Thunder (film)

Thunder is a melodrama film released by MGM in 1929, starring Lon Chaney.

Directed by William Nigh, it is noteworthy for several reasons. First, it was Chaney's penultimate film appearance and his last silent film, as well as one of the very last films of the silent era. Second, it was while making this film that Lon Chaney was stricken with an illness that would contribute to his untimely death the following year from bronchial cancer. On location in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Chaney caught a cold during the snow scenes which then developed into walking pneumonia. This combined with his throat cancer led to Chaney's death just after the release of his last film, and only talkie, the 1930 remake of The Unholy Three. Thunder is a lost film, although several minutes of surviving footage were discovered in the late 1990s.


Lon Chaney plays Grumpy Anderson, a railroad engineer with an obsession for running his train on time. His slavishness to promptness causes several tragedies which alienate him from his family. Fortunately, by the story's end, the engineer restores their faith in him and validates his obsession by forcing his train through a flood to bring badly needed Red Cross supplies to the victims.

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