A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.
Big and Little Enos are opening a sea food restaurant. They bet Sheriff Buford T. Justice that he cannot drive from Miami to the Enos ranch in Texas in a given amount of time. If Buford loses he has to give up his badge.
Bandit and Cledus are two truck-driving southerners who accept a dare from big-shots Big and Little Enos to pick up a truckload of beer from Texas and return it to them within a specified amount of time. Picking it up is simple enough, but as they are leaving Texas, Bandit unwittingly picks up Carrie, a hitchhiking bride-to-be who just left her groom, Junior, at the altar. Junior, however, is the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice. And when Buford and Junior discover what has happened, they go on a "high-speed pursuit" across the Southeast to catch the bandit. Written by
The original actors mostly redubbed their own lines for the television version, except for Jackie Gleason. Actor Henry Corden, who voiced Fred Flintstone after original performer Alan Reed died, was used to replace a considerable amount of Sheriff Justice's dialogue. This is fitting, as Fred Flintstone was a parody of/homage to Gleason's character Ralph Kramden and The Flintstones (1960) was a parody of/homage to The Honeymooners (1955). See more »
During the chase scene just after "Snowman" is pulled over by the motorcycle cop one of the chasing cars pulls a u-turn through median to give pursuit. However when performing this maneuver the car blows the front passenger side tire as witnessed by the large puff of white smoke disabling it from adding to the chase squad. See more »
Buford T. Justice:
Hey, boy, where is Sheriff Bradford? I AM Sheriff BRANford Hee hee For some reason, you sound a little taller on radio.
[Turns to his son]
Buford T. Justice:
What in the hell is the world coming to?
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One of the first films to tap into the anti-authoritarian aspects of the Citizen's Band (CB) radio craze, "Smokey" is basically a movie-length car chase and a pleasantly insipid slice of late-'70's Americana.
The tissue-thin plot has good ole boy pals The Bandit (Reynolds) and Cletus (a surprisingly good Jerry Reed) running a load of Coors cross-country on a tight deadline while trying to avoid an assortment of less-than-bright cops, led by pompous blowhard Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). Sally Field, as a runaway bride who thumbs her way into Reynolds' car, brings charm and a welcome sense of irony to the macho proceedings.
Stunt coordinator-turned-director Hal Needham stages the action competently, and the actors, who supposedly improvised much of the dialogue, obviously enjoy themselves. A good choice for those who want to relive the glory days of CB rebels, long sideburns, plaid western shirts, and black Trans-Ams with "screaming chicken" decals on the hood. Avoid the two vastly inferior sequels.
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