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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
On the packaging for the 1993 VHS release of the movie, the music credit is given to Lalo Schifrin. John Williams wrote the score for the film and received an Oscar nomination for his efforts. See more »
Why don't you take a nice cold bath, cool yourself down, then come back and show us how handsome you are.
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My favorite Steve McQueen film has to be The Reivers. He was so right for the part of Boon Hogganbeck, handyman and general all around troublemaker, he should have been considered for an Oscar nomination. It's definitely by far his funniest film.
The Reivers is a posthumously published novel by William Faulkner and it's set in the Mississippi in the turn of the last century. The protagonist is a child Mitch Vogel, a most properly brought up child and grandson to the big kahuna in that delta county, Will Geer. Geer is a man who believes in progress, in fact he's brought the first automobile into his area, a brand new yellow Winton Flyer.
That car proves way too much temptation for McQueen who'd like to use it to go courting his girl friend, a hooker who works in Michael Constantine's and Ruth White's Memphis bordello, Sharon Farrell. But to hatch his scheme, McQueen entices Vogel to tell some well placed lies about which relative the young man might be staying with and then taking Vogel and the car to Memphis after McQueen's been left in his charge. Stowing away in the Winton Flyer is Rupert Crosse.
Crosse who did get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor is a mixed racial cousin of Geer's family and it does entitle him to some perks in the racist society that was early 20th century Mississippi. But Crosse is as smart and resourceful as McQueen and knows how to play up to people and make the racism work his way. Unfortunately Crosse lost his Oscar bid to Gig Young for They Shoot Horses Don't They. And sad to say Crosse died a few years later at too young an age, very much like star Steve McQueen.
It's one rollicking ride our intrepid trio is on from the bordello to a horse race where Crosse swaps Geer's new automobile for a race horse that he discovers runs like lightning with a trick gimmick. Laughs mixed with some serious Faulkner social commentary.
One person who does not credit enough in this film is Sharon Farrell. Her role as McQueen's girlfriend is tender and touching and in the end she actually becomes an honest woman. But a great deal of the enjoyment of The Reivers is in how that is accomplished.
For any fan of Steve McQueen, The Reivers is an absolute must. And I guarantee you, one will become a fan of Steve McQueen after seeing this fascinating, tender, funny film.
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