Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France. The race goes over 24 hours on 14.5 ... See full summary »
Lee H. Katzin
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
For a movie that starred one of the greatest box office stars of his time, based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by one America's greatest writers, "The Reivers" has continued to be something of an answer to a trivia question ("In what movie did Steve McQueen portray a semi-comic character involving a stolen automobile and a horse race?") I'm not sure of the reasons myself, but this movie has remained at the top of my "Favorite Movies" list since I first saw it in 1969. Maybe it was the out-of-character role of McQueen. Maybe it was the excellence of his supporting cast that includes Mitch Vogel, Rupert Crosse and Will Geer. Maybe it was the direction by Mark Rydell. Or maybe it was the outstanding score by John Williams (which has remained my favorite movie score of all time). Most likely, it is a combination of all the above. All I can say is that this movie has never lost its appeal for me. Watching the movie is like visiting an old friend with whom the passage of time will only strengthen the bonds of affection. This movie may not be for everybody, but I recommend it on the chance that you may be smitten by its special charm.
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