The Reivers

1969

Action / Comedy / Drama

12
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 48%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 2389

Synopsis


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Downloaded 9,561 times
October 19, 2015 at 06:59 PM

Director

Cast

Steve McQueen as Boon Hogganbeck
Burgess Meredith as Lucius / Narrator
Diane Ladd as Phoebe
Michael Constantine as Mr. Binford
1080p.BLU
1.65 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
P/S 1 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by classicsoncall 7 / 10

"I said, there's somewhere that the law stops and just people begin".

Following a string of successful movies in which Steve McQueen developed his brash, cool, loner persona, he decided to take an artistic leap of faith and portray a character going against type. The decision caused him much concern because he wasn't sure if he could do comedy well, and at times felt like the picture might have led to career suicide. In a way, McQueen felt he might have been letting down his fans, betraying the public for doing a comedy.

He needn't have worried. "The Reivers" was well received at the box office in this country, although the foreign market was not as receptive to the story, based on a slice of William Faulkner's Americana. Notwithstanding McQueen's starring role, the story has more to do with a young boy's coming of age, as eleven year old Lucius McCaslin (Mitch Young) embarks on an auto excursion from Jefferson, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee with rascally Boon Hogganbeck (McQueen) and his own woodpile cousin Ned McCaslin (Rupert Cross). This may be one of the very few times in movie history a familial relationship is suggested between a white boy and a black man, but it works for the story and isn't really a prevailing factor in the telling.

Probably the most effective scenes in the picture involve young Lucius as well. Particularly moving are his conversation with Corrie (Sharon Farrell), a hooker with a heart of gold, and later on with his granddad 'Boss' (Will Geer), after having learned a valuable life lesson about lying, cheating, brawling and womanizing. Those last two were traits of father figure Boon, but Lucius kept his eyes wide open and was a good student of the human condition.

According to Steve McQueen though, the real star of the picture was the yellow Winton Flyer that grandpa Boon bought, which was hijacked by the principal players on their merry journey. The car was made especially for the movie, and was kept by McQueen after filming as part of his personal collection until his death in 1980. It can still be seen and admired at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California.

Reviewed by mike48128 10 / 10

Charming and Wonderful. A "Huck Finn" Type of Movie

Actually a 9.5 due to a bit of very minor bloodshed (a knife fight between Lucius and a 15-year old boy), some cuss words and the "N" word. Otherwise, almost "Pollyannish" but with a slightly rougher edge. (A few "adult" situations, as part of it takes place in a "whore" house!) "The Reivers" ("river pirates") is a coming of age adventure story, set in (circa) 1905 Mississippi. The three "Reivers" are Ned (Rupert Crose), Boon (Steve McQueen) and 11 year old Lucius (Mitch Vogal) Also starring Sharon Ferrell as Corrie and Will Geer as "Boss". Music by John Williams and novel narration by Burgess Meredith. Superb cinematography. Fine period locations, sets and costumes. Just beautifully done. Also one of Steve McQueen's best comedy films. "A bumpy automobile journey" by a 1905 Winton Flyer to Memphis, involving a beautiful prostitute and a "spellbinding" horse race. (Comments from the DVD cover) (The horse loves sardines!) From a great novel by William Faulker. Most enjoyable. Worth watching and worth owning. Some drama, but a lot of good humor as well. Quite "respectful" of the black actors. It portrays them as real, honest people and not stereotypes. Not suitable at all for children under 13. (See the 1st two lines of this review.) Often with "edited dialog" and a shorter knife scene for cable, which really improves the movie quite a bit for a younger audience.

Reviewed by Bill Slocum 7 / 10

Not Your Standard McQueen Car Flick

Steve McQueen tools around in a classy car, dodging bad guys, loving the ladies, and not giving a cuss. This may read like your typical 1960s effort from him, but that's something "The Reivers" ain't.

What is it? I guess it can be summed up as a broad coming-of-age comedy set in the American South in 1905, featuring a boy named Lucius (Mitch Vogel) who, against his better judgment, sets off with a couple of older-but-not-wiser friends in his grandfather's stolen automobile to visit the wicked city of Memphis. In no time he is holed up in a local bordello, trying to help win back his grandfather's car in a desperate horse race.

At the center of Lucius's worries is the man who talked him into the whole adventure, Boon Hoggenbeck, who wants the car to impress one of the pretty Memphis prostitutes he has set his cap on. "He knows no obstacles, counts no costs, fears no dangers," Grandpa (Will Geer) warns young Lucius of Boon.

Okay, that does sound like McQueen the way Gramps put it there. But McQueen's Boon is more of an overgrown boy than stolid icon. A bucolic coming-of-age comedy based on a William Faulkner novel, "The Reivers" seems McQueen's attempt at stretching out from action-hero mode. He's quite a bit of fun with his sometimes outsized comic reactions, a bit old for the part but certainly a capable center in what amounts to his first ensemble piece since "The Great Escape."

Director Mark Rydell made life-affirming American-heartland flicks that celebrate homey characters and downhome values, and "The Reivers" certainly fits his oeuvre. He is abetted wonderfully by the sunny lenswork of Richard Moore and a graceful, jaunty score by John Williams. In its elegiac, serio-comic tone, it is a lot like the film McQueen chose to make this over, "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid."

More a situation than a story, "The Reivers" introduces us to a shifting cast of characters and lets each spend some time with the viewer. Some leave stronger marks than others.

Rupert Crosse leaves the deepest impression as Lucius' distant black relative Ned, who drives Boon crazy asserting his rights as a member of the McCaslin family by virtue of a great-grandfather who impregnated a slave. Ned is a proud man who likes to push his point beyond the bounds of reason, stowing away on Grandfather's car when Boon and Lucius make their Memphis trip.

"If I wait until I'm invited I'll never will go anywhere," Ned points out when Boon tries unsuccessfully to toss him. Ned is the agent provocateur in "The Reivers," somewhat dangerous in his ways but valuable, too, played with a vulnerable, humor-filled grandeur by Crosse, who got an Oscar nomination for his work. You laugh more with him than at him, but it's a bit of both.

Where "The Reivers" goes a little wrong is with some of the other characters. Sharon Farrell is the proverbial prostitute with a heart of gold who bonds with Lucius, while other smaller parts are filled by memorable character actors who get little to do. "We were a pleasant and courteous people, tending to our business," Burgess Meredith explains in the voice-over narration, and often they seem a bit too much of just that. Even the bad guys, like a racist sheriff played by Clifton James, seem a bit toothless and too-easily- handled.

Still, I enjoyed this film, if more around the margins than in the main. It's not unusual to see McQueen wielding a pistol, but it is to watch the target josh him about his lousy aim between shots. Aided especially by Crosse and Vogel, "The Reivers" isn't maybe as wise or knowing as it tries to be, but does leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling that doesn't stale with repeat viewings. A sleepy charmer, it shows even a king can make for a capable jester once in a while.

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