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The River Pirates (1988)

Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood (original title)
A timeless story of a boy's adventures growing up in a small Southern town, Yazoo City in the 1940s during World War II, roaming with his friends, playing practical jokes, and getting into trouble.


Tom G. Robertson


Paul W. Cooper, Willie Morris (book)
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Farnsworth ... Percy
Ryan Francis ... Willie
Gennie James ... Rivers Applewhite
Douglas Emerson ... Spit
Devin Ratray ... Bubba
Kevin Joseph Kevin Joseph ... Henjie
Ben Wylie Ben Wylie ... Billy
Dulé Hill ... Robert E. Lee
Jordan Marder ... Buster
Dixie K. Wade Dixie K. Wade ... Mamie
Caryn West ... Mrs. Morris
Richard Council ... Mr. Morris
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Aunt Sue
Anne Ramsey ... The Hag
Ralph Waite ... Narrator


A timeless story of a boy's adventures growing up in a small Southern town, Yazoo City in the 1940s during World War II, roaming with his friends, playing practical jokes, and getting into trouble.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Willie and his friends found the adventure of a lifetime searching for...








Release Date:

11 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The River Pirates See more »

Filming Locations:

Church Hill, Mississippi, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of Anne Ramsey's final acting roles before her death on August 11, 1988. See more »


Mr. Morris: [adolescent Willie Morris is beginning to contemplate the mystery of girls, when his father notices him in front of the bathroom mirror one day] What are you doin' gettin' all slicked up for?
Willie: [nervous] N-nothin' special, Daddy. Just goin' crawdad-huntin' with Spit 'n...
Mr. Morris: [with gentle understanding, he interrupts his son] Mmm-hmmm. Spit likes to see you with your hair combed, does he? Put a dab of that cologne on, too, so's you smell real good for Spit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits, there is a caption that reads: "Anne Ramsey 1927 - 1988. This was to be Anne's last film. All of us in the cast and crew are saddened by her death... and are very honored to have worked with this outstanding actress." Anne Ramsey passed away after production was completed on the film. See more »


Featured in No Small Parts: Anne Ramsey (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Terrible movie
13 February 2014 | by kidchaos1969See all my reviews

After reading the shining reviews for this I picked it up for my nephew on VHS. I'm not sure what the other reviewers are talking about. I mean yes the film is set in a small town in the south, and yes that is a lovely setting to have a film about boys growing up. But that doesn't mean that this film is good. The acting from the kids is horrible, the adults are OK. Anne Ramsey seems like she is not altogether there, often just dawdling in the background. I expect this behavior was due to a lack of direction. Even great actors can falter if there isn't any real direction for them. The pacing was slow and silly. The main plot comes and goes and then when you think the film is finally (thankfully) coming to a close, it goes on for another painful twenty minutes. In those last painful minutes the film tries to deal with death, love, growing up, and disillusionment. What a mess! Maybe back in 1988 some 8 year old thought this was a good movie (by the way, just for the record "The Goonies" isn't a masterpiece either), but this movie would bore almost any kid or adult to tears. Normally I have to really fight to get my nephew to go to bed. But he was glad to turn this movie off before it was finished and hope for better stories in his dreams.

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