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The Reivers (1969)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 25 December 1969 (USA)
In turn-of-the-century Mississippi, an 11-year-old boy comes of age as two mischievous adult friends talk him into sneaking the family car out for a trip to Memphis and a series of adventures.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Juano Hernandez ...
Lonny Chapman ...
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An old man looks back 60 years to a road trip from rural Mississippi to Memphis, a horse race, and his own coming of age. Lucius's grandfather gets the first automobile in the area, a bright yellow Winton Flyer. While he's away, the plantation handyman, Boon Hogganbeck, conspires to borrow the car, taking Lucius with him. Stowed away is Ned, a mulatto and Lucius's putative cousin. The three head for Memphis, where Boon's sweetheart works in a whorehouse, where Ned trades the car for a racehorse, and where Lucius discovers the world of adults - from racism and vice to possibilities for honor and courage. Is there redemption for reivers, rascals, and rapscallions? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Boon is a reiver (that's a cheat, a liar, a brawler and womaniser) and he had just four days to teach young Lucius the facts of life (like cheating, lying, brawling and womanizing).


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity, language and thematic elements | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boon il saccheggiatore  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paul Mooney auditioned for the part of Ned. See more »


When Boon is teaching Lucius to drive, Lucius's hat disappears and reappears although clearly it did not fall off and he never took his hands off the wheel to replace it. See more »


Narrator: We didn't fear death, in those days, because we believed that your outside was just what you lived in and slept in, and had no connection to what you were.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Mitch Vogel as Lucius See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An obscure gem from Steve McQueen
12 March 2004 | by (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) – See all my reviews

I personally rank this film, based on William Faulkner's last novel, among my favorites. Not that I would rank it as a "great" film, but it's a lot of fun. It's true that McQueen may have been in fact older than his character was supposed to be, but his attitude and style seems to bring it off. Mitch Vogel, as the young boy Lucius, who is lured into stealing his grandfather's (Will Geer) new Winton Flyer automobile for a wild weekend in Memphis by Boone Hoggenbeck (McQueen) is completely believable as a kid who wants the adventure, but has to be drawn into it because he respects his grandfather so much. Rupert Crosse as McQueen's other reiver (thief) in this caper adds an extra comic relief as the one who gets them into a real fix in Memphis. Ordinarily I hate movies with running narration, but the narration in this by Burgess Meredith as the grown old Lucius, remembering his exciting weekend in Memphis, adds a real touch of poignancy to this tale of youth lost. Additionally, Sharon Farrell as McQueen's prostitute girlfriend, Clifton James as a vicious southern sheriff, and Juano Hernandez as a kindly old black farmer add real dimension to the film. Throw in a beautiful score by John Williams (his first film score) and you've got the makings of a warm, charming story, accurately drawn, from the turn of the century. The scene at the film's end, where the grandfather has a heart-to-heart talk with the boy, is wonderful, and very "authentic." The director, Mark Rydell, did a terrific job. I've seen this movie many times, and it never fails to entertain me.

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