Captain Thunderbolt is a 1953 Cecil Holmes film starring Grant Taylor as the bushranger Frederick Ward. One black and white copy of this now rare film is stored at the Australian National Sound and Film Archive.
Captain Thunderbolt contains examples of:
- Agent Peacock: Captain Thunderbolt is quite The Dandy, and enjoys dancing with beautiful women.
- Badass Longcoat: Ward's attire is identical to that of The Gambler in Westerns: frock coat, bolo tie and Eye-Obscuring Hat.
- Bigger Bad: Queen Victoria and The Empire.
- Cool Guns: Ward and Blake use Colt Peacemakers.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Captain Thunderbolt favours black suits, but robs the rich to feed the poor Just Like Robin Hood. He even beats the Evil Brit bankers, Ranchers and officials at Poker to win back some of the money they extorted from the Irish Determined Homesteader families.
- The Gunslinger: Ward and his sidekick Alan Blake (Charles Tingwell) are deadly with their six-shooters.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Blake dies Taking the Bullet from Mannix so Ward can escape.
- Historical Beauty Update: The real life Frederick Ward had an unkempt Badass Beard, but Holmes portrays him as a sharp dressed, clean shaven Bodgie.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Ward is clean shaven and has a Teddy Boy quiff. Mannix has a bushy beard.
- The Highwayman: Ward behaves like a gentleman when robbing stagecoaches.
- Hell Hole Prison: Ward, Blake and the other convicts are put to work in a Chain Gang breaking rocks.
- Indian Maiden: Aboriginal girl Mary.
- The Rustler: Ward and Blake were imprisoned for stealing horses.
- Rabid Cop: Sgt Mannix (Harp Mcguire) will do anything to see Ward dead.
- Wardens Are Evil: The prison guards force the convicts of the Penal Colony to labour in the hot sun until they collapse.
- The Western: The film follows a similar plot to Ned Kelly and Mad Dog Morgan, where the Outlaw is pursued by the brutal lackeys of the Evil Brit officials.