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The Moonshine War (1970)

A federal agent attempts to make some real money before the alcohol ban is lifted so he sets his sights on the whiskey cache of an old army buddy.

Director:

Richard Quine

Writers:

Elmore Leonard (novel), Elmore Leonard (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick McGoohan ... Frank Long
Richard Widmark ... Dr. Emmett Taulbee
Alan Alda ... John W. (Son) Martin
Melodie Johnson ... Lizann Simpson
Will Geer ... Mr. Baylor
Joe Williams ... Aaron
Susanne Zenor ... Miley Mitchell
Lee Hazlewood Lee Hazlewood ... Dual Metters
Max Showalter ... Mr. Worthman
Harry Carey Jr. ... Arley Stamper
Tom Nolan Tom Nolan ... Lowell
Dick Peabody Dick Peabody ... Boyd Caswell (as Richard Peabody)
John Schuck ... E.J. Royce
Bo Hopkins ... Bud Blackwell
Charles Tyner ... Mr. McClendon
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Storyline

A federal agent attempts to make some real money before the alcohol ban is lifted so he sets his sights on the whiskey cache of an old army buddy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1932: The Moonshine War. The 18th amendment prohibited drinking. It didn't say a word about killing, double-crossing or blowing things up.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Whisky brutal See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmways Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The September 3, 1969, issue of VARIETY reports that Claude Johnson (I) took over the small role of "young man" from actor Tex Barnum (credited as Charles Akins) when Barnum declined to do the nudity required for the role. See more »

Connections

Featured in Shooting the Moonshine War (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad Of The Moonshine
Performed by Hank Williams Jr.
Written by Hank Williams Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moonshiners versus faux federal agents.
3 November 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When this strange story begins, a federal agent (Patrick McGoohan) arrives in rural Kentucky in 1932...during the final days of Prohibition. He has a scheme to buy up all the local corn whiskey in order to sell it and get rich when the law changes...allowing the sale of alcohol. At first, this seems like it might be a winning proposition for him and the farmers. But when his sociopathic partners arrive in town, their methods are a bit more violent...and soon stills are being destroyed,and folks are getting killed. Eventually this leads to a weird standoff where the folks in town come out to watch the killing...just like they were going to an afternoon picnic!

This is a most unusual film for many reasons. Seeing Alan Alda, Richard Widmark and Patrick McGoohan in a rural film like this did seem odd...though they did reasonably well. It's also unusual because at times, realism seemed to mean very little...with the inexplicably strange character, Dual, does things that simply don't make sense (such as the clothing scene in the restaurant). I think the film would have been much, much better without him.

So is it any good? Well, it's made okay and obviously folks enjoyed it when you read through the reviews. As for me, I didn't particularly enjoy what I watched,. it was a bit slow and it seemed awfully unrealistic.

By the way, this is far from a politically correct movie....with the infamous n-word being used again and again. Sadly, it did make the film seem more real (after all, folks DID talk like this back in the day)...that's for sure.


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