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This movie,as far as I know,never won any special honors.It perhaps is not listed as one of the top 1,000,000 movies of all time.It may not be considered by many to be a great film,but I (and I am not ashamed to admit this),love this movie.Perhaps it is the charm exuded by Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed.Perhaps it is the beautiful Sally Field(she never looked better on film).Perhaps it is the comic genius of Jackie Gleason.Perhaps it is all these things rolled into one.This is the absolute "king" of redneck comedy movies(and I use the term "redneck" with the utmost affection).I am a fan of great films,but I have my guilty pleasure movies as anyone has. This one tops my list of those.Love it!
As you can tell by my screen name, I love this movie. I do regard this
movie as my favorite of all time. Oscar material? Certainly not. But
The basic premise of the movie is a simple one. The Bandit (Burt Reynolds) and The Snowman (Jerry Reed) are trying to deliver a truckload of bootlegged Coors beer in 38 hours or less for $80,000 (big money back in 1977). All this while trying to shake a bloodhound sheriff (Smokey played by Jackie Gleason) and his bonehead son, Junior. Oh, and during all of this Bandit falls in love with a hitchhiker named Carrie (Sally Field).
As much as this is the movie that Burt Reynolds is known for, it's Jackie Gleason that makes this movie for me. His are my favorite lines in the movie. Don't get me wrong, Burt and his ohhh so 70's mustache do a fabulous job of smiling and laughing, but it's Gleason who has me in stitches every time I watch this movie. I received my first copy of this movie somewhere around 1986 (Christmas present). At some point I tried to figure out how many times I have viewed this movie. A conservative guess would be somewhere around 300.
It's simple fun, but there is a little bit of magic in this movie that was absent in Smokey And The Bandit II. Both Burt Reynolds and Sally Field claim that the reason the movie worked so well is that you are watching two people fall in love, for real, on film.
Aside from the love story and Gleason's portrayal of Bufford T. Justice, the movie has some fantastic and real (not CGI) car chases and stunts. This is a must own for anyone who loves a good car chase.
Worthy of adding to your personal collection. Burt Reynolds plays the part of the Bandit, a heart-throb for all white-trash trailer dwelling women, to a tee. Jackie Gleason does an impeccable job of bringing to life the role of the backwards southern sheriff, one of the finest performances of his great career. The soundtrack was an instant classic, combining folk, bluegrass and country, and leaving the viewer with an urge to recite the lyrics for days after. A must see for all serious movie watchers. Sally Field portrays a talented dancer who bails out on a marriage to the son of the stereotypical "southern" sheriff. The sheriff takes this as a personal insult and a dishonor to his authority. He then treks across the south in "hot pursuit" of the runaway bride and along the way encounters his arch-nemesis, The Bandit, resulting in non-stop laughs throughout the movie. This film combines sexuality (two of the hottest stars of the '70s and '80s), laughter (Jackie Gleason, need I say more), and a great feel-good script. I almost forgot this movie's greatest contribution to humanity, the introduction of a natural star, Fred the dog.
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.
I grew up in the south as a teen in the 70's and this movie was the South at that time. It was all about CB radios. I remember when my dad got one in his 1972 cherry red Chevy Impala. He had this big ol' whip antennae on the back and his CB handle(name) was Midnight(because he worked the night shift at Pan Am airlines). I think part of the reason Smokey was such a huge hit was threefold. First off, we were going thru an energy crisis and the age of muscle cars was over and most of us were driving around in small pieces of crap like the Chevette or the VW Rabbit! The thrill of seeing a muscle car like the Pontiac Trans Am tearing across the land was a huge thrill! Secondly, the country as a whole was in a malaise of the "Me Generation"..and all the self-help crap! People were listening to soft-rock like Helen Reddy and John Denver and taking self-help courses like est! People wore earth-tone colors and sandals. So when we saw these 'real-men" like Burt and Jerry Reed in thier plaid shirts and tight jeans, taking on the establishment by disregarding the rules of the road and all that, we got excited! Finally, the sheer delight in seeing people enjoying life was a thrill we all wanted to partake in! I can see why so many people, who were bored with life in the pre-disco late 70's, really enjoyed the escapism of this simple but extremely fun flick! We wanted to be a part of it! It was late-night chocolate we never admitted to eating. It was a movie you partly felt dumb to admitting you liked! But the movie itself inspired the hugely popular TV series Dukes of Hazzard, right down to the cast. Burt and Jerry became Bo and Luke Duke..Sally turned into a Daisy(with better legs!) and Sheriff Buford T. Justice became Boss Hogg with his bumbling sidekick Sheriff Roscoe B. Coltrane! And of course the Trans Am was replaced by a true muscle car, the 1969 Dodge Charger (was thier ever a better muscle car than the 69 Charger?) What followed in the aftermath of this movie was the explosion of disco and letting oneself enjoy life again! The whole world got back into living life and having fun! Maybe Smokey had something
This movie,as far as I know,never won any special honours.It perhaps is
not listed as one of the top 1,000,000 movies of all time.but I (and I
am not ashamed to admit this),love this movie.Perhaps it is the charm
exuded by Burt Reynolds. Perhaps it is the beautiful Sally Field(she
will forever remind me of the little girl who lived next door but one
who always managed to elude me)Perhaps it is the comic genius of Jackie
Gleason. This is the absolute "king" of redneck comedy movies(and I use
the term "redneck" with the utmost affection).I am a fan of great
films,but I have my guilty pleasure movies as anyone has. This one tops
my list of those.Love it!
Your enjoyment of the film depends on your first viewing experience. If like myself, you were a young boy growing up in the mid-eighties, you will have no doubt lived for the endless thrills, spills, car crashes, second-rate jokes and Big Burt as the Bandit, and its two sequels. It's easy to laugh at now, but there is a perverse pleasure in seeing bell-bottoms, grown men with CB radios and muscles cars the size of small houses, the likes of which most people won't have seen since 1982.
And as a side note only Star Wars grossed more than Smokey and the Bandit in 1977
I guess one reason I love this movie is because it doesn't pretend to
be anything more than it is. It doesn't aspire to great movie-making.
It was just supposed to be 90 minutes of entertainment on the big
screen, and it's still entertaining. Take your brain off for a while
and have fun with it.
There are hilarious lines, some funny pratfalls and even a bit of home-grown wisdom: "How ignorant you are depends a lot on which part of the United States you're standing on." Or something like that. I get a kick out of watching the convoy/rocking-chair scene every time. Makes me wonder how in the world they got around Birmingham, but that's suspension of disbelief for you. LOL.
Wish director Hal Needham had remembered that Alabama State Troopers drive Fords, not Pontiacs, but that's a small thing. My dad remarked on it every time, though.
It's just cornball entertainment, rare enough these days. Pop some popcorn and have a blast watching it.
It all has already said but then.. I also used to drive 18 wheelers in my previous life and this movie and the actors / actresses show nicely how it plays on road ( mostly ). So - not a great movie art but fun if you take it that way. Also already said but CB's can be useful, todays rigs have cell phones, satellite phones, GPS, etc.. but at that time it was who you know and know where you are. Sally Fields is always a delight, Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, etc.. very fun acting. This movie has some old fashioned touch that is missing from too many ( assumed fun ) action movies today - also the effects are not as bad as in many todays movies, tire noise on gravel doesn't sound like tires on asphalt, stunts don't look like computer simulations and so on. Enjoy and dream driving..
"Smokey and the Bandit" may be Burt Reynolds' best movie. At least it's certainly one of his most memorable. In it, he plays good ol' boy the Bandit, the classic speed demon outlaw, driving flat out through five states and back on one wild and crazy beer run. This movie has lots of laughs and action. It also offers a look into the culture of CB radio, which was a huge craze of the day. And who could forget the Great One, Jackie Gleason's hilarious portrayal of Sheriff Buford T. Justice, the bombastic, persistent lawman from Texas. "Smokey" will always be a comedy classic, and that's a big 10-4!
"Snowman what's your 20, you got your ears on, comeback? We got a Smokey
convoy on our tail moving eastbound and down, with the peddle to the metal
and the thing to the floor". If any of that makes sense to you it means
of two things. Either you were a young male in the late seventies who
dressed in cowboy boots and drove a trans-am... or you have seen the film
Smokey and the Bandit.
Smokey sees classically trained thespian Burtrand Reynolds essay the role of the Bandit, a mythical, almost Quixotesque figure, who cuts across the American landscape in a black Pontiac firebird, the ultimate phallic representation of male dominance. The densely layered plot sees Bandit become involved in a quest of Arthurian proportions, attempting to do "what they say can't be done". As it goes, there's a drought in old Atlanta, and the fine townsfolk are gagging for some liquid refreshment for the upcoming monster-truck derby. Luckily, Bandit hears that there's beer in Texarkana, and sets out across country to bring it back... no matter what it takes.
Director Hal Needham, surely an auteur of Hitchcockian proportions, keeps the first act moving along at a steady pace, and there is always close attention paid to characterisation. However, it is in act two that things really get interesting, for no sooner has the Bandit and his ever-faithful slave... sorry, sidekick Snowman loaded up the truck with the brew... than they are set upon by a runaway bride (Sally Field), a fleet of southern law enforcers, and the formidable Sheriff Bufred T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), whose catchphrase "that sun' bitch" proved to be as lastingly funny as a dose of the clap. From this point on tension is cranked to eleven, with more jaw-dropping moments than the entire Indian Jones series combined. Don't believe me, take the scene where Bandit attempts to jump the bridge... if this doesn't have you standing on your seat screaming "go bandit go... yee-haw", then quite frankly nothing will.
Bandit is one no-nonsense jive-talker, an enduring character whose down with the kids (and the blacks), making him one fine example of a true southern gent. We never doubt our hero will fail at his mission, especially not with the benefit of hindsight, since Bandit managed to evade the law and return for the imaginatively titled Smokey and the Bandit II. Here his bounty was an African elephant that, understandably, had the hots for the moustachioed one. Then there was the third instalment, which had a script so bad Reynolds himself turned it down. Here the sh*t-kickers formula was repeated... just without the kick. Smokey and the Bandit is, admittedly, not high art. It's not even low art. But it does represent some kind of period piece, a history lesson, or the pinnacle of late seventies cinema.
Your enjoyment of the film depends on your first viewing experience. If like myself, you were a young boy growing up in the mid-eighties, you will have no doubt lived for the endless thrills, spills, car crashes and second-rate jokes that pepper Bandit, and its two sequels. It's easy to laugh at now, and a young audience will probably be left scratching their heads at the sight of Burt Reynolds mugging uncontrollably to the camera for ninety-minutes whilst Jerry Reed gets to 'sing' his good ol' boy theme tune 'East-bound and Down' for the one-millionth time, but there is a perverse pleasure in seeing bell-bottoms, grown men with CB radios and muscles cars the size of small houses, the likes of which most people won't have seen since 1982. 3/5
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