Monday, July 8, 2013

Burt Reynolds Week : White Lightning

Welcome one and all to the week of Burt Reynolds.  Now I will be going over his earliest movies as we already covered him being in Gunsmoke for 4 years.   This time around we have a guanine time line movie for you.  It’s all about stilling shine, bribes and a bit unorthodox police brutality.  So strap on your seat belts, keep a look out of smokeys and brace yourselves.  This is White Lightning.

Silly smokeys think I am gonna pull over.

You damn peanuthead, you don’t know your spoiler from second base, you know that?

Bobby”Gator” McKlusky (Burt Reynolds of Navajo Joe, Gunsmoke, Shamus, The Longest Yard, Hooper, Starting Over and City Heat) is doing a nickel stretch in Arkansas corrections for running moonshine when he finds out his younger brother Donny was murdered.  He believes that the sheriff of the county he grew up in is responsible.  He knows that Sheriff J.C. Conners (Ned Beatty of Deliverance, The Thief Who Came to Dinner, The Last American Hero, Gator, Superman, Midnight Crossing and Homicide: Life on the Street)is more crooked than a white fence and agrees to go undercover for the Feds to expose the sheriff for the dubious, heartless bastard that he is.  To do that, the Feds outfit Gator with a ’71 LTD with a V8 big block so he can tear ass around the county and sign up to run moonshine or “White Lightning” as it is called in these here parts.   Yikes, talking like that is contagious.

Ladies dig the burns, fellas. Remember that.

Gator hooks up with an ex-con mechanic name of Dude Watson (Matt Clark of In the Heat of the Night, The Outlaw Josey Wales and Back to the Future Part III) to bring Gator into the shine business.  Reluctant as hell but knows when he is whipped, Dude links Gator up with Roy (Bo Hopkins of the Wild Bunch, American Graffiti, Midnight Express and Cowboy Up) a good ole boy that needs a blocker to mess with the cops between deliveries.  Gator starts jotting down how much gets delivered and to whom, in the hopes this will tighten the noose around J.C.’s neck.  A bit of side action from Roy’s ladyfriend Lou (Jennifer Billingsley of General Hospital, Lady in a Cage and The Thirsty Dead) who could not outwit a stuffed iguana but is easy on the eyes.

I have just a few points to make about the film.  This flick was shot in 35mm Spherical and sadly recorded in Mono.  Stereo was a trifle expensive.   As the cops are chasing Gator down a dirt path I noticed the rear window in his car was indeed missing but prior to the chase he leapt in the car and it had a rear window.  Continuity people!!!!   We had a few six shooters fire more than their fare share of rounds than the revolver carried but again this tiny oversight can be ignored.   

Best be good, boy or I make you squeal like me.

This film has street brawling, car chases, shoot outs and more action in just one film that I have seen in a while.  Yes fellas, you get to see a fair amount of Billingsley; now move on.  All in all it was a fun flick.

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