An old man looks back 60 years to a road trip from rural Mississippi to Memphis, a horse race, and his own coming of age. Lucius's grandfather gets the first automobile in the area, a bright yellow Winton Flyer. While he's away, the plantation handyman, Boon Hogganbeck, conspires to borrow the car, taking Lucius with him. Stowed away is Ned, a mulatto and Lucius's putative cousin. The three head for Memphis, where Boon's sweetheart works in a whorehouse, where Ned trades the car for a racehorse, and where Lucius discovers the world of adults - from racism and vice to possibilities for honor and courage. Is there redemption for reivers, rascals, and rapscallions?Written by
This is an enjoyable old fashion type of adventure they just wont make anymore outside of a Disney adaptation. It's based on a William Faulkner story, his last I believe, and may be slightly autobiographical. I always saw this movie on television in the 70s & 80s and didn't realize so much of the film was cut and watered down for TV. The video VHS/ or DVD is much more complete and has more uncensored dialogue as well as including excised TV scenes such as when the trio arrives at the 'bordello' and Lucius is introduced. While the movie takes on a Disney or Hallmark heritage type of look it is not that. It is much more mature with spicy dialogue as mentioned and mature scenes that round out a longer running time. One thing I noticed is that this movie hails from 1969 when certain sexual situations were now being allowed in American productions. This movie reflects this change, while being basically family fare it 'just' escaped an R rating presumably as the MPAA system was still new and unfamiliar with how to rate certain subject matter. If this movie had been made just four or five years before it no doubt would have captured the rural early 20th century innocence familiar to Faulkner but the sexual situations, which make the story more believable, wouldn't have been included. Alas this is a great movie to have in your collection to take out and view when you're lonely and want something to look at or if it's raining outside. ***1/2 stars and it deserves to be much more well known than it is.
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