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White Lightning (1973)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,975 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 13 critic

An ex con teams up with federal agents to help them with breaking up a moonshine ring.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jennifer Billingsley ...
Lou
...
...
Roy Boone
...
Dude Watson
Louise Latham ...
Martha Culpepper
...
Maggie (as Diane Lad)
...
Big Bear
Conlan Carter ...
Deputy
...
Pa McKlusky
Lincoln Demyan ...
Warden
John Steadman ...
Skeeter
Iris Korn ...
Ma McKlusky
Stephanie Burchfield ...
Jenny
Barbara Muller ...
Louella
Edit

Storyline

An ex con teams up with federal agents to help them with breaking up a moonshine ring.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If You Haven't Seen "White Lightning" You Haven't Seen Burt Reynolds See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1973 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

McKlusky  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 782,923 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laura Dern:  This movie was Dern's uncredited film debut. Dern was just six years old in this brief non-speaking walk on bit part. Dern plays the daughter of her real life mother Diane Ladd who appears in this movie as Maggie. See more »

Goofs

During a car chase between the police and Gator, a rather large gold ring on the right ring-finger of Gator appears and disappears several times during scene changes. See more »

Quotes

Vinnie Carruthers: What happened to you?
Gator McKlusky: I was tryin' to save these two buddies of mine from getting knocked up by a homosexual.
Vinnie Carruthers: Oh, praise god!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 2 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Way Down Under
Composed by Charles Bernstein
Performed by Jerry Whitman
See more »

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User Reviews

That Authentic Southern Setting
30 December 2007 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Although Burt Reynolds may have been more compelling in "Deliverance" (1972), he does give a fine performance in "White Lightning", as Gator McKlusky, a Southern good-ole-boy, out of prison to revenge his hippie brother's murder. And that revenge plot must, of necessity, track to Bogan County Sheriff J.C. Connors (Ned Beatty), who is involved with hillbilly whiskey stills.

Nobody could have been more convincing as a paunchy Southern redneck sheriff than Ned Beatty. Reynolds and Beatty would team up in later years to make at least two more films with a similar tone: "W.W. And The Dixie Dancekings" (1975), and "Stroker Ace" (1983). In "White Lightning", wonderful Louise Latham makes a semi-cameo appearance as Sheriff Connors' reliable secretary.

Aside from casting and acting, "White Lightning" has other things going for it, not the least of which is a realistic portrayal of a small Southern town. The authenticity, with its various bubbas who frequent the pool halls, display their guns with pride, and race cars at the local fairgrounds, is striking. And with their big engines, the film's muscle cars gleefully tear up the pavement with their screeching tires and agile corner turning.

Indeed, those cars are so souped-up they even burn rubber on dirt roads. Oh well, who cares if there's a minor sound effects plot hole. A more substantive plot hole has Sheriff Connors unfamiliar with the geography of his own county. In particular, he might want to check the map again to note the existence of a large lake at the end of one particular dirt road. Still, his ignorance is our gain as a plot point that proves symmetrically effective.

Plot holes aside, this is a film of dust, dirt, car chases, whiskey stills, the sounds of screeching tires, and some dang good performances. "White Lightning" is worth viewing also for its 1970s nostalgia, and for its authentic Southern setting.


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