Review: ‘White Lightning’

Cast as an expert auto driver doing time in a Southern state prison for running bootleg whiskey, Burt Reynolds makes a deal with US Treasury agents to help them trap a gang of bootleggers on income tax evasion. Pitch for his freedom to act as an undercover man is made after he learns that a sheriff on the take is the probable murderer of his brother.

Cast as an expert auto driver doing time in a Southern state prison for running bootleg whiskey, Burt Reynolds makes a deal with US Treasury agents to help them trap a gang of bootleggers on income tax evasion. Pitch for his freedom to act as an undercover man is made after he learns that a sheriff on the take is the probable murderer of his brother.

He’s helped by another undercover man (Matt Clark) and a daredevil driver (Bo Hopkins) from whom Reynolds proceeds to steal his gal (Jennifer Billingsley).

Joseph Sargent’s direction is particularly effective in the light and auto-chasing sequences, latter a field day for stunt drivers and occasionally incorporating humorous bits of biz. Reynolds is quite up to all the demands of his smashing role.

White Lightning

Production

United Artists. Director Joseph Sargent; Producer Arthur Gardner, Jules V. Levy; Screenplay William Norton; Camera Edward Rosson; Editor George Nicholson; Music Charles Bernstein; Art Director [uncredited]

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1973. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Burt Reynolds Jennifer Billingsley Ned Beatty Bo Hopkins Matt Clark Diane Ladd

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