Accused of a murder they had nothing to do with, three Yankee kids – happy-go-lucky brothers Chris and Wayne Dixon (real-life brothers Alan and Jesse Vint) and their pretty blonde hitchhiker Jenny (Cheryl Waters) – are hunted by the law in Georgia in the 1950s.
The performances are all on-target, with stand-out supporting turns by Sam Gilman as a hard-nosed deputy, Joan Blackman as the sheriff’s doomed wife, 70’s teen pop idol Leif Garrett as the sheriff’s son, James Gammon as a low-life hoodlum, Doodles Weaver as a doddery ol’ cuss, and Geoffrey Lewis as a cranky gas station proprietor.
The violent and disturbing surprise ending packs one hell of a savage and powerful kick-you-in-the-guts wallop.
Baer apparently wrote the film on the back of his Beverly Hillbillies scripts during breaks in taping the show.
Produced for $225,000, Macon County Line was one of the highest-grossing independently financed movies of 1974, earning $18.8 million in North America and over $30 million worldwide. The film’s success inspired Return to Macon County (1975), which was not a direct sequel despite its title.
Bobbie Gentry sings the theme song.
Sherrif Reed Morgan
Max Baer Jr.