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|Index||15 reviews in total|
Very interesting .... I didn't know this movie even existed until I saw
a late night showing on a cable channel ...and it's resemblance to the
Dukes of Hazzard was incredible (The Dukes appeared as a T.V. show 4Yrs
later) The movie even had Sheriff Roscoe and it had Uncle Jessee and
they even had a dirt track race car named after General Lee's horse.
They even had Waylon Jennings narrating the story.
I never knew that the Dukes of Hazzard was based on a movie, until I saw this.
To beat all ....this movie was incredibly entertaining.
I'm surprised that this movie hasn't developed a strong cult following because of it's Dukes of Hazzard connection.
Moon Runners for some reason is almost NEVER mentioned as far as good
70's schlock and action movies, despite the "Dukes of Hazzard" connection.
It's pretty rare - while it was shown on cable in the late 70's, it almost
never shows up on TV at all nowadays. I caught it for the first time in
years early this year on cable (TNT I believe).
Grady and Bobby Lee (later to become Bo and Luke Duke) run moonshine for Uncle Jesse, who prides himself on his old-school moonshining methods, and refuses to buckle in to the 'big business moonshine' of Jake, who controls these parts for New York mobsters. Fast-paced and entertaining, as the boys continue to get their moonshine through. Some excellent car chase action, and while the chase scenes aren't on par with say "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry" and also aren't as numerous as I thought I remembered, still decent enough and forgivable since the film is just fun to begin with. Definitely a film to be seen!
I'd say this movie was as appealing as any episode of the TV show it
inspired (Dukes of Hazzard); the characters a bit underdeveloped and
the plot gets simplistic, at times, but it had enough pathos in it to
hold my attention, even without the cars.
What keeps this from being just a loosely-connected string of explosions and car chases is the movie's play on the moonshine men's code of ethics. Much like the Mafia, they're shown to have some very deep-rooted traditions and rules. They seem willing to accept and forgive double-dealing and acts of aggression, so long as it falls within that ethos. I don't know if this is truth or fiction, but it does give the characters an extra dimension for their motivations.
And yes, the good guys DO drive Plymouths. The Haggs and Zeebo both run their shine in 1970 Plymouth Furys, while the bad guys chase them in 1971 Chevrolets. The primary bad guy drives a Cadillac, and there was nary a Ford to be seen. Only the borrowed '72 Chevrolet Jesse used to make a delivery breaks this pattern.
Hey, you watch movies for YOUR reasons, I'll watch movies for MINE. Catch it on cable.
This ain't no watered down Dukes of TV series. Moonrunners is full
taste action with more cars, cursing, sex, fights, and real life.
Although I will admit that the Dukes of Hazzard is more "fun" you just
have to give Moonrunners a chance, it really is a good movie. I seen it
yesterday for the first time and even though it is low budget it did
keep me entertained, laughing several times, and the car chases/crashes
were more pumped up and real as compared to the Dukes. What I mean is
that in the Dukes when a car does a stunt and it is obvious that the
fender was smashed but in the next frame or scene the car is all shiny
and new; well that's doesn't happen in this movie, when they dent a car
it stays dented. I also found Beth Ann more attractive than Daisy but
that is a whole 'nother story. It is a good show that you should see if
you like older car movies like Stroker Ace and keep in mind that it's
very indicative of being an early 1970's movie as far as the production
goes. The good ole boys are a little more rougher and tougher than the
politically correct cousins that aired on television but the Uncle
Jesse character is about the same and Jake (Boss Hogg) again is more
real in this version, even pimping girls out of the back of the Boar's
It looks like to me if you were to take Moonrunners and re-cut it with a bit more music production, slightly better editing, and lose a few of the slower parts then it would be a hot fast-paced show... Oh wait, they did do that to Moonrunners, it's called "The Dukes Of Hazzard".
I've wanted to see this movie ever since I discovered it was the foundation for the Dukes of Hazzard TV show. I was not a die hard fan of the TV show, but I liked it, primarily for the Waylon Jennings narration. This movie has the same goofy, rollicking charm as the show. You know you're in B-movie land with low production values and no big name stars, but the movie works anyway for at least the first two-thirds anyway, then it sort of gets lost in itself. The three leads--James Mitchum, Kiel Martin, Anthum Hunnicut--easily fit into their roles, especially Hunnicut. The pretty girl they introduce early in the film is pretty much irrelevant for the remainder of the film. The TV show corrected this oversight by making Daisy Dukes a stronger presence. The gangsters from up north are another missed opportunity. They could have added a lot more danger and excitement to the latter half. But the Waylon Jennings soundtrack is divine; he gets to sing a lot and his fans will recognize most of the songs. Even with its shortcomings, Moonrunners is worth taking a look at. I've watched movies with far better reviews and enjoyed them far less.
A couple of hillbilly cousins and their uncle run a quality but
small-scale moonshine business that is put under threat when an
unscrupulous neighbour starts distributing inferior product in large
quantities with the help of some criminals.
I hadn't even heard of Moonrunners before a very kind fellow IMDber sent me a copy to check out. It clearly derives the bulk of its interest factor in that it was the film that the TV series 'The Dukes of Hazzard' was based on. Aside from the two central cousins, there is a Sheriff Roscoe, an Uncle Jesse and narration by Waylon Jennings. The series was made four years later and is a fond memory of mine more or less everyone my age liked it back in the day. The movie is somewhat rougher than the TV series, with a more authentic feel than the polished for television characters from 'Dukes'. But it still is coming from a very similar place with its good natured Southern humour, plenty of car chases and very dumb cops. It has to be said though that while the movie did have a female side-kick for the boys, she didn't really do very much; something the 'Dukes' rectified in fine style with the introduction of the terrific Daisy Duke.
As a film, it's very episodic with little real drama underpinning things. We never really feel too much for the characters as they don't have too much depth, while some events happen with little overall purpose. Still, it's all done with quite a bit of charm that it draws you in never-the-less. Added flavour is contributed by the entertainingly organic soundtrack and the on location shooting. It was probably a little ahead of the curve in some ways too, in that there was a plethora of 'good ol' boys' Southern action comedies that hit mainstream cinema in the late 70's, some of which were massive hits. Moonrunners fits into this bracket but is a very early example of this sub-genre and seems to have subsequently gone under the radar.
A nice representation of the type of life during the days of running moonshine. This movie is the precursor to the television series the "Dukes Of Hazzard". The main characters aren't named Duke and there is no General Lee. There is however an Uncle Jesse, A sheriff Roscoe P Coltrane and the Balladeer(Waylon Jennings). Ben Jones(Cooter) has a large role as a revenue agent. There are many similarities to the television series. There are plenty of car chases. It's a fun movie to watch, but may be slow in some parts of the dialog. People who watch it can see the direct relationship that it has with the "Dukes of Hazard". Definitely worth a look of given the opportunity.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Finding out that a poll was being held on IMDb's Classic Film board for
the best movies of 1975,I started to search round for DVDs that I could
watch for the poll.With having picked up the title a few years
ago,after reading up about its connection to The Dukes of Hazzard TV
series,I decided that it was finally time to pour a shot of Moonshine.
Spending their time racing fast cars & fast girls,Bobby Lee and Grady Hagg decide the it is time for them to grow up,and that they are going to help their uncle Jesse Hagg sell his latest batch of moonshine.Being taught by Jesse about how to treat his pure moonshine with respect,the gang soon find themselves hitting a fork in the road,when fellow moonshine maker Jake Rainey announces that he and a group of gangsters are going to control production of moonshine in the area.Holding their own against Rainey & the mobs ruthless attacks,Jesse,Bobby and Grady decide that they must fight back,in order to protect the purity of Jesse's moonshine.
View on the film:
Spinning a running time of just under 2 hours (!) the screenplay by writer/director Gy Waldron initially makes the movie (which was produced by director Bob Clark) look like it is going to offer galloping hi-jinx and gallons of southern sass.Waldron avoids picking the light Comedy touch ripened in the film,and instead makes the title dry by not allowing the comedic charm of the characters to shine,but to instead make each of them stern and serious.Backed by a thigh- tapping narration from Waylon Jennings,Waldon brilliantly soaks up the movies dusty location atmosphere,thanks to Waldon and cinematographer Brian W. Roy using wide shots to fully display the dirt roads and mud-soaked farms that Grady & Bobby Lee Hagg (played with a real charm by Kiel Martin and James Mitchum) drive down,as they become the dukes of Hazzard.
This is one of my favorite movies of all time for 2 reasons. First it is my favorite because it is the bases that got the great T.V. show The DUKES OF HAZARD started. Also a lot of people don't know that this movie and The DUKES OF HAZARD was based on the real life of Jerry Rushing who played in MOONRUNNERS and also had a part in THE DUKES OF HAZARD as the used car salesmen "ACE PARKER". I think we owe a very large "THANK YOU" to this man because without his input from his real life history of him and his brother neither MOONRUNNERS nor THE DUKES OF HAZARD would ever exist for all of us to enjoy. I know all of this to be true because he is a very close friend of mine. He is a great man,a great actor with many films, and a great friend.
I was actually involved in the shooting of Moonrunners, but in a coincidental way. I was a police officer for Clayton County, Georgia and worked security for the film. It was shot in Clayton and Coweta Counties. The scene of the chase through the small town where the Fury is stopped at a railroad crossing was filmed in Haralson, Ga. There were three streets to block and four police officers. Since I didn't have a street to block, the director let me drive one of the police cars. In the overhead shot of the car that is my elbow sticking out of the window in the stopped police car. The final scene shows a Coweta County deputy who also helped with the security, but he didn't want to drive the car. We bought the video tape of the movie as soon as it was available and enjoy watching it for the local scenery as well as the movie itself. And although it is obvious to anyone familiar with Moonrunners that it was the basis for The Dukes of Hazard, it took a court action for the makers of the film to acknowledge the connection.
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