And speaking of dark, the movie opens with Sheriff J.C. Connors (Ned Beatty) and his deputy towing another boat out into the swamp with two young men gagged and tied to it. Connors takes out a shotgun and blows a hole in the boat holding the two youths and then coldly watches it sink. We later find out that one of the young men was Donny McKlusky, a college boy who made the mistake of coming to Bogan County to protest the Vietnam War.
The movie then cuts to our lead character Bobby “Gator” McKlusky (Burt Reynolds) who is currently serving time in an Arkansas prison for moonshine running. When he learns of his brother’s death at the suspected hands of the corrupt sheriff of Bogan County, Gator decides he must find out what truly happened to his brother. Gator attempts to escape prison but is quickly recaptured, so he is forced to go with plan “B” which is to offer his services to the Federal government in nailing Sheriff J.C. Connors for tax evasion by tying him to the moonshine business.
Something for the ladies.
Stuntman Hal Needham at work.
Beatty practically sweats evil in this movie.
Roy, Lou and Gator.
Trivia: This movie was directed by the versatile and immensely talented Joseph Sargent but this was originally meant to be Steven Spielberg’s debut feature film. Apparently he got a bit gun shy about doing his first movie away from the Universal lot.