“White Lightning” is a genuine suspense thriller with a magnificent turn by Ned Beatty as a blood-soaked sadistic Southern Sheriff. He scared me shitless when I saw this in the theater as a kid. The placid (seeming) opening scene is chilling once you realize what’s really going on. Burt’s pretty great as an ex-con seeking revenge for his brother’s murder. Fantastic car chases, too. Shame this one has been lumped in with Burt’s other cornpone films. “Oh well, the good die young.”
Bob – what you said. I can’t believe it’s not available in a good widescreen version. The movie is soaked in atmosphere. The sequel, GATOR, is pretty interesting too, with Reynolds directing and it’s almost like a Tarantino film: comedy bits with Alice Ghostly and Jack Weston mixed with brutal killings and a long odd scene with Reynolds and a junkie girl. Jerry Reed is a fantastic villain in it too. And I loved the Bond-esque poster.