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The Moonshine War (1970) More at IMDbPro »


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Elmore Leonard (novel)
Elmore Leonard (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Moonshine War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
July 1970 (USA) See more »
1932: The Moonshine War. The 18th amendment prohibited drinking. It didn't say a word about killing, double-crossing or blowing things up.
Plot Keywords:
(6 articles)
Elmore Leonard obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 20 August 2013, 4:00 PM, PDT)

TV Review: Justified, 2.1 – “The Moonshine War”
 (From Obsessed with Film. 21 April 2011, 3:26 AM, PDT)

Timothy Olyphant Talks Justified Season 2
 (From MovieWeb. 9 February 2011, 4:27 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Patrick McGoohan as Wile E. Coyote See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Patrick McGoohan ... Frank Long

Richard Widmark ... Dr. Emmett Taulbee

Alan Alda ... John W. (Son) Martin
Melodie Johnson ... Lizann Simpson

Will Geer ... Mr. Baylor
Joe Williams ... Aaron
Susanne Zenor ... Miley Mitchell
Lee Hazlewood ... Dual Metters

Max Showalter ... Mr. Worthman

Harry Carey Jr. ... Arley Stamper
Tom Nolan ... Lowell
Dick Peabody ... Boyd Caswell (as Richard Peabody)

John Schuck ... E.J. Royce

Bo Hopkins ... Bud Blackwell

Charles Tyner ... Mr. McClendon

Teri Garr ... Young Wife (as Terry Garr)
Claude Johnson ... Young Man
Dick Crockett ... Carl
Patty Sauers ... Waitress
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Humphreys ... The neighbor (uncredited)
Carl D. Parker ... Townsman (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Quine 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Elmore Leonard  novel
Elmore Leonard  screenplay

Produced by
Leonard Blair .... associate producer
James C. Pratt .... associate producer
Martin Ransohoff .... producer
Original Music by
Fred Karger 
Cinematography by
Richard H. Kline 
Film Editing by
Allan Jacobs 
Casting by
Leonard Murphy 
Art Direction by
Edward C. Carfagno 
George W. Davis 
Set Decoration by
Robert R. Benton 
Hugh Hunt 
Costume Design by
Edmund Kara 
Makeup Department
Jean Austin .... hair stylist
Allan Snyder .... makeup artist
William Tuttle .... makeup artist
Production Management
James T. Vaughn .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dick Crockett .... second unit director
Mickey McCardle .... assistant director
Art Department
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
Jerry Whittington .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Dick Crockett .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Hice .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jerry Whittington .... electrician
Music Department
Neal Hefti .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Esther Stephenson .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | USA:GP | West Germany:16 (nf)
Filming Locations:

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Movie Connections:
Love Brings LoveSee more »


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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Patrick McGoohan as Wile E. Coyote, 11 October 2002
Author: F Gwynplaine MacIntyre from Minffordd, North Wales

UPDATE: I've seen 'The Moonshine War' only once, on late-night television with commercial breaks. After I originally posted this review, another IMDb contributor posted a review stating that I missed major plot points in the film. My review of this movie is based on the version I saw, which was edited for television. Some plot points may have been excised to make room for more commercials.

I'm very much a fan of Patrick McGoohan, and I admire his penchant for playing a widely varying range of roles, so I eagerly anticipated one of McGoohan's usual tour-de-force performances in 'The Moonshine War'. I was disappointed, not only by McGoohan but by the entire film.

Patrick McGoohan (born in the United States but raised in Ireland) uses his American accent here as a "revenooer" (federal agent) in the Ozarks during the Depression, tracking a family of moonshiners. Alan Alda, with a Li'l Abner cornpone accent, plays the eldest son in the family: not the leader, but it's clear he's going to inherit leadership after the patriarch dies.

I was keenly anticipating a battle of wits (and dirty tricks) between Alda and McGoohan. I was disappointed. Alda's hillbilly keeps outflanking and outwitting McGoohan's federal agent all through the film. McGoohan is subjected to all sorts of humiliating defeats. This movie is the closest Patrick McGoohan ever came to playing Wile E. Coyote: the guy who loses every engagement keeps coming back for more punishment ... and keeps losing again.

It doesn't help that Alda's character and his relations (who are all criminals) are all depicted sympathetically, while McGoohan's character (a low-paid agent in a dangerous job, putting his neck on the line with no back-up, to enforce the law) is depicted unsympathetically. We're meant to cheer for Alda each time he humiliates McGoohan.

The screenplay is by Elmore Leonard, based on his novel. I don't much fancy Elmore Leonard, but friends of mine who are Leonard fans have told me that this movie is a good example of his work.

Some of the local colour in this movie truly irritated me, such as the heavy-set waitress who can't pronounce "Coca-Cola" correctly: she keeps calling it "Co'Cola". After I saw this movie, I learnt (from someone who grew up in the Deep South) that the film is actually quite accurate in its details. In Georgia, where Coca-Cola's corporate headquarters are located, they really do call it "Co'Cola".

"The Moonshine War" was directed by Richard Quine, a former actor who became a (slightly better than average) director with several excellent films to his credit. Quine eventually directed Peter Sellers in the remake of "The Prisoner of Zenda" and in "The Fiendish Plot of Dr Fu Manchu". Reliable reports state that Sellers bullied Quine unmercifully throughout production of both films, and Quine was permanently traumatised by the experience. This was probably a major factor in Quine's eventual suicide.

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