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A Distant Thunder (1978 film)

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Director  Donald W. Thompson
Running time  1h 17m
Country  United States
5.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Sci-Fi
Music director  Richard A. Girvin
Language  English
A Distant Thunder (1978 film) movie poster
Release date  1978 (1978)
Writer  Donald W. Thompson (story), Russell S. Doughten Jr. (story)
Film series  A Thief in the Night Film Series
Cast  Patty Dunning (Patty Myers), Sally Johnson (Wenda Johnson), Sandy Christen (Sandy Stevens), Thom Rachford (Jerry Bradford), Maryann Rachford (Diane Bradford)
Similar movies  Jupiter Ascending, Fish Tank, Factory Girl, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, At the Edge of the Abyss, Pitch Perfect 2

A distant thunder promo

A Distant Thunder is a 1978 evangelical, Christian film by Russell S. Doughten and directed by Donald W. Thompson. The film is a sequel to the 1972 film A Thief in the Night, which portrayed the event in Christian eschatology sometimes called the Rapture. These films are part of a four-part series; the story is continued in Image of the Beast (1980) and The Prodigal Planet (1983).


A Distant Thunder (1978 film) movie scenes


A Distant Thunder (1978 film) A Distant Thunder Part 1 YouTube

Patty is lying awake one night in a church basement, distraught and scared. She is to be executed the next morning for refusing to take the Mark of the Beast. Patty knows what lies ahead if she takes the mark but can still not believe in Christ. When those around her try to comfort her and encourage her to accept the Lord, she lashes out at them, too scared to think straight. They are able to calm her down, however, and learn her story of how she got to the point she is at tonight....

A Distant Thunder (1978 film) A DISTANT THUNDER PROMO YouTube

A horrified Patty has just learned that her husband and millions of others have disappeared in the Rapture, an event she has heard of, but never believed in - until now. Patty desperately seeks to find her friends and family members but most have disappeared.

A Distant Thunder (1978 film) A Distant Thunder 1978

Patty and two of her friends, Wenda Johnson and her sister Sandy, hide out at Patty's grandmother's and watch devastating world events unfold. Drought, famine, and earthquakes become the norm and Patty and her two friends barely manage to eke out an existence. The three manage to survive with the help of Patty's friends Jerry and Diane (who also appeared in A Thief in the Night), who sneak them food supplies. Even through all these circumstances, Patty refuses to put faith in God, instead blaming God for all the terrible things that have happened to her.

Patty, Wenda and Sandy meet an old man named Jonathan Niles, who appears to be a beggar and asks them for food. Wenda feels sorry for the man and meets him in the park with some food. A couple of days later, Sandy gets Wenda to go to the park and there they meet Jonathan again and it is revealed that he took the mark. Then Sandy led her sister to a UNITE soldier who captured the two young ladies and they were transferred to hospital to be treated for their injuries. After the medic leaves, Wenda just manages to telephone Patty to warn her of the UNITE pair approaching her home, before she is caught by a soldier herself. Patty almost escapes but is caught when she phoned Diane and got told to come to the UNITE centre. Patty obeys but tries to run as Diane reveals to her that she and Jerry took the mark 'as it was the only thing they could do', which leads to her capture. It is now the morning of Patty's execution and she still cannot make up her mind. At one point she almost decides to accept Christ, until she is faced with the guillotine and she learns the surprising identity of her betrayer, Sandy. As she witnesses Wenda being executed, she can do nothing more than scream with fright as her own execution draws near.

On the DVD release of this movie (DVD released in 2004, by Russ Doughten Films), one of the DVD extras features an on-camera interview (done around 2004) with Patty Dunning, who currently resides in Iowa.


  • Patty Dunning as Patty Myers
  • Sally Johnson as Wenda Johnson
  • Sandy Christen as Sandy Stevens
  • Thom Rachford as Jerry Bradford
  • Maryann Rachford as Diane Bradford
  • Russell S. Doughten Jr. as Rev. Matthew Turner
  • References

    A Distant Thunder (1978 film) Wikipedia
    A Distant Thunder (1978 film) IMDb A Distant Thunder (1978 film)