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White Lightnin' (2009)

Deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, where every man owns a gun and a moonshine still, abides living legend Jesco White, "the dancing outlaw". As a boy Jesco was... See full summary »



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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Edgar Hudd
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Young Jesco
Stephen Lester ...
Steve Nicolson ...
Allison Varnes ...
Teenage Clerk
Raymond Waring ...


Deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, where every man owns a gun and a moonshine still, abides living legend Jesco White, "the dancing outlaw". As a boy Jesco was in and out of reform school and the insane asylum. To keep him out of trouble, his daddy D-Ray taught him the art of mountain dancing, a frenzied version of tap dancing to wild country banjo music. After his father's death, crazy Jesco dons his father's tap shoes and takes his show on the road. Written by Warsaw Film Festival

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Biography | Drama


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Release Date:

25 September 2009 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Long: You ain't right. You crazy hillbilly fuck!
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I Need Your Head (aka We Got A Date)
Performed by Hasil Adkins
Written by Hasil Adkins
Published by Rockabilly Music Co. / Illegal Songs, Inc. (BMI) / Puncas Musik, Hamburg (for Germany)
Master Recording courtesy of Norton Records Inc. and Dee-Jay Schallplatten GmbH, Hamburg, Germany
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User Reviews

Plays like a country song, starts out playful, ends in tears in your beer...
11 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie is based on some portion of the real Jesco White's life. Not all of it is true, that's why it says based. This movie is in no way telling you that this is what happened with him at all. The filmmakers took some facts with a real life person and embellished them in such a way to tell an entertaining and intriguing story. At least, that's what I got out of it.

The movie starts out showing you how messed up Jesco White's childhood was. Not because of his parents or his upbringing, but just how much of a hell-raiser young Jesco (Campbell) was. Huffing gasoline and lighter fluid over and over again, he gets thrown into reform school more times than you could imagine. It's when he takes a needle from a biker gang, that he gets tossed into the insane asylum. After his release from the hospital, he learns of his father's (Watson) murder and his momma gives him his daddy's tap shoes and Jesco, now older (Hogg) continues on his daddy's legacy of dance. It's while on the road that he meets the woman of his dreams, 'Cilla (Fisher). She keeps him on the straight and narrow for awhile, but eventually all good things must come to an end.

I can understand why someone would take a person that's still living (Jesco White) and completely make up aspects of their life. The filmmakers just wanted to add a little more to his life story to shock the masses and keep them entertained because let's face it... his real life story is probably a little dull and wouldn't make a good film. So they added some elements to the story and darned if I didn't find it interesting, sometimes shocking and yes, even a little humorous. They may have gone a bit too far with the ending, though. I found it to be unsatisfying and over-glorified, to say the least.

I really enjoyed both actors who portrayed Jesco White. Hogg and especially Campbell both gave some go-for-broke performances. Carrie Fisher seemed to be a bit of a miscast, I think. I don't exactly know what they were going for here, but I just didn't buy that an older married woman with two kids would just run off with some guy she just met. I would have preferred to see a younger, more carefree soul get involved with Jesco rather than her.

Not a bad little movie, I found the beginning back story to be a bit more entertaining than the last two parts but it more than makes up for it with Hogg's performance and the narrator's laid back approach of delivering the story to us: he's like one of those old countrymen sitting on the porch of a General Store spinnin' a good yarn for us. more reviews at www.soveryterry.com Final Grade: B-

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