A bounty hunter learns that his next target is his ex-wife, a reporter working on a murder cover-up. Soon after their reunion, the always-at-odds duo find themselves on a run-for-their-lives adventure.
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
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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