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The movie captures, with rich authenticity, the colorful characters of Faulkner's Mississippi. The cinematography and music evoke the sites and sounds of a picturesque South in 1905. The cast, including narration by Burgess Meredith, is impeccable. The movie centers on the joyriding adventures of 11-year old Lucius McCaslin, his cousin Boon Hogganback (Steve McQueen) and their black relation (Rupert Crosse). The story involves a stolen car, a 4-day odyssey from northern Mississippi to the `red light" district of Memphis, a horse race, and the life-changing experiences of young Lucius. Will Geer, as Lucius' grandfather "Boss," offers a memorable performance when he confronts the young boy with his misdeeds, proving again that the word is mightier than the hand. William Faulkner would be proud of this movie.
Steve McQueen is Boon Hogganback, a cousin and handyman to the McCaslin family. When grandfather "Boss" McCaslin buys a new car, a yellow Winton Flyer, Boon talks eleven year old Lucius, "Boss's" grandson, into his scheme to "borrow" the car for a quick trip to Memphis to visit a prostitute with whom he's in love.
When "Boss" leaves for the weekend, the two reivers -- an old fashioned word for "thieves" -- take off in the car. Unknown to them, a black relation has stowed away under a blanket in the back seat. The four day odyssey is a coming of age adventure for young Lucius. He spends the night in a brothel, has a knife fight over a prostitue's honor, and races a horse to win back the car.
Beautifully photographed with one of John William's best scores, this fine film adaptation would probably delight Faulkner himself. McQueen is memorable as a lovable scamp and he seems to be having fun in the role.
The narration, from the perspective of an adult Lucius, is by Burgess Meredith and the poetic, wise words are Faulner's.
This wonderful, mostly forgotten film is worth seeking out.
Steve McQueen plays Boon Hogganbeck, an adopted stray that was taken in by the local Big Daddy played by the inimitable Will Geer known simply as "Boss." Boon is assigned to watch over the Boss' grandson Lucius, but Boon has been around the block a few times, and his testosterone goes into warp drive when the Boss has a spanking new Winton Flyer delivered on the inbound train.
While Boon is ardently watching over his new toy, another "family" member Ned who just happens to be a descendant of slaves AND Boss McCanlis' own grandaddy, takes off in the Winton Flyer causing general mayhem and destruction all over town before accidentally bringing this new horseless wagon to a stop. as punishment, Boss and the family leave town for a funeral, and consign 11 year old Lucius to the care of Boon, who has the Memphis city limits on his mind. Once safely out of town, Boon and Lucius concoct a story that is told to all the local family members assuring their safe gettaway, then off they go only to find later that lunatic Ned has stowed away in the back seat, setting the stage for a raucous adventure that had been largely forgotten over the past 30 years.
A terrific supporting cast with Michael Constantine as the owner of uh "The House", and Sharon Farrell as the...er object of Boon's affection. This movie is a delight for the family, and any serious DVD collector as the original brilliance of the sets and Mississippi Delta scenery has been fully restored with this beautiful widescreen transfer, and the 5.1 audio remastering is much better than the original release. All in all I would have to say this film classic deserves 5 Melons.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THE REIVERS [1969 / 2015] [Blu-ray] A Reiver is a Rascal! Steve McQueen is the Head Reiver! From The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel by William Faulkner! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
My favorite Steve McQueen movie. With the exception of a few rough words it's good family entertainment with a good message. Highly recommended.Published 2 months ago by Steve
This is a great movie for all the family; however, I was shocked to see that Kino Lorber didn't include the 5.1 Surround Sound in their Blu-ray Edition. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Arthur
Just want to add one point: Steve McQueen was the best and MOST UNDER-RATED actor of my generation.Published 5 months ago by SoCalDoc
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