This movie's original title was 'McKlusky' which is the surname of the main character, Gator McKlusky, played by Burt Reynolds. Interestingly, the sequel to this movie was named after this character's first name, Gator (1976). See more »
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 »
Hey, Gator. Tell me somethin'. Was you scared back there when ol' Big Bear pulled that pig sticker on you?
Hmph... Scared shitless.
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They certainly don't make movies like this anymore. Likable characters, good story, a very charismatic Burt Reynolds. As for the action, I would take well-filmed, exciting car chase and action sequences as seen in White Lightning over CGI special effects in today's films any day! Rural locations in the South are also used to great effect. You can almost feel the cold water of the swamp in a great opening sequence, the ears of corn bouncing off the windshield as Reynolds drives the souped-up Ford through a cornfield, and the dust coming off the tires. As also observed by movie critic Roger Ebert, today's special effects- laden movies have forgotten how to make the location of the story, the land, a character in itself. After seeing this film at a drive-in theater around 1975, White Lighting was a "bad influence" on a kid as I was in rural Wisconsin who had just gotten his driving license. I would discreetly take the parent's car and my friends out on dusty, dirt roads in the countryside to execute "some Burt Reynolds style" driving. In addition, some parts of the movie are even touching. These include when Reynolds meets his parents for the first time after spending time in prison. And when Reynolds prior to the big chase sequence at the end proclaims his confusion to a young woman at the "Home For Young Mothers" as to why his brother who tried to make something of himself was murdered while he "had not done a damn good thing" his entire life. Enough of my ramblings. In summary, a movie with a number of added dimensions to put it far above and beyond a standard action movie. A pure classic.
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