Thunderbolt and Lightfoot tells the tale of two outlaws, their friendship, and a robbery that goes awry. Eastwood’s character, an ex-con and present-day cowtown preacher is hiding from his old partners who believe they were conned out of their share. So Eastwood finds himself reluctantly teaming up with Jeff Bridges’s character, a young drifter who can help him escape.
When reporter Jean Craddock interviews Bad Blake — an alcoholic, seen-better-days country music legend — they connect, and the hard-living crooner sees a possible saving grace in a life with Jean and her young son. But can he leave behind an existence playing in the shadow of Tommy, the upstart kid he once mentored?
Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. Marshal she can find, a man with “true grit,” Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn. Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn, whose drinking, sloth, and generally reprobate character do not augment her faith in him. Against his wishes, she joins him in his trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants Chaney for his own purposes. The unlikely trio find danger and adventure on the journey, and each has his or her “grit” tested.