Movies at the Museum: Thunder Road
Thunder Road is a black and white 1958 drama about running moonshine in the Appalachian Mountains in the late 1950s. It follows the story of Tennessee moonshine runner Luke Doolin (Robert Mitchum), who makes dangerous, high-speed deliveries for his father, and gets into trouble with gangsters and the law. Moonshine running, with its modified fast cars specially designed to escape the police, is widely believed to have led to the advent of NASCAR.
The film will be followed by a discussion led by historian Bruce E. Stewart.
Bruce E. Stewart is a professor of history at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He is the author of Moonshiners and Prohibitionists: The Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia (University of Kentucky, 2011), which explores the role homemade liquor has played in the Appalachian economy for nearly two centuries. Stewart chronicles the social tensions that accompanied the region’s early transition from a rural to an urban-industrial economy. Stewart analyzes the dynamic relationship of the bootleggers and opponents of liquor sales in western North Carolina, as well as conflict driven by social and economic development that manifested in political discord. Stewart also explores the life of the moonshiner and the many myths that developed around hillbilly stereotypes.
After the film and discussion, wander over to one of the wonderful participating restaurants listed below for dinner, drinks, and conversation. Present your film ticket for 10% off your meal! (Discount is good for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights after the screening.)