The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning is a prequel to the 2005 theatrical-release film The Dukes of Hazzard. An edited version of the film debuted on the ABC Family cable television channel on March 4, 2007. 'R'-rated and unrated versions were released on DVD March 13.
When mischievous teenaged cousins Bo Duke (Jonathan Bennett) and Luke Duke (Randy Wayne) are arrested (Bo for destructive driving in neighboring Chickasaw County, Luke for blowing up illegal fireworks), both boys are paroled to the care of their Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) in Hazzard County, sentenced to a summer of hard work.
Jesse is carrying on the family tradition of producing the best moonshine in the county. Bo and Luke quickly tire of farm work and take an interest in some of the local girls of Hazzard.
One day, in attempting to visit the Boar's Nest, they see Jesse meeting with Boss Hogg. Jesse is arranging for his regular bribe to the County Commissioner to look the other way from his illegal moonshine operation. In the course of this meeting, the Duke boys inadvertently allow Hogg's prize pig to escape. The pig climbs onto the roof and is injured in the attempt to get it down. Furious, Boss Hogg demands a sizable amount of money from Jesse, due in two weeks, or he will foreclose on the farm.
Jesse believes his only recourse is his moonshine operation, but he cannot deliver enough shine in two weeks. Bo and Luke volunteer, and set off to find a fast car to do the job.
The boys enlist the help of their cousin Daisy Duke (April Scott), who has just turned 18 but is somewhat of a wallflower who wonders why boys don't notice her. She takes them to the high-school shop class, where they meet perennial senior Cooter Davenport, who gives them a fast engine. They go to the junkyard to find a suitable car, but don't like what they see. On their way home, they find some girls sunbathing next to a local pond. Bo knocks Luke in to try to impress the girls, but upon learning from Cooter that most people who jump in end up either "crippled, on life support, or brain damaged," Bo jumps in to save him but Cooter ends up actually doing it. While underwater, Bo discovers an abandoned 1969 Dodge Charger and believes it would be the perfect car. They extract the car from the pond, add the engine and some new paint, and the General Lee is born.
The moonshine deliveries go well. However, just as it seems they will be able to pay off Hogg, the Boss announces Hazzard is now a dry county, and offers a $25,000 reward for anyone who uncovers an illegal moonshine operation. He will turn the Boar's Nest into an ice cream parlor.
Meanwhile, Daisy falls for a new Boar's Nest bartender, Hughie, and applies for a job at the bar. He says she's not the type of girl who should work there, so she undergoes a makeover, cutting the pants off her jeans, to impress him. When she shows up wearing almost no clothes, with her hair let down, Hughie hires her immediately, and agrees to take her on a date.
Jesse then holds a large party to raise funds for the farm, but Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco arrest Jesse for illegal moonshine sales, and seize Jesse's assets. Daisy, Bo and Luke visit him in jail, and he tells them that Boss is as corrupt as anyone, and the best way to get Jesse off is to find evidence of this. Bo and Luke soon discover Hogg's plan. He wants to convince all the county commissioners in Georgia to ban alcohol, thus paving the way for a thriving ice cream business. More importantly, with all the ridge-runners in jail, Hogg will then be free to make a fortune selling his own illegal shine, turning the Boar's Nest into a speakeasy.
His secret? He wants the Duke family still, which produces the best shine in the County. It turns out Hughie is his nephew, and during his date with Daisy convinced her to tell him about the family secrets. Daisy is devastated.
The Dukes kidnap Boss and ride off in the General Lee with the police in tow. They threaten to drive into Hogg Ravine unless he tells them his plan. He is too scared not to tell, and his confession is broadcast over the CB thanks to Daisy's manipulation of Enos at the station. The Dukes then jump the ravine anyway (their first jump), and catch Hughie delivering illegal moonshine into Hazzard. The Dukes then make Boss pay them the $25,000 reward, which they use to buy back the farm.
Fed up with Hogg, the citizens demand he reverse his moonshine policy and free all the ridgerunners. However, just as it seems the 112-year-old candidate who always runs for county commissioner will finally win, he dies, leaving Boss as the only candidate, and he is re-elected anyway. Hogg summarily pardons himself for his misdeeds.
ABC Family first aired the movie on March 4 2007, prior to its DVD release.
- Jonathan Bennett as Bo Duke
- Randy Wayne as Luke Duke
- April Scott as Daisy Duke
- Adam Shulman as Enos Strate
- Willie Nelson asUncle Jesse
- Christopher McDonald as Boss Hogg
- Sherilyn Fenn as Lulu Coltrane Hogg
- Harland Williams as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane
- Joel Moore as Cooter Davenport
- Gary Cole as Balladeer (voice)
- Jennifer Hill as Brooke Handy
- Trishelle Cannatella as Ally Handy
- Kym Stys as Mechanical bullrider
- Todd Grinnell as Hughie Hogg
- Alex Boling as Father
- Sy Richardson as Shiner
- Vanessa Motta as Cocktail Waitress
- Joshua Mason as Shop Class Kid
- Patricia Nasr as Townsperson
- Kimberly Bosso as Hogget Hottie
- Challen Cates as Psychic
- Carrie Minter as The Dream Girl
Deviations from earlier versions
The Beginning uses the full paint job for the General Lee, including stylized "01" numbering and the Confederate flag. In the 2005 feature, to which this film is supposedly a prequel, The General Lee initially did not have the Confederate flag, and the "01" was not as neatly painted on.
Also, Daisy is a Brunette in the prequel, and a blonde in the 2005 version (However, that's not to say that she didn't dye her hair at some point).
In the 2005 version, Luke kissed a lot of girls, including sexual intercourse in the beginning of the film, where Bo basically kissed nobody. In "Beginning" Bo is more of a lady's man while Luke can't really get a girl.
The Beginning also creates a different backstory than was created for the Duke clan and has several other differences to the original television series.
- In the show, Bo and Luke and Daisy are taken in by Uncle Jesse as children after all of their parents are killed in a tragic auto wreck (although in the Reunion! movie, Daisy says her mother died when she was born). In The Beginning, Uncle Jesse makes numerous references to Bo and Luke's parents being alive. In the movie, they are sent to live with him after each of them, acting independently of each other, caused mischief in their respective counties, and the courts agreed some time on the farm might do them good.
- ...Furthermore, the television series often suggested that Bo, Luke, Daisy, Cooter and Enos (and occasionally Cletus and Hughie) all grew up and went through school together. This movie suggests that they did not meet until slightly later.
- In the movie, Daisy, at 18, is older than both Bo who is 16, and Luke who is 17. In the show, Bo was the youngest, followed by Daisy, and then Luke.
- Uncle Jesse is depicted as older than Boss Hogg, when in the show they were contemporaries.
- Rosco is described as married in the movie, and his wife has kicked him out. He was a lifelong bachelor on the show (although was subjected to a sham marriage in one episode, the third season's "Mrs. Rosco P. Coltrane").
- The movie references such modern-day devices as cellular telephones that simply did not exist when the television show aired. However, the Duke boys mention to Hughie, who cannot get good reception in Hazzard, that they use the CB instead, which was the regular form of communication in the original series.
- The "prequel" furthermore distorts the origin of the Confederate flag on the roof of the General Lee. It was introduced in the first theatrical release of 2005 as a last-minute addition Cooter made to the car. In the "prequel" the flag is already on the car. However, it is entirely possible that they painted over it sometime after the prequel only to have it restored later by Cooter.
- The movie abandons Bo and Luke's ambitions to be stock-car racers. (Although they may have gained this ambition at a later stage in the movie version of events.)
- In the show, as told in the seventh season's 'flashback' episode "Happy Birthday General Lee", the General Lee was a former getaway car (with an all-black paint job) acquired by the Dukes after it was impounded and sold to them by the authorities. They wanted to use it to house their new racing engine. In the movie, the General Lee is discovered by Bo at the bottom of the lake, already with its orange paint job and confederate flag on the roof, and rebuilt so the Duke boys can deliver moonshine.
- While the boys are on probation on the show for delivering shine, the Dukes in the film are not under such a restriction. (The show sometimes stated that the boys were forced to make a shine run when Uncle Jesse was ill and unable to complete the run himself, and were caught, leading to their probation).
- In the show, Hughie drove a convertible white VW Bug. In the movie, he is given a convertible BMW. Both versions, however, are white and have bull horns, to match Boss Hogg's Cadillac.
- In the show, Hughie had a crush on Daisy, but she found him annoying. This is somewhat reversed in the movie, with Daisy's crush on Hughie, and his initial rejection of her, resulting in her makeover. (However, it might be argued that, in the television version, Daisy was not fond of Hughie after a previous romantic incident.)
- In the show, Luke was a former Marine who saw combat, while Bo was a Marine reserve. This does not appear to be the case in the new films though there is a big gap between the two films in which time, both could have potentially temporarily served.
- Boss Hogg's wife Lulu is in the film portrayed as sex mad, and makes several advances on Luke. In the series, although she was often angered by his crooked schemes, she was loyal and loving to Boss. (Also, like Boss, she is not the over-weight glutton of the television series). However, this may be a reference to the original movie, "Moonrunners," where the wife of the "Boss" character (Jake) was having an affair with one of the boys.
- The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning at the Internet Movie Database
- The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning at Wikipedia
- The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning at TV.com
|TV series and films|
|TV series: The Dukes of Hazzard (episodes) (1979-1985) - Enos (episodes) (1980-1981) - The Dukes (episodes) (1983)|