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The Reivers
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Synopsis for
The Reivers (1969) More at IMDbPro »

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In 1905, a train rolls into a quiet and happy Mississippi town where Lucius (Mitch Vogell), a boy of 11, is about to begin his journey to manhood as his grandfather, Boss (Will Geer) has the town's first car delivered, a yellow Winton Flier. The family's handyman, Boon Hogganbeck (Steve McQueen), immediately takes the automobile under his eager care. His friend Ned (Rupert Crosse) steals it to try to impress a woman resulting in a fun chase and ending in an innocent accident. Lucius' other grandfather dies requiring the family's attendance out of town. Boss leaves the young boy in the care of Boon - after cautious warnings of Boon's predilections of immoral tendencies. Boon immediately teaches Lucious how to smoke, drive and lie to his other relatives so he can go on the road trip. Boon talks of the benefits and beauty of a trip to Memphis and as they start Ned talks his way aboard. Their first hazard passed, a muddy ditch where they pay for the assistance of mules to free them, they make it to the big highway a two-lane dirt road. They make it to their first stop a Memphis brothel where Boons girlfriend Corrie (Sharon Farell) works piquing Lucius pubescent curiosities. After Lucius gets into a manly brawl with another youngster regarding the reality of Corrie's adult profession, she is determined to change her path and quits to join Boon and the boys on the road. That same night, Ned drunkenly trades the automobile for a questionable racehorse leaving them all without transportation a racehorse that doesn't race. In order to figure out how to get the horse to run they regroup at Mr. Possums (Juano Hernandez) farm, a black man who's mortal enemy Sherriff Lovemaiden (Clifton James) threatens racial calamity. Some of the ladies of the evening and other friends hear about the race and show up from Memphis to root for the cause. Lovemaiden comes back with his deputies and after a barnyard brawl he arrests the lot.

Corrie arranges for their release with a private liaison with Lovemaiden causing Boon to give her a black eye. Lucius, abhorred by the realities of adulthood wants to quit and go home but after considering what his grandfather would do decides he will finish the task. Lucius will be the jockey and if they win they can get the car back. After the first race ends with controversy he wins the second race. Grandfather Boss shows up after witnessing the win and the return of the car. Lucius, Boon, Ned, Corrie and Boss go back to Mississippi. In lieu of corporal punishment from his father, Boss interrupts with and opportunity for Lucius to learn the valuable life lesson of accepting responsibility for ones actions regardless of cause - a large lesson indeed.
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