Synopsis: In order to provide for his destitute family of drifters, a likable, sincere, able-bodied 15-year-old boy comes to hire on among a burned-out ex-con's group of aging forest laborers. As the man becomes more and more aware of the boy's abusive home life, his deeply buried humanity is roused. Drinking and smoking incessantly to remain detached from his volatile temper, he finally takes the matter into his own hands - come what may - when the boy's alcoholic father finally goes too far.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): David Gordon Green
Production: Roadside Attractions
  4 wins & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

Hey, old man,

you look at me.

I got something

to say to you.

Every time we land

someplace new,

you say it's gonna be

different, but it ain't.

You mess up a lot,

then you leave a mess

for me and Mama

and Dorothy to clean up

and that ain't right.

That's all I'm saying.

Hell, I do

what I gotta do.

You do whatever

the hell you want,

whatever you can

get away with.

You're just

a selfish old drunk.

Yeah, that's

what you is.

This place is

gonna be after us.

Hell, they'll be

on you,

and they're

gonna beat your ass.

And I hate

to see you go down.

I know

you're my daddy.

You know you sure are,

ain't you?

I'm talking at you.

What you done

this time,

they'll beat

your ass to sh*t.

That's what

they're gonna do.

You can

count on it.

...service but was looking

and it looked as if close

to three inches of rain fell

with a little

thunderstorm complex-

Round 'em up, Junior.

- Yo, it ain't lunchtime yet.

- Round 'em up.

Let's pack up the gear, guys.

Let's get

out of here!

One at a time,

one at a time.

- Hey, hey, hey- one at a time.

- I'm trying to get situated.

Go, go, go.

Why y'all moving so slow? Looks

like y'all goddamn turtles out there.

It's getting

rained on!

Damn, Joe, when you

gonna get that new truck, Joe?

What's wrong with this one?

It's raggedy. You can't

tell what's wrong with it?

- You don't know?

- Yeah-

- think I'd get another one.

- Damn right.

Let me get

a cigarette.

I'm gonna have to start

taking this out of your pay.

All right, then.

See you tomorrow

if the sun comes up.

I'll holler at you

in the morning. Let me know.

All right.

Which jersey now?

Pittsburgh yellow?

All right!

You can see

the moisture moving northward

out of Mexico and also

out into the Gulf of Mexico,

meeting up

with this frontal system,

which is slowly being-

been sagging southward.

As we look at temperatures

with the cloud cover,

not as hot as what

we've been seeing,

but the cool-down isn't

related to Canadian air.

Here's some Canadian air over the

northeastern part of the country.

Very high dew points.

This represents a whole lot

of moisture available to us

and to those tall clouds

producing the heavy rains.

So the showers and

thunderstorms during tonight...

- Morning, Junior.

- Morning, Joe.

Sh*t, Joe. If it's gonna

rain, call me. I'll show up.

What about Shorty?

He get drunk last night?

- Shorty almost got arrested last night.

- What? He what?

Hell, yeah.

All right. Yeah, I'll be up

at Coleman's in 30 minutes.

- Y'all be ready.

- Bye-bye!

Ooh, Shorty, that was

a rough night last night.

Almost didn't make it

to work this morning, boy.

- I heard some stories.

- You'd be surprised.

Drinking and trying to

touch this lady on the butt.

Here's Joe, y'all. Here's Joe.

Come on, Joe,

help a brother out, now.

- Good morning, Joe.

- Morning.

Y'all come go with me.

- All right.

- Don't know why, either.

Don't make no sense,

though, you know?

- Morning, John.

- Hello, Joe.

- You want some coffee?

- No, I can get it.

It ain't cold, is it?

It was cold yesterday.

Now let's see, you're Bill, right?

I'm Shorty,

he's Bill.

- Where's Sammy today?

- Sammy gone fishing, Joe.

Hell, Sammy told me

you fired him.

I fired his ass

three times already.

You tell Sammy I'm gonna

fire him for good

if he don't start

helping me out some.

- Y'all want some coffee?

Yeah, sure, man.

- See that ball game last night?

- Yeah.

Them boys played

one hell of a game.

Shorty, you want some of these wieners?

- I'm good.

Shorty, if you had one like this,

you'd be a bad boy, God damn.

Uh-huh, whatever. You got

one of these right here.

That's a shriveled Slim Jim.

Act like you ain't

got nothing to do today.

Y'all gonna quit

pussyfooting around me today.

You gonna get some

work out of me, Junior.

All right, you're gonna take

the east side over here.

Take the east side

over there.

I want you to take the west

side over here today, all right?

Why you looking at me

like you retarded?

Get that thing on

and go with him.

- Shorty, you all right today?

- Yeah, I'm good, man.

Feeling pretty good? You look

like a goddamn Ghostbuster today.

You all right? You gonna

fight like one today?

- You gonna work like one?

- I work well, my man.

- Huh?

- I'm good.

- All right, don't trip on it.

- Yeah.

Huh? Yeah, you're gonna go

bust a move on me today, Shorty.

Yeah, bust them trees.

A snake!

Better watch it

there, man.

I don't know. That

cottonmouth's pretty big.

Look here.

Look at that. Don't know how big he is.

- Watch it there!

- Watch it, watch it!

- Watch it!

- Ooh!

Hey, Junior.


that's a big one now!

He can be known as the snake god.

Joe, you got

nuts of a bear, Joe.

That's what that woman

told me last night-

"I need another snake. "

I've seen one today.


That's what that fat woman said.

We got company.

Let me see that snake.

- Ain't he a nice one?

- Mm.

See those fangs?

You get bit by those,

you're gonna die.

You're gonna wanna die.

Y'all don't kill it.

It's my friend.

- Whoa!

- Damn!

Almost throwed it over by me!

Get back to work, y'all.

The show is over with.

- I heard you screaming.

- I wasn't scared. I just move fast.


What y'all doing?

Y'all cutting these trees?

We're killing trees.

What for?

Nedermeyer land.

The owner hires us to

get rid of what's on it

so they can come in

and put strong pines on it.

Nobody wants these trees.

These trees are weak.

They're not good

for anything.

These boys will sit down if

I don't stay on their asses.

- Hey, mister.

- Yeah?

I got a question

for you.

You see, me and my daddy

just got into town.

I was wondering if you'd

give us a job.

We're looking for work.

- How old are you?

- 15.

Well, you got 45 seconds to

tell me why I should hire you.

I baled hay before,

I worked on a truck.

I picked tomatoes,

zucchini, cucumbers.

Uh, okra.


All right. You're not

afraid of work. Good.

- What's your name?

- Gary Jones.

I'm Joe.

I pay a day's pay

for a day's work.

I pay on Fridays, so you

get a little something today.

- Okay.

- But your first real payday is next Friday.

We start about 6:00

in the morning,

quit at 1:

or 2:

And if we work till dinner or get

rained out, I pay for the whole day.

- Does that sound fair enough?

- Yes, sir.

All right. Follow this line of trees-

- Yes, sir.

- Close to a half mile back to my truck.

- Juice hatchets are in the back.

- Yes, sir.

You get yourself one,

fill it up with poison,

come on back

same way you went out.

- Yes, sir.

- And don't get lost.

- I won't.

- Hey!

Don't you want to know how

much you're getting paid?

- How you doing?

- Good.

Doing all right?

You ready to work today?

- Yes, sir.

- I'm Junior.

- Gary.

- Well, Gary, I'm gonna be over you today.

Raise your right hand. You're gonna have

to swear you're gonna work hard for me.

Not that hand, your right

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Gary Hawkins

Gary Hawkins is an independent filmmaker born and raised in Thomasville, North Carolina. Hawkins has written and directed six films, including The Rough South of Harry Crews, which won an Emmy and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Gold Award in 1992, and The Rough South of Larry Brown, which was picked by The Oxford American as one of Thirteen Essential Southern Documentaries and was reviewed by Variety as a “beautifully conceived documentary film.” Hawkins’s fiction screenplay DownTime was selected by The Sundance Institute for the Writer’s Lab in the winter of 2000. Hawkins is a former a member of the directing faculty at the North Carolina School of the Arts. As of 2012 he was a visiting professor at Duke University in North Carolina, teaching documentary film. [1] Larry Brown (in focus) and Gary Hawkins (foreground) on the set of The Rough South of Larry Brown more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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