White Lightning is a 1973 American action film from United Artists starring Burt Reynolds as Gator McKlusky. The film, directed by Joseph Sargent and written by William W. Norton, also starred Jennifer Billingsley, Ned Beatty, Bo Hopkins, R.G. Armstrong, and Diane Ladd. It was also the uncredited film debut of six-year-old Laura Dern.
A sequel, Gator, was released in 1976.
Bobby "Gator" McKlusky (Burt Reynolds) is serving time in an Arkansas prison for running moonshine when he learns his younger brother Donny was murdered and that Sheriff J.C Conners (Ned Beatty) was the one behind it. Gator knows the sheriff is taking money from local moonshiners, so he agrees to go undercover for the Feds and try to expose the sheriff. He gets a job running moonshine with Roy Boone (Bo Hopkins) and starts having an affair with his girlfriend Lou (Jennifer Billingsley). Eventually, when the sheriff discovers Gator is working for the Feds and sends his enforcer Big Bear (Armstrong), Gator decides to go after the sheriff in an epic car chase finale.
The film's music was written by A Nightmare on Elm Street's Charles Bernstein. Some of this score was also used by Quentin Tarantino in his 2003 film