Josef Von Sternberg Tom Milne - Essay

Tom Milne

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Thunderbolt looks very much like an attempt to repeat the highly successful formula of Underworld. But where the earlier film had a triangle situation as three-dimensional as a pyramid based in the curious sort of love affair between the brutish Bull Weed and the gentle, courteously ironic Rolls-Royce …, Thunderbolt operates from a much simpler, more Hollywooden premise which leaves no place for the ambivalent moralities of Sternberg's world…. Clearly conscious of [a] shallowness in the characterisation, Sternberg tries to compensate by elaborating a cat (the mysterious lure of the underworld) and a dog (tranquil domesticity) as symbols of the emotional dilemma: a symbolism which eventually...

(The entire section is 446 words.)