Thunderbolt and Lightfoot [1974]

Jeff Bridges actually corralled an Oscar nomination for his spirited, oddball performance in this genre crime story, directed by first-timer Michael Cimino who (a short two films later) would bring down a studio with Heaven's Gate. Clint Eastwood plays a bank robber par excellence with a flair for explosives who is being hunted by his former partners, who think he has their loot from their last job. Bridges is his eager apprentice and sidekick, who helps him escape; when Eastwood finally makes peace with his hunters, Bridges convinces them to try a daring robbery--but things inevitably go awry. The relationship between Eastwood and Bridges is both funny and touching in this, one of Eastwood's better post-Dirty Harry efforts. --Marshall Fine

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