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SXSW Film Review: ‘The Bandit’

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Bandit’
You don’t have to dig too deep beneath its fan-pleasing veneer of nostalgic celebration to discern an intriguingly serious subtext in “The Bandit,” Jesse Moss’ behind-the-scenes account of the making of “Smokey and the Bandit,” the improbably successful and enduringly popular action-comedy that was the No. 2 box office smash (surpassed only by “Star Wars”) of 1977. Indeed, even those who remain immune to the yee-haw appeal of the earlier film — which, it should be noted, still commands a loyal following of repeat viewers on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line — may be drawn to this gently probing documentary by Moss’ perceptive examination of the relationship between the two prime movers behind the ’77 project: Burt Reynolds, then a superstar with enough muscle to get pet projects greenlit, and his longtime friend Hal Needham, a daredevil stuntman who relied on his buddy’s help to make his feature-film directorial debut. After a
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Hal Needham dies

Hal Needham, one of Hollywood's greatest stuntmen, has died at the age of 82. The director of several hit films including Smokey And The Bandit and Cannonball Run, he was also an inventor whose creations, designed to make more daring stunts possible, went on to be used more widely and save lives.

Needham's life was never short of action. He served as a paratrooper during the Korean War before going on to train with film industry great Chuck Roberson and set up his own company, Stunts Unlimited. His work can be seen in over 300 films and he worked up to the age of 63. The exceptional skill and daring that he brought to the industry was recognised with a special award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. He is survived by his son, David Needham, who works in props and set design....
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

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