This is a 1955 Douglas Sirk film for Universal about Irish adventures , concerning a romanticized version of a pair of intrepid adventurers , starring Rock Hudson in the title role of Captain Lightfoot , and it is full of adventure, romance , intrigue , ballroom dance , action , pistol duel and Ireland rebellion . Set in Ireland in 1815 , spanking Michael Martin (Rock Hudson , he was full-blood Irish, his real name was Roy FitzGerald) , member of an Irish revolutionary society , turns highwayman to support it , and is forced to flee into outlawry and to seek shelter in Dublin , capital of Ireland . In Dublín , he meets known rebel "Captain Thunderbolt¨ (Jeff Morrow, also an Irishman in real life) posing as an aristocrat , he is really leader of the Irish resistance against the English dragoons sent to occupy Ireland by the British Crown , then Michael becomes his second-in-command , "Lightfoot¨. As a couple of Irish rebels undertake swashbuckling adventures , abducting , rescues , attacks against fortress and many other things . The flick describes their dangerous life , with captures , betrayals , perilous feats , and romance . There takes place an unforgettably beautiful love story between Michael and Thunderbolt's daughter (Barbara Rush) . Meanwhile , Thunderbolt is gunshot wound , he hides but is discovered , being betrayed by a traitor (Dennis O'Dea) , caught eavesdropping and imprisoned . Lightfoot attempts to free him from prison , disguising as a priest . The real "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" story goes back to 1818 , about two notorious highwaymen , their bold and daring robberies, and hair-bredth escapes . Together with the life and recent death, in Vermont, of a man reputed to be Thunderbolt was arrested in Springfield , Massachusetts, was tried, convicted, and hanged about 1821 . It was Martin who, just before his execution , gave the full description of his former partner, Captain Thunderbolt, who by then was a simple, kindly , somewhat overdressed country doctor quietly practicing his medicine in Dummerston and falling down on his face at the Saturday night dances .
A fine , impressive adventure and a warm , sensitive romance , including turncoats , riots , dance balls and many others things . Dealing with love , battles , death and societal constraints . The film often depends on melodrama and relies heavily on the silly love story between Hudson and Rush . The flick is made in Sirk style , including his ordinary trademarks and financed by his customary producer , Ross Hunter , and Universal International with whom he made nine films , many of which involved the collaboration of Rock Hudson, cinematographer Russell Metty or Irving Glassberg , and art director Alexander Golitzen . Weak screenplay based on novel , ¨Captain Lightfoot¨ , written by prestigious W.R. Burnett . The three principals in the cast , Rock Hudson as character name in title , Barbara Rush and Jeff Morrow , all shine in this studio vehicle for young star Rock Hudson, who is terrific in the title role , with style , sex appeal , and a good Irish accent . Jeff Morrow was especially good in one of his greatest roles as Captain Thunderbolt , Morrow had to take lessons to learn how to sword-fight from Basil Rathbone . Support cast is pretty well such as Kathleen Ryan , Finlay Currie and Denis O'Dea . To be said that inspired Michael Cimino to write the film "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" with Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges . Interestingly, this film was shot at the time Eastwood was an apprentice for Universal . We don't know whether Cimino's original inspiration came from the film or one of the books, or even from popular tales he might have heard somewhere around .
Rousing and thrilling musical score by Heinz Roemheld and Herman Stein , though uncredited . Colorful and brilliant cinematography in magnificent Technicolor by Irving Glassberg . Filmed almost entirely on location in Ireland, this was one of the first Universal pictures to be filmed away from Hollywood . Being shot on location in Clogherhead, County Louth, Ireland and Powerscourt Estate , Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland . The motion picture was professionally directed by Douglas Sirk . His first directorial stint in America was Hitler's Madman (1943) , but it is for his work at Universal International in the 1950s for which he is primarily known . Sirk got a great success , particularly the high-suds soap operas he lensed for producer Ross Hunter in the 1950s : Magnificent obsession (1954) , All That Heaven Allows (1955) and his last American film , Imitation of life (1959) . Sirk's favorite American film was the Western , Taza , son of Cochise (1954) , which was shot in 3-D , also starred by Rock Hudson and Barbara Rush . The true genesis of the Sirk cult was the realization of notorious flicks full of twisted melodrama and passion , such as : Written on the wind , Battle hymn , The Tarnished Angels , Interlude , All I desire , There's Always Tomorrow and A Time to Love and a Time to Die ; the latter is one of the best films made by the producer-director team of Ross Hunter and Douglas Sirk . Society is an omnipresent character in Sirk's films , as important as the characters played by his actors, such as Jane Wyman , Barbara Rush and Rock Hudson.