Reivers [1969]

Genre: Comedy, Drama
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

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