The Moonshine War

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"The 18th amendment prohibited drinking. It didn't say a word about killing, double-crossing or blowing things up."
  • GP
  • 1970
  • 5.9  (669)

The Moonshine War is a 1970 American crime-comedy set in rural Kentucky during the prohibition era, based on a novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard. The movie is directed by Richard Quine and features an all-star cast including Patrick McGoohan, Richard Widmark, and Alan Alda. The story primarily revolves around John W. Martin (Alan Alda), a luckless businessman from New York who decides to smuggle moonshine from Kentucky to New York City to earn some extra cash. However, he soon gets embroiled in a feud between two moonshiners, Son Martin (Patrick McGoohan) and Frank Long (Richard Widmark), who have been fighting over moonshine territory for years.

Son Martin is a refined and educated man as compared to Frank Long, a savage and ruthless criminal. Son Martin has even managed to convince the sheriff, Baylor (Lee Hazlewood), to look the other way while he runs his illegal business. However, Frank Long is not content with his small share of the moonshine business and wants to expand his territory. When John W. Martin unwittingly helps Frank Long to break into Son Martin's moonshine still, he becomes a target of both parties and decides that it is high time to leave the town.

The situation grows increasingly tense as the feud intensifies and leads to some incredible action sequences, including a high-speed car chase through the hills of Kentucky, and a dramatic shootout. The tension-filled plot highlights the struggle between two rival moonshiners and their determination to maintain their stronghold in the lucrative moonshine market.

The Moonshine War is a well-made movie with a humorous tone that delivers on its action sequences - there is an undeniably fun and thrilling element to the proceedings. The movie's standout feature is its talented cast, particularly Alan Alda, who brings his usual wit and charm to his role. However, the biggest draw is Patrick McGoohan, who plays the role of Son Martin with equal parts restraint and charisma. Richard Widmark's Frank Long is a menacing and threatening villain, and the supporting cast all make their respective characters come alive on screen.

In addition to its excellent cast, The Moonshine War features some stunning cinematography by Charles Lang and a lively score by Lalo Schifrin. The picturesque locations, the vivid colors, and the overall production values give the movie an added boost of authenticity that immerses the audience into the world of the moonshiners.

Overall, The Moonshine War is an entertaining movie that combines the elements of comedy, action, and drama to create a truly unique cinematic experience. It is a well-acted and well-crafted movie that still holds up well today, even after fifty years. Anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned action movie with a touch of humor should definitely check it out.

The Moonshine War
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    5.9  (669)