is a 1975 film, and the precursor to The Dukes of Hazzard
The movie was written and directed by Gy Waldron, based on the life and stories of Jerry Rushing.
The story is narrated by the Balladeer (Waylon Jennings), who introduces and comments on the story of cousins, Grady and Bobby Lee Hagg, who run bootleg liquor for their Uncle Jesse
Uncle Jesse is a Baptist, who knows the Bible better than the local preacher. He has been a widower since Aunt Libby died ten years ago. He still makes liquor, according to his "granddaddy's granddaddy's" recipe, in stills named Molly and Beulah. Every drop is aged two years, and bottled in glass (never plastic). The Haggs have been making their recipe since before the Revolutionary War, and Jesse only sells to a friend in nearby Florence to ensure that his liquor is never blended with any other.
Bobby Lee (also called just Lee) is a smart-mouthed schemer, named for the confederate general. In the opening, Bobby Lee gets tossed in the Pikkens County jail for a bar fight at the Boar's Nest. On his way home he helps out Beth Ann Eubanks, who is on the run from family trouble in Mississippi. Uncle Jesse takes her in, and Lee courts her.
Grady is a laconic "Romeo" who drives their stockcar (#54, named Traveler after General Lee's horse). It is briefly mentioned that Grady probably has a number of kids around Shiloh and Tennessee. (In an early episode of the Dukes of Hazzard the cousins only half-joke when they wonder if any of the kids in an orphange are theirs)
The cousins take Beth to the next race at the local track. The other stockcar drivers include good ol' boy Zeebo, and Zeebo's lackey Cooter Pettigrew. Zeebo (driving #31) and Cooter (driving #28) team-up to beat Grady in the race, leading to a moonlit bootlegger road race between Bobby Lee and Zeebo.
The county boss is Jake Rainey, a friend of Jesse's from the old days (they both bootlegged for Jesse's father in 1934), who owns the local bar/brothel. Jake has control of all the other moonshine in the county, and sells it to the New York Syndicate (mob). He needs Jesse's supply to fill an order, but Jesse will not sell to Jake since Jake would mix it with lesser quality liquor.
To get at Jesse’s supply, Jake uses Sheriff Rosco Coltrane, to harass the cousins. At the same time he uses Zeebo, and Reba (Jake’s wife who is having an affair with Grady) to goad the boys into a trap. During these events, Uncle Jesse calls Jake “hog” (making Jake “Boss Hogg”) as a put-down. In later retaliation, the cousins use a bow with explosive arrows since they are on probation, and cannot own guns.
Ben Jones (Cooter in Dukes) plays a revenue agent named Fred from Chicago. The cousins have a friend, named Virgil, who is a great mechanic. “Virg’ can fix it so even the factory wouldn’t know.”
- Musical Director: Waylon Jennings
- The Musicians
- Vocals: Waylon Jennings; Steel Guitar and Dobro: Ralph Mooney; Harmonica: Don Brooks; Lead Guitar: Waylon Jennings and Fred Newell; Rhythm Guitar: Larry Whitmore; Banjo: Fred Newell; Bass: Duke Goff; Drums: Richie Albright
- Music soundtrack recording at Glaser Sound Studios, Inc.; Engineer: Kyle Lehning
- Special Guests
- John Chappell (Deputy Sheriff), Bill Gribble (Cooter), Bill Moses (Revenue Agent), James Beard (Preacher), Bob Hannah (Roy), Phil Pleasants (Moonshiner), Bruce Atkins (Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane), Ben Jones (as Fred, Revenue Agent from Chicago), Bobby Dunn, John Clower, Edie Kramer, Rhona Pope, Anita Allen, Patty Shaw, Lois Zeitlin, Laura Frost, Kay Simpson, Grace McEachron, Cathy Rushing
- Supervising Editor: William Chulack; Editor: Avrum Fine; Assistant Editor: Denis Dutton; Art Director: Pat Mann
- Stunt Coordinator: Jerry Randell
- Stunt Drivers
- Jerry Randell, Jim Hogan, Charles Mincey, Mike Head, Jerry Rushing
- “Traveler” courtesy of Mike Head
- Racing sequences filmed at West Atlanta Raceway
Uncle Jesse’s principles
The following is Uncle Jesse and the boys, after Jesse refuses to sell his moonshine to Jake (the county boss, who wants to blend it in bulk and sell it to the New York Syndicate)
Balladeer (voice over)
- Jesse had to be sure in his own mind that he was refusing Jake out of his convictions, and not from pride. Bobby Lee –
- He was gonna pay you double. Grady –
- Jesse, now I know that Jake thinks he’s a badass and all, but, well he’s a pretty good ol’ boy. Ain’t he Lee? Bobby Lee –
- He’s one of us. Grady –
- Now, I mean, if he’s got his tail in a crack. Jessie, ain’t you gonna help him? Jesse –
- (puts jug of moonshine up on the hood of the old truck, and sighs)
- You know what that is? Bobby Lee –
- Yea, it’s a jug of liquor. Jesse –
- Look again. That’s a model T Ford, it’s a Winchester Repeatin’ Rifle, it’s a Whitney Cotton Gin. Grady –
- Jesse, you ok? Jesse –
- Don’t you see? That’s one of a kind, the best of its kind. That little jug is history. No money ever compromised it, no government ever made me conform. And you know boys, I actually pay taxes on my liquor. Bobby Lee –
- What? Jesse –
- That’s right, all the liquor money I get is declared as farm income, from the corn, every penny tax paid, and its still illegal. Bobby Lee –
- Jesse, what the hell are you doin’ paying taxes? Grady –
- Jesse, if anybody ever found out about this. Jesse –
- Because the Bible says “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s”, and boys those taxes sure belong to Caesar.
- Am I to compromise, all the things I’ve done my whole life for a few extra dollars. Just to help a little man, think he’s a big man. Boys, it’s a matter of principle.