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The River Pirates (1988)

Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood (original title)
A timeless story of a boy's adventures growing up in a small Southern town, Yazoo City in the 1940s during World War II, roaming with his friends, playing practical jokes, and getting into trouble.


Tom G. Robertson


Paul W. Cooper, Willie Morris (book)
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Farnsworth ... Percy
Ryan Francis ... Willie
Gennie James ... Rivers Applewhite
Douglas Emerson ... Spit
Devin Ratray ... Bubba
Kevin Joseph Kevin Joseph ... Henjie
Ben Wylie Ben Wylie ... Billy
Dulé Hill ... Robert E. Lee
Jordan Marder ... Buster
Dixie K. Wade Dixie K. Wade ... Mamie
Caryn West ... Mrs. Morris
Richard Council ... Mr. Morris
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Aunt Sue
Anne Ramsey ... The Hag
Ralph Waite ... Narrator


A timeless story of a boy's adventures growing up in a small Southern town, Yazoo City in the 1940s during World War II, roaming with his friends, playing practical jokes, and getting into trouble.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Willie and his friends found the adventure of a lifetime searching for...








Release Date:

11 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The River Pirates See more »

Filming Locations:

Church Hill, Mississippi, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


The film was also known as "The River Pirates". See more »


Mr. Morris: [adolescent Willie Morris is beginning to contemplate the mystery of girls, when his father notices him in front of the bathroom mirror one day] What are you doin' gettin' all slicked up for?
Willie: [nervous] N-nothin' special, Daddy. Just goin' crawdad-huntin' with Spit 'n...
Mr. Morris: [with gentle understanding, he interrupts his son] Mmm-hmmm. Spit likes to see you with your hair combed, does he? Put a dab of that cologne on, too, so's you smell real good for Spit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits, there is a caption that reads: "Anne Ramsey 1927 - 1988. This was to be Anne's last film. All of us in the cast and crew are saddened by her death... and are very honored to have worked with this outstanding actress." Anne Ramsey passed away after production was completed on the film. See more »


Featured in No Small Parts: Anne Ramsey (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

a Splendid Family Film for all Ages!
16 August 2018 | by sandlot1992See all my reviews

In the grand tradition of Mark Twain and Alice Walker's "the Color Purple" and some of the other Coming of Age movies ever to come out in 80s such as "Stand by Me", comes what is by far the best family films that ever premiered on television such as the Disney Channel and on Wonderworks which aired on PBS. set in the south in 1940s Yazoo City, Mississippi during World War 2, 12 year old Willy (Ryan Francis) spends most of times roaming with his friends including Spit McGee (Douglas Emerson of Beverly Hills, 90210), playing practical jokes and getting out of trouble until one day their lives will soon change until a string of strange crimes committed by the trouble as he seeks the advice of his old grandfather Percy (Richard Farnsworth). the film itself is brilliant and so are the cast of characters including screen legend Maureen O'Sullivan in her last film role in which she plays Aunt Sue and Anne Ramsey (the Goonies) who plays the Hag in her last role after her death it will make you laugh, make you cry and based of the novel by Willie Morris and fans will adore this film since it's no longer on DVD to this day and in a way this is worth checking out for those who are from the South or from the Northern States of America this a generic fun flick for those who have or haven't read Willie Morris original novel that's based off.

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