

    I don't know what his beliefs are; I was astonished to find him such a brilliant director but that does raise cautions about possible Hollywood leftist apology or compatibility. Can either of you clear this up for me?

    That said, no matter his beliefs, Eastwood has earned my gratitude for the attitude so often expressed in films he stars in or directs, that evil must be met with uncompromising, overwhelming force. Only after that has brought the perpretator to their very subjugation is any accomodation possible.

    Believe me, my 20 years experience with criminals convinces me that only you have, forcefully and thoroughly convinced them of who is boss (NOT THEY), only then can a responsible society entertain any notion of empathy.To do otherwise is to abandon their victims and that is unforgiveable. Eastwood has promoted that idea in so many of the films in which he was involved and though I do not know for sure what he believes I'm certain he did the law innocent public very much good in popularizing it with his 44 Mag. (which by the way propelled that caliber into very beneficial celebration) (I love the story of the undercover policeman who when encountered by by a colleague armed so said "well, you could crawl up into it if need be".

  2. Dr. Waddy and Ray: Eastwood's often expressed agreement with this views extends, I think, to larger stages. His film on the Japanese Army at IwoJima demonstrated the consequences of titanic sociopathic evil. It was stopped only by consummate force and the humane treatment of the few Japanese prisoners, to their astonishment, further supports his view.

    In my experience: some criminals are beyond redemption; to contemplate the possibility is to misserve their myriad prospective and many certain victims. No, we cannot do that. We must enforce standards which permanently disable sociopaths. For the rest? If we wish to reform them, give them one chance and then restore them to permanent incarceration; first, slap them down as do the marines and visit upon them every test of sincerity to reform, via thorough examination of their progress in austere tests of sincerity. Failing this? Condemn them for the good of the innocent! If they suceed the ordeal? Support them but only as far as they do not regress.

    Too harsh? Think about the regime of terror the wrongheadedly compassionate" liberal bunch has visited upon our society. The consequences are OBVIOUS.

  3. Try "Escape From Alcatraz" another Eastwood film, based on true events, dramatized for the movie of course. I believe that is the correct title. Of course in the "Dirty Harry" series, Eastwood is anything but sympathetic towards criminals. If nothing else, Eastwood has survived the film industry by walking a very tight rope between Liberals and Conservatives, with the crocodiles waiting below of course.
    A very versatile actor indeed. If you want straight American apple pie that's John Wayne.

  4. No matter what, most of the film industry tends to be on the left of the political spectrum, and always has been, at least in the last 40 years, or so it seems. Actually, movies world wide tend to be left. An excellent example of how far this can go is "Che" which came out a few years ago, and idolized the late Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Frankly, most of the world's elite are to the left, to include the very the wealthy.

  5. And since we are talking about movies, I'll leave my comments on this with two recommendations in case you have not seen them: "The Score" with Robert De Niro and "Copland" with Sylvester Stallone. I always like a movie where the bad guys win, and a movie where the good guys win. That's it.

  6. Dr. Waddy and Ray: I haven't seen those. I'm kind of wary of crime films because I cannot stand to see criminals gloried (as in the execrable Bonnie and Clyde). I did like Godfather I and II because they were so brilliantly made. I did like John Huston's Asphalt Jungle (1950); though it present the criminals' point of view it also showed them for the lowlifes so many of them are. Also liked MurderInc. simply because of Peter Falk's outstanding performance.

    1. Jack,

      With your reference to "The Godfather" series, the Mafia is glorified in all those films, almost beyond belief. So, that series was some of the biggest crime films of all, in my opinion.

  7. JACK

    I was of course not putting you down because you liked "The Godfather" series. It is very well done, but it still glorifies The Mafia. Several years ago Italy made a very popular TV series (in Italian with English subtitles), called The Octopus, and it was very anti-Mafia, very realistic. Check it out some time if you don't mind reading subtitles. The reality of the Mafia in Italy is murderous!

    Back to "The Godfather" Should you be interested there is an excellent book about the making of "The Godfather" titled "The Godfather Legacy" by Harlan Lebo. It's about how all three Godfather films were made. I have it in my collection and have actually read it. No matter what, it made big big bucks for Coppola.

    There are two other criminal organizations in Italy that are now being glorified which are located primarily in Naples and Calabria.

    Have a nice day.

  8. JACK

    That very realistic Italian series about how murderous the Mafia really is, is titled "La Piovra" and it ran for 10 seasons. Yes, I have watched it, although I do not own it, but I probably should. It certainly held my attention, and there was absolutely no sympathy for the Mafia whatsoever in it. In the long run "The Godfather" based on the Puzo book was really meant to elicit sympathy for the American Mafia, or at least dilute it for American audiences. That's my opinion of course, not a fact. The entire series really depicted Michael Corleone as some sort of "victim" of circumstances rather than a person who made a decision to go for the gold as a Mafia Don. Yes, poor Michael. Hahaha!!!

  9. Jack, it's been a while since I watched a Dirty Harry film, but you're right: the moral clarity they convey is very refreshing, and you might say that Harry Callahan was ahead of his time in perceiving the dangers of political correctness and liberal squeamishness run amuck.

    Ray, "Escape from Alcatraz" was a great film. "Play Misty For Me" made an impression on me as well. I agree that Eastwood is a marvel in his ability to adhere to a version of conservatism and still maintain the goodwill of Hollywood scumbags. Dirty Harry has some tact, it would appear!

    I've seen "Cop Land", but I'm not sure about "The Score". Ray, I'm surprised to find you such a De Niro fan! A more outspoken, profane exponent of leftism would be hard to find... He's got some acting talent, though.

    "Asphalt Jungle" and "Murder, Inc." sound like they need to go on my list... I agree with you, Jack, about movies that glorify crime, especially violent crime. There's a lot of that going around. Of course, glorification and scenes of gratuitous butchery usually go hand in hand. Are the kiddies thus impelled to commit crimes? Not necessarily. People can still tell the difference between real life and make believe, and crime rates have been falling for decades, lest we forget (at least until recently).

    Ray, "The Octopus" sounds very interesting. I can well imagine that the Italians would be pitiless when it comes to portraying the Mafia. After all, they had to live under its reign of terror for generations. Violence looks a lot less charming when one finds oneself on the wrong end of it.

    1. That's the ONLY reason I appreciate De Niro, as an actor. He needs to keep his damn mouth shut about politics. Actually, what is it to De Niro who is president as long as it does not interfere with his lucrative acting career? However, I think a lot of these movie types very often say stuff they are expected to say to appease the powers that be, please some fans. But overall, De Niro is not a great actor.

  10. Ray: No problem; I agree, the Godfather did glorify wise guys even though Michael is ultimately pathetic in his quest for redemption. In Godfather I Brando was superb and in II the scenes of the ship passing the Statue of Liberty and of the immigrant neighborhood were compelling. I loathe depictions of wise guys most of the time because of my experiences with very minor versions of that ilk in my prison career. They were insufferable and thought themselves above the rules. I did, I think, encounter one genuine gangster but he was very quiet and presented no problems. You might wonder why a librarian might have to deal with inmates on a disciplinary level but ALL prison staffers must be willing to stand up to them when they act out; failing that, they are unfaithful to their duty to the tax payer and the crime victim and are spineless in their reluctance to take appropriate action (and inmates present ALL staffers with inappropriate challenges) and shame themselves thereby. I sometimes worked alone in a building filled with inmates; it was very first hand experience.

  11. Dr. Waddy: I recall a film entitled Bully in which a group of outwardly amoral late teens actually kill an obnoxious companion. They, being not thoroughly sociopathic, are emotionally devastated after they do the deed. It takes more, I think, for most anyone to do murder without having experienced the deadening of sympathy and empathy which is the origin of so much fiendish behavior, at least on a small, individual scale outside of warfare. Gads, a normal person would not be able to sleep, eat or enjoy a moment's peace of mind!

    Do I blame the sources of this psychosis? No! Each individual must be held personally responsible for objectively consequential decisions they make on their own. A sound society can do no other than this; to do otherwise, as our shameful American succor of criminals proves, is to pusillanimously expose those most vulnerable and honorable portions of our civilization,children and senior citizens, to sociopathic criminal predation. It is one of the two greatest shames accruing to our culture (the other being our depraved popular culture) and makes us the deserved mockery of those cultures which afford criminals no slack. Eg. Singapore. After the Brits, who tolerated all manner of degradation under their rule, left, the Singaporeans said: "We will not tolerate crime; PERIOD!" No "excepting" no qualifiers. And they have carried it out. The result: their vulnerable are safe from the curse of the ever present predatory faction found anywhere.

  12. Dr. Waddy and Ray: I do not deny the sometimes beneficial power of extragovernmental force in settings where government is thoroughly corrupt.I do believe it was the heritage of many from "the old country". It was said that people in John Gotti's neighborhood were safe on the street. But as do most decisive dynamics outside of the democratic process, it persisted beyond the time it could be of benefit and turned into oppression. It is in some ways comparable to the degradation of some industrial unions and sometimes attributable to the same sources.

    Viewed in this light, the visceral heroism of such as Thomas Dewey and Rudolph Guiliani are emphasized. Eastwood portrays that kind of gutsiness, in a smaller and much more dangerous setting, in some of his films.

  13. Just for the record, my favorite "Western", if you want to call it that, is "The Wild Bunch" (1969), with the late William Holden and several other well known actors, who are also dead. Great opening scenes and even better ending scenes. Makes a lot of other films of that genre look like junk. Personally, I don't think we have any actors today of the calibre of the people who starred in that film.

  14. Dr. Waddy and Ray: Love this discussion. Westerns: #1 for me is True Grit 1969; Wayne showed how great he could be. Others I like: Shane, Tombstone, Conagher (with Sam Elliot), The Good Old Boys (with Tommy Lee Jones) and - the greatest western I've ever seen for 3/4 of the film, then it fell apart - The Culpepper Cattle Company. What a wonderful genre!

  15. Dr. Waddy and Ray: How about historicals? My fave is Lincoln. After that Gods and Generals, Darkest Hour, Billy Bob Thornton's Alamo and Apollo 13. We Were Soldiers was almost unendurable and Passion of the Christ told the greatest story sublimely. And of course I love Gettysburg.I've lived Gettysburg reenactment. Ballad of a Soldier was impressive too as was the recent one on Stalingrad.

  16. Dr. Waddy and Ray: As for those degenerates who lauded "Che" I would require of them a mandatory viewing of a very graphic film of Shaw's St. Joan. The smug character of DeStogumber urges Joan's immolation but when it sears him with its hideous reality, he goes mad. Those Che lovers should spend a few days in the bush with later day Ches. They could be disabused of their touching envy with great dispatch though they would probably be far too arrogant to admit it. Films like that should be boycotted and their producers ruined.

  17. Dr. Waddy and Ray: OOOOPs: I left Saving Private Ryan off the historicals list. What a redeeming tribute to our greatest generation that monumental film was and a tip of the hat, I must say, to its usually liberal participants like Speilberg and Hanks for a genuinely patriotic work.

    1. "Saving Private Ryan" was probably one of the most boring "war" movies I have ever seen. However, it was great p r for egotistical Hanks, and made him another pile of money. If his ego got any bigger he would inflate and fly away into outer space.

  18. In reference to #1 & #3;

    "Robbing banks is generally a bad idea. It doesn't work out well for the vast majority of perps."---Oh I don't know, wearing masks seems to be the thing right I say go for it. (just being funny)

    "The best way to pick up a hot lady is to trick her into getting in your car and then drive off with her. If you throw in a bowl of chili, she'll offer you one of her friends in return." ---Oh, I think if you offer to feed any woman, she would be glad to get in your car. Don't pick no skinny Minnie's though, pick a healthy girl. Just saying and 1/2 joking. grin

    I see Cuomo is relenting on some lockdowns, at least here in the Southern Tier. He can lie all he wants about this nursing home issue; he sent like 50 something to Elderwood and Hornell Gardens and infected a lot of people and some who have died. Shameful. He needs to be held accountable, but he won't be. I am afraid folks will just keep voting him in.

    P.S. for whatever reason, your blog hasn't been coming up--it keeps saying ERROR. Whatever. FINALLY today I see it is back...I just think Blogger is playing around.

    1. Someone is playing around. From time to time when I "press the button" on "Waddy Is Right" it flips up as "No Internet" for a second. Also, on my computer I see this site as "Not Secure". So I would say that someone out there is "playing around" for sure. NOT SECURE are the key words here.

  19. Jack, it's apropos that you compare the order achieved by Singapore's government with that achieved by Gotti's crime syndicate because, in truth, governments and organized crime are not so different. Both try to impose order and a system of sorts, and to extract revenue from those who live under their jurisdiction in return for the delivery of services (broadly defined). Neither gives the "ruled" much choice in the matter either. In most of the world, I would guess, crime syndicates are also more effective at achieving their aims than governments. Food for thought. We are lucky to live in a society where government holds sway, and violent criminals do not.

    Ray/Jack -- very interesting discussion on your favorite films. I find it remarkable that both of your favorite Westerns were made in 1969! Thanks for the recommendations. I have lots of quality viewing in my future.

    Linda, good point that we ALL look like bank robbers these days. If they were to let any of us inside a bank, the results could be comical (or tragicomical)!

    In my experience, modern women aren't that impressed by cars OR by free dinners. In fact, I have yet to figure out what does impress them! Probably what's always sealed the deal: confidence. For a self-confident man, the sky's the limit. Our President is the embodiment of that dictum.

    Sorry to hear about your issues accessing WaddyIsRight. If there's anything I can do to fix them, I will. For me, though, the only problem I tend to have is that sometimes I am "logged in," and sometimes I'm not -- with no rhyme or reason. Let's just be thankful this site works most of the time!