Following Deliverance, Burt Reynolds reteamed with Ned Beatty for the revenge flick White Lightning about a southern-fried wily ex-con who goes back to hometown seeking vengeance for the death of his brother.
The movie was the first series for emerging star Burt Reynolds. White Lightning and the sequel Gator kicked off Burt’s action career and along with Hal Needham launched the star into his superstar film, Smokey & the Bandit. Needham did second unit on White Lightning and his work very much foreshadows the duos future project.
The movie itself really isn’t all that special. Kind of boring in places. It’s part Cool Hand Luke, part Smokey & the Bandit. But no where near as good as either of those films were.
2.5 out of 5
Note: When cinephiles talk about sequels that surpassed the originals (Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek 2, Goldfinger) people familiar with this series often state that Gator was a far better film than White Lightning. I’ll let you know tomorrow if that’s true.
Watch White Lightning for FREE here: