The Reivers

Synopsis: An old man looks back 60 years to a road trip from rural Mississippi to Memphis, a horse race, and his own coming of age. Lucius's grandfather gets the first automobile in the area, a bright yellow Winton Flyer. While he's away, the plantation handyman, Boon Hogganbeck, conspires to borrow the car, taking Lucius with him. Stowed away is Ned, a mulatto and Lucius's putative cousin. The three head for Memphis, where Boon's sweetheart works in a whorehouse, where Ned trades the car for a racehorse, and where Lucius discovers the world of adults - from racism and vice to possibilities for honor and courage. Is there redemption for reivers, rascals, and rapscallions?
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Mark Rydell
Production: Viacom
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations.
107 min


When I was young, I lived

in a town called Jefferson, Mississippi.

That was a long time ago.

Quite a few people took up the land

at a dollar an acre...

and married one another,

and produced children, and built houses.

There was some bragging and lying...

but on the whole, we were a pleasant

and courteous people...

tending to our own business.

It seems to me now that those days

were like an endless summer...

stored with pleasure in my memory.

I suppose it can be said

that I parted from my youth...

on a Saturday morning in the year 1905...

just before noon with the temperature close

to 100 degrees.


Here it comes, Boon.

Better hurry up or you're gonna miss it.

I ain't gonna miss anything.

I'll beat you there, bub.

That was the summer my grandfather,

known to all of us as Boss...

had a vision of our nation's

vast and boundless future...

in which the basic unit

of its economy and prosperity...

would be a small mass-produced cubicle

containing four wheels and an engine.

So he bought one.

It was a yellow Winton Flyer.

As for my friend, Boon Hogganbeck...

he found his soul's lily maid...

the virgin's love of his rough

and innocent heart.

Hey, Boon. Does Boss know that you're...

splashing water on this thing

four or five hours every day?

You're gonna soak all the paint off it.

Step back, will you?

You're getting dust on the magneto.

It sure is pretty.

Hey, how do you start this thing?

What do you want to know for?

There's this lovely lady across town

who'd just sit up...

and take notice if I chugged up

in this thing.

She would, huh?

"Honey," I would say to her...

"your man has arrived."

I'm gonna show you what to do

and how to do it.

- First, you adjust the choke.

- Choke.

- Then you adjust the magneto.

- Magneto.

- Then you walk around to the front.

- The front.

- Then you give her a crank. You follow me?

- Nothing to it.


you step in...

readjust the magneto, readjust the choke.

And you ease her into gear.

You don't crunch it, now.

Just kind of easy-like, you know? All right?

Boon, when do you think I can have her?

String bean, you so much as lay a hand

on this automobile...

I'll jump down your throat

and tap dance on your lungs.

Hey, Boon.

Lucius, get back to that piano.

Get out of the way!

Come here, Ned.

Come back, you...

What are you doing, Boon?

I'm gonna find that son of a b*tch,

Ned McCaslin, and I'm gonna kill him!

Look out! Watch out! Get out of the way!

Look out, there!

Oh, sh*t!

Point that thing down a little bit,

then stand still. You might do better.

Hey, that's not funny!


Young man!

Stop that right this minute!

Come on, now!

Been a bit too lively this morning, Boon.

We'll take this matter off the streets.

- Well, I didn't...

- Quiet!

I've had my fill of both of you.

For 20 years...

you've been standing in front of me,

on this strip of carpet...

unwashed and unrepentant.


wandering into our livery stable,

10 years old...

wiping your runny nose on your shirttails.

And you...

abandoned in my back yard...

squalling your lungs out in a wash bucket.

Did any man ever inherit

a more ill-assorted pair?

What was he doing out joyriding in my car?

Your car, Boon?

The family car.

Speaking of family,

I'm more part of it than he is...

seeing as how you and I had the same

great-granddaddy, Mr. Maury.

Let's don't bring that up again.

I've heard it 1,000 times.

But isn't my name McCaslin, same as yours?

Didn't your great-granddaddy,

Lucius Quintus McCaslin...

take a slave girl named

Aunt Molly Beauchamp, who beget Acey...

who beget Maydew,

my mother, and then me?

We're kin. Look in the family Bible.

It's all written down there.

You're there. I acknowledge it.

- You'll end up in the family graveyard, too.

- Quiet!

Now, I'll tell you what I'm going to do.

I'm going to put you both under bond

to keep the peace.

$100 each.

- Is that legal?

- Legal?

We can try. If it isn't, it had ought to be.

My mother's father, Grandfather Lessep...

died that year, at home...

in the same room, and in the same bed,

he had been born in.

We didn't fear death in those days,

because we believed that...

your outside was

just what you lived in and slept in...

and had no connection with what you were.

But we did take funerals seriously...

and so my family traveled to Bay St. Louis...

to see the old man ceremoniously

to his final rest.

I want the automobile locked

in the carriage house.

I don't want you to drive it while I'm away.

- You own it.

- You remember it.

Lucius, I don't believe we've ever

left you alone at home before.

However, I expect your behavior

will be a credit to the family.

Don't be rude to Callie,

and don't be advised by Boon.

He knows no obstacles, counts no costs,

fears no dangers.

- Yes, sir.

- All aboard.

I know you're sometimes afraid

to sleep by yourself.

Don't be. Trust in the Lord.

He's up all night.

Why did we stop all the way out here for?

Take a deep breath.

Smell that east wind?

Somebody's cutting grass.

You know something?

I think I see some fuzz

popping out on your cheeks.

You're sure growing up. Won't be long until

you'll be stropping a straight razor.

Yeah, we'd better be getting on home.

Callie doesn't like to keep dinner waiting.

Yeah, you'll be shaving,

then you'll be smoking.

You smoked yet?

Once. I got sick all over

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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