Tagged: Moonshiner

Robert Mitchum in Thunder Road

Robert Mitchum as Lucas Doolin in <em>Thunder Road</em> (1958), frisked next to his classic Ford.

Robert Mitchum as Lucas Doolin in Thunder Road (1958), frisked next to his classic Ford.

Vitals

Robert Mitchum as Lucas “Luke” Doolin, moonshine driver and Korean War veteran

Rillow Valley, Tennessee, Fall 1957

Film: Thunder Road
Release Date: May 10, 1958
Director: Arthur Ripley
Wardrobe Credit: Oscar Rodriguez

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

There’s a Treasury agent down the line someplace with three bumpers hangin’ on his car.

For the first Car Week post of this year, and just in time for the fourth of July, BAMF Style celebrates the all-American tradition of car-racing and its moonshine-running origins with the 1958 action film Thunder Road.

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Gator McKlusky’s Red, White, and Blue

Burt Reynolds as "Gator" McKlusky in Gator (1976).

Burt Reynolds as “Gator” McKlusky in Gator (1976).

Vitals

Burt Reynolds as Bobby “Gator” McKlusky, paroled moonshine runner

Dunston County, Georgia, Summer 1975

Film: Gator
Release Date: August 25, 1976
Director: Burt Reynolds
Costume Designer: Norman Salling

Background

To celebrate yesterday being the Fourth of July here in the United States, BAMF Style is breaking down a red, white, and blue look from that most American movie star… Burt Reynolds.

Sterling Archer and I disagree on which of Burt Reynolds’ two cinematic outings as Gator McKlusky is superior… or at least “less bad”. I prefer the darker White Lightning that cast a grittier line on Arkansas moonshiners, while Archer claims that the Reynolds-directed sequel Gator is the stronger choice. While I could make the argument that White Lightning has an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes while Gator currently enjoys a 0%, it’s also worth pointing out that Archer falsely attributes many scenes from White Lightning to Gator. (It’s also likely that Archer just appreciates Gator more because Burt had grown his now-iconic mustache for the role; his upper lip had been tragically bare in White Lightning.) Continue reading

Bo Duke (and the General Lee)

John Schneider as Bo Duke on the set of The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985).

John Schneider as Bo Duke on the set of The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985).

Vitals

John Schneider as Bo Duke, race car driver & former moonshine runner

Hazzard County, Georgia, Fall 1978

Series: The Dukes of Hazzard
Creators: Gy Waldron & Jerry Rushing
Men’s Costume Supervisors: Bob Christenson & Joseph Roveto

Background

Picture a cool fall day in 2005 on a suburban road just north of Pittsburgh. A young – and charming, if I may say – 16-year-old is out with his dad, taking his red 1992 Plymouth Acclaim for a spin with his learner’s permit freshly in his wallet. After about a half hour of learning how to obey basic traffic laws, the father turns to his son and says: “Okay, let’s turn it around and go home.”

The son nods obediently, yanks the emergency brake release, taps the column shifter into neutral, and – without reducing speed – jams his foot onto the emergency brake. The rear tires of the Acclaim lock up, the steering wheel is yanked to the left, and within seconds, the surprisingly powerful V6 engine roars as the Acclaim is shifted back into gear to head home.

The son smiles smugly with his perfectly-executed first attempt at a bootleggers’ turn while the father breaks his steadfast rule about cursing around the kids:

You’re not Bo fucking Duke!

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Luke Duke

Tom Wopat as Luke Dukes in "High Octane", Episode 1.05 of The Dukes of Hazzard.

Tom Wopat as Luke Duke in “High Octane”, Episode 1.05 of The Dukes of Hazzard.

Vitals

Tom Wopat as Luke Duke, ex-Marine & moonshiner

Hazzard County, Georgia*, Fall 1978

* best represented by Newton County, 35 miles east of Atlanta

Series: The Dukes of Hazzard
Creators: Gy Waldron & Jerry Rushing
Men’s Costume Supervisors: Bob Christenson & Joseph Roveto

Background

I know I said I wouldn’t do it, but the pull of the General Lee was too strong, and I finally decided enough car week posts had been written before I could officially sell out and write about my dream car, the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, and the show that immortalized it… The Dukes of Hazzard. Continue reading

Burt Reynolds in White Lightning

Burt Reynolds as "Gator" McKlusky in White Lightning.

Burt Reynolds as “Gator” McKlusky in White Lightning (1973).

Vitals

Burt Reynolds as Bobby “Gator” McKlusky, paroled moonshine runner

Bogan County, Arkansas, Summer 1973

Film: White Lightning
Release Date: August 8, 1973
Director: Joseph Sargent
Costume Designer: Michael Butler

Background

This was the first of the “hick flicks”, a series of films that became popular in the ’70s. The story was usually the same, an anti-hero would use his muscle car to face off against a corrupt, and usually fat, Southern lawman with illegal booze as the story’s MacGuffin. Burt Reynolds himself would be associated with this subgenre, with his appearance in White Lightning, the more lighthearted sequel Gator, and the wildly popular Smokey and the Bandit. This first, 1973’s White Lightning, is the most gritty of the trio. Continue reading