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White Lightning (1973)

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

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(as William Norton)
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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
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's my kind of film. Booze, broads, car chases, corruption and revenge -- all the things that make life worthwhile! 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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The I-30 speedway was used at the Benton speedway. This speedway is actually just over in Pulaski county (little rock, Arkansas) from Saline county where Benton is actually located. See more »

Goofs

There are several shots of Gators '71 Ford that show a stock front clip. Then there are some that show the left headlights covered in tape and a steel bracket that runs along the front bumper. See more »

Quotes

Highway Patrol: You OK?
Sheriff Connors: You see me walkin', don't ya?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Archer: Pipeline Fever (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Way Down Under
Composed by Charles Bernstein
Performed by Jerry Whitman
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User Reviews

 
A fun vehicle for one of the 1970s' biggest stars.
30 November 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Burt Reynolds plays "Gator" McKlusky, a good ol' boy convict who gets word that his younger brother Donny has died. Not only did Donny die, but he was deliberately drowned by a crooked sheriff, J.C. Connors (Ned Beatty). "Gator" decides to cooperate with the Feds in order to get himself out of jail so he can seek revenge. His official mission will be to get the goods on not just Connors, but the moonshiners with whom he does business.

In general, "White Lightning" is no great shakes, but it's certainly a pleasant and watchable enough rural action flick. If it does one thing well, it's that it showcases the charms of its star in fine fashion. Burt is engaging, and the strong supporting cast is a big asset. Beatty actually underplays the role of the antagonist, never turning him into the kind of cartoon character we might otherwise see in movies of this type. Jennifer Billingsley adds substantial sex appeal as Lou, the gal who turns Gators' head. First rate character actors and actresses such as Bo Hopkins, Matt Clark, Louise Latham, Diane Ladd, R.G. Armstrong, Dabbs Greer, John Steadman, and Iris Korn all contribute heavily. Buffs should note that Ladds' daughter Laura Dern appears in a couple of shots; it was her film debut.

The flavourful score by Charles Bernstein is most enjoyable, and the filmmakers get great use out of various Arkansas locations. Joseph Sargent ("Colossus: The Forbin Project", "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three") does a fine job with the first unit direction, but it's really Hal Needhams' deft handling of the action sequences that bring "White Lightning" to life at just the right times. William W. Norton wrote the screenplay, creating a convincing milieu where traditional Southerners mistrust the current young generation of hippies and protesters. There are some poignant interludes with Gator & Lou, and at a home for unwed mothers.

Fine entertainment for devotees of old drive-in movies.

Seven out of 10.


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