Synopsis: In 1931, in Franklin County, Virginia, Forrest Bondurant is a legend as immortal after surviving the war. Together with his brothers Howard and the coward Jack, the Bondurant family has a distillery and bootlegging business. When the corrupt District Attorney Mason Wardell arrives in Franklin with the unscrupulous Special Deputy Charles Rakes, the Bondurant family refuses to pay the required bribe to the authorities. Rakes pursues the brothers and unsuccessfully tries to find their distillery. Meanwhile Forrest hires the waitress Maggie, a woman with a hidden past in Chicago, and they fall in love with each other. Jack courts the preacher's daughter Bertha Minnix and deals a great load of alcoholic liquor with the powerful gangster Floyd Banner. Jack shows off in Franklin attracting the attention of Rakes that finds the location of their distillery. When he kills the crippled Cricket Pete, the locals join forces to face the corrupt authorities.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): John Hillcoat
Production: The Weinstein Company
  1 win & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min

Come on, Jack.

Just pull the damn trigger.

I can't.

My brother Forrest once said,

"Nothing can kill us.

We can't never die. "

The reason being

that in the great war,

my eldest brother, Howard,

saw his entire battalion

drown in the sea.

Every last one of them.

He was the only survivor.

And Forrest, well,

that same year,

Spanish Lady flu hit Franklin,

damn near wiped out

the entire state.

It got Ma and Pa and Forrest

but against all the odds,

he somehow managed

to fight it off.

So you could see

why Forrest felt that way.

Me and my brothers

are moonshiners.


In 1920, they passed

the Prohibition Act

making the sale

of alcohol illegal.

Well, at least

it was supposed to be.

You want a case, Sheriff?

- Morning, Forrest.

- Pure corn whiskey.

That there's the white lightning, Sheriff.

It'll come at you like a knife,

pointy end first,

sharp and hot all the way down.

Aw, damn it. Give me two.

All right, then.

- You all right there?

- Thanks, boys.

Always happy to oblige

an officer of the law.

They called Franklin

the wettest county in the world

on account of almost everybody

was making the stuff.

Now, you can make moonshine whiskey

from just about anything.

Whoa! Whoa, whoa!

Hey, Selma.

Turnips, pumpkins,

blackberries, cornmeal, tree bark.

- Anything.

- All right, then.

He's so fucking sick, man, can't get

himself out the bed to tend the stills.

- You want me to take it up to him?

- No, I can do it.

And at night, in them hills,

you could see them fires

from the stills burning

like lights on a damn Christmas tree.

over the mountains, in the cities,

there was the biggest crime

wave this country'd ever seen.

And all that illegal liquor

was flowing down from the hills

to the cities by the truckload.

Gangsters were just scooping money

off the streets like candy.

They had men like Al Capone,

Tommy Maloy,

that mad dog Floyd Banner.

They just moved in and took over.

Meanwhile, we were hauling stuff around

in our old, beat-up jalopies.

All right now, Jack,

I want you to stay here.

- What?

- Stay in the truck.

Ain't like someone's gonna steal

this piece of shit, Forrest.

Just do what you're told, Jack.

All right, Forrest, go on.

Amen! Amen!

Here we go. All right, then.

Get some of this.

Welcome, welcome.

How're you boys doing?

Sorry to hear about Little Bean,

Ida Belle.

You know Little Bean loved

his gals and his giggle water.

She sure is giving him

one hell of a send-off.

Give me your money, boy.

Yeah, you do as I say

- or I'm gonna cut you.

- Hold on, now, I ain't got nothing.

I'm just a driver.

You boys staying?

No, we gotta be getting off, Ida Belle.

Come on, Forrest, one damn drink.

No, we better be getting back now.

You ever seen a Harlem sunset?

Well, I'm fixing

to cut one right into you...

I ain't got nothing.

...if you don't hand over

that goddamn money.


Here, I'll take care of this.

Hey you, come on now,

you don't want to do this.

Why don't you put that knife away,

take you and your friends on home?

I'd listen to him if I was you.

You the boss?

You just sold a load to those

dinges in there, didn't you?

You hand over that cash or I'm gonna

cut some daylight into you.

Listen here, mister.

We got no way of

understanding this world.

We got about as much sense of it

as a bird flying in the sky.

There is a lot that bird don't know.

But it don't change the fact that

the world is happening to him

all the same.

What I'm trying to say is... that the course of your life,

it is changing.

- You don't even see it.

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)

Nick Cave

Nicholas Edward Cave (born 22 September 1957) is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional film actor, best known as the frontman of the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Cave's music is generally characterised by emotional intensity, a wide variety of influences, and lyrical obsessions with death, religion, love and violence.Born and raised in rural Victoria, Cave studied art before turning to music in the 1970s. As frontman of the Boys Next Door (later renamed the Birthday Party), he became a central figure in Melbourne's burgeoning post-punk scene. The band relocated to London in 1980, but, disillusioned by life there, evolved towards a darker, more challenging sound, and acquired a reputation as "the most violent live band in the world". The Birthday Party is regarded as a major influence on gothic rock, and Cave, with his shock of black hair, baritone singing voice and pale, emaciated look, was described in the media as a poster boy for the genre. After the break-up of the Birthday Party in 1983, Cave formed Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Much of the band's early material was set in a mythic American Deep South, drawing on spirituals and Delta blues, while Cave's preoccupation with Old Testament notions of good versus evil culminated in what has been called his signature song, "The Mercy Seat" (1988). The 1996 album Murder Ballads features "Where the Wild Roses Grow", a duet with Kylie Minogue, Cave's most commercially successful single to date. The band has released 16 studio albums, the most recent being 2016's Skeleton Tree. Cave formed the garage rock group Grinderman in 2006, which has since released two albums. Cave co-wrote, scored and starred in the 1988 Australian prison film Ghosts... of the Civil Dead (1988), directed by John Hillcoat. He also wrote the screenplay for Hillcoat's bushranger film The Proposition (2005), and composed the soundtrack with frequent collaborator Warren Ellis. The pair's film score credits include The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The Road (2009), Lawless (2012), and Hell or High Water (2016). Cave is the subject of several films, including the semi-fictional "day in the life" 20,000 Days on Earth (2014), and the documentary One More Time with Feeling (2016). Cave has also released two novels: And the Ass Saw the Angel (1989) and The Death of Bunny Munro (2009). Cave's songs have been covered by a wide range of artists, including Johnny Cash, Metallica and Arctic Monkeys. He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Lawless" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 10 Apr. 2021. <>.

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