Quebec Bill Bohomme is a hardy schemer and dreamer, who, desperate to raise money to preserve his endangered herd through the rapidly approaching winter, resorts to whiskey-smuggling, a ... See full summary »
Quebec Bill Bohomme is a hardy schemer and dreamer, who, desperate to raise money to preserve his endangered herd through the rapidly approaching winter, resorts to whiskey-smuggling, a traditional family occupation. Quebec Bill takes his son, Wild Bill, on the journey. Also Henry Coville, an inscrutable whiskey smuggler, and Rat Kinneson, Quebec Bill's perpetually disconsolate ex-con hired man. Together, they cross the border into vast reaches of Canadian wilderness for an unforgettable four days "full of terror, full of wonder." Written by
Between 9 and ten minutes into the film (as Coville is asking the other 2 men if they want to purchase a 'fast car'), if you look in the background, you can see modern day vehicles going down the street - despite the film being set in the early 1930s. See more »
What's the matter, Hen'? Don't you think that I and Wild Bill can get that whiskey back across for ya?
Bill, I'm sure you can hustle that whiskey up the lake with the Women's Temperance League patrollin' it.
And sell 'em a case in the bargain.
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This well-meant film falls just a bit short, and unfortunately in too many areas.
The scenery is gorgeous, with vistas of north-central Vermont providing the setting for this mid-century tale. Quebec Bill endeavors to go back to his whiskey-running past in order to save his farm.
Going back and forth between scenes of magical realism and straight-forward action, this film rarely hits its stride.
Kris Kristofferson as Quebec Bill seems pretty stilted, or else it's his lines; or else his cross of Yankee and Quebecois accents. Anyway, he just comes off as a low-key blow-hard. His dialogs with Gary Farmer's Coville character do sparkle, though. William Sanderson's Rat Kinneson is solid. Charlie McDermott shows some real potential as young Wild Bill; but his part's not large enough to carry a scene and he never steals one. Luis Guzman shows up on Lake Memphramagog (with a fine stand-in performance by Lake Willoughby) as a monk with a boys'n'the hood accent: who knows? And then there's Bujold's Cordelia: an oracle like her namesake, she channels Yoda as she intones lines like "You will marry a Quebec woman!"?!? Just too weird and nowhere near enigmatic enough.
The end gets really choppy. Again a bad mix of magical realism and the concrete. And Yoda never provides an answer we can understand.
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