Moonshine County Express (1977)

Moonshine County Express (1977)

“It’s real fine whiskey, so sell it dear — and get yourself out of these hills. Life is too hard, and the men are mean and ignorant.”

When their dad (Fred Foresman) is brutally murdered by his greedy former business partner (William Conrad), a young woman (Susan Howard) and her two sisters (Claudia Jennings and Maureen McCormick) refuse to give up his secretly buried stash of aged whiskey, instead seeking help from a local racer (John Saxon) in outwitting Conrad and his men.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Bootlegging
  • Claudia Jennings Films
  • Deep South
  • Inheritance
  • John Saxon Films
  • Strong Females

Following her lead in The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (1976), Claudia Jennings took a less central role in this backwoods adventure flick about three feisty females protecting their rightful inheritance and planning to make a bundle selling their dad’s secret stock of whiskey:

This film is mildly notable for featuring Maureen McCormick in a post-“Brady Bunch” role playing the wide-eyed youngest sister “Sissy” (that’s sure a change from oldest-sister Marcia Brady!):

… and should be commended for portraying the three sisters (well, primarily the two older ones) as competent, resilient, and resourceful rather than merely passive sex objects. Otherwise, it’s a fairly standard (if well made) drive-in flick featuring lots of car chases (and crashes) on dusty roads:

… and a minor romantic subplot that doesn’t take up too much space, but allows Saxon to play an important supporting role:

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • A refreshing depiction of strong young females standing up to a local bully

Must See?
No, though fans of such flicks will of course want to check it out. Listed as a Cult Movie and a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Moonshine County Express (1977)

  1. First viewing (10/3/20). Not must-see.

    ~ but it’s better than one might expect for a drive-in flick of its kind… at least for the first hour.

    Expecting very little – if anything – I found myself rather caught up in this low-budget flick about the making of moonshine whiskey. As it develops, it catches interest in its plot and characters and director Gus Trikonis moves things along well-enough, even providing some welcome subtlety. There’s a bit of a lapse in logic but you probably won’t mind. The three leading ladies capture sympathy through their non-stereotype depictions of backwoods women. I was less familiar with Howard – but it was nice seeing Jennings being this sympathetic and it’s fun watching McCormick in a non-Brady Bunch setting. Even Saxon is better than usual.

    There’s a fair amount of snappy dialogue (“What’s the matter? Some woman got you by the short and curlies?”)

    However, even though the chase-action is rather non-stop in the film’s final third, things become rather mechanical and slapdash as the plot starts into its wind-up. It’s still rather watchable.

    There’s additional, more-professional support from some character actors like Conrad, Jeff Corey, Dub Taylor and Albert Salmi.

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