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The Reivers

4.7 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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(Jun 14, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Based on the novel by William Faulkner, THE REIVERS tells the story of a young boy who leaves home and sets out on a journey with his best friend and Boon Hogganbeck (McQueen), his family’s handyman. During the trip from Jefferson to Memphis, the trio learns some valuable life lessons.

The Reivers, based on a William Faulkner novel, is a spirited comedy-drama starring Steve McQueen in a rare character part as Boon Hoggenbeck, a ne'er-do-well, turn-of-the-century Mississippi farm hand and cousin of 11-year-old naif Lucius McCaslin (Mitch Vogel). The arrival of a handsome new automobile purchased by Lucius' grandfather, Boss McCaslin (a golden performance by Will Geer), causes an uproar when Boon and another cousin, Ned McCaslin (Rupert Crosse), who is half African American, vie to drive the vehicle around town. Boss's departure by train for a funeral gives Boon, Ned, and Lucius an opportunity to drive in style to Memphis, where young McCaslin's eyes are opened to a larger world of hard-core racism, prostitution, corruption, and the tyranny of the powerful over the vulnerable. In short order, Lucius finds his innate decency and integrity lessen the sting of disillusionment and helplessness. Director Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond) keeps things brisk and breezy, but never loses sight of the long shadow of adulthood that blots out Lucius' innocence. Presented in widescreen. --Tom Keogh

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Steve McQueen, Sharon Farrell, Ruth White, Michael Constantine, Clifton James
  • Directors: Mark Rydell
  • Writers: Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank Jr., William Faulkner
  • Producers: Irving Ravetch, Rick Rosenberg, Robert E. Relyea
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008KLV9G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,090 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Reivers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
William Faulkner was one of America's greatest authors. His Pulitzer Prize winning works are renowned for his ability to capture, with affection and fascination, the culture and people of Mississippi...Southerners of all color, class, and gender. Many of Faulkner's stories evoke a somber tone of Southern Gothic tragedy based on his observations of racial intolerance, and the decline of traditional Southern values before the forces of greed and modernization. In contrast to his more serious works, "The Reivers" is light-hearted, comic, and thoroughly entertaining.
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I don't know what to say that hasn't been said before, but this is one of the most well-made films of 1969. Period detail is well-presented, acting is excellent, wonderful Panavision widescreen makes this DVD a treasure. William Faulkner wasn't known for his lightness of heart, but this precious memoir shows love, spirit and excitement that sets this film aside. I won't blab away the plot, but Steve McQueen, at the height of his career, is having a ball in a fine performance. Sharon Farrell is so lovely; where did her career go? Mitch Vogel, as young Lucius, gives one of the best kid performances ever; I hate bad kid-actors. Where did his career go? And the most auspicious debut performance came from Oscar-nominated Rupert Crosse, knowing everything, wanting to be included, causing the most trouble, and, ultimately, saving the day. Best in the film! And where did his career go? There's also the great Juano Hernandez, and a really great performance by a horse. And it's always good to see Ruth White, the most reliable character actress since Jane Darwell. Non-obtrusive narration by Burgess Meredith is a plus. The odds seem insurmountable, but they all emerge victorious and young Lucius has life-affirming experiences; shocking, painful and ultimately exciting. And memorable. This film is nothing but fun, and I enjoy it a lot. 1969 brought about some magnificent films: Midnight Cowboy, Anne of the Thousand Days, They Shoot Horses Don't They, Butch Cassidy...and The Reivers is right up there with the best of 'em.
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Format: DVD
Based on William Faulkner's sweetest novel, THE REIVERS (Paramount) is set in Mississippi, circa 1905.

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.
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Format: DVD
This Norman Rockwell snapshot of turn-of-the-century Mississippi has aged better than expected. I remember this being such a grand adventure on its theatrical release, now its more of a moderately paced nostalgic curio, but good wholesome family entertainment nonetheless.

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 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.
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