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Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

PG | | Action, Comedy | 27 May 1977 (USA)
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In 7 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

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The Bandit is hired on to run a tractor trailer full of beer over state lines, in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff.

Director:

Hal Needham

Writers:

Hal Needham (story), Robert L. Levy (story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
45 ( 6)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Reynolds ... Bandit
Sally Field ... Carrie
Jerry Reed ... Cledus
Mike Henry ... Junior
Paul Williams ... Little Enos
Pat McCormick ... Big Enos
Alfie Wise Alfie Wise ... Patrolman at Traffic Jam
George Reynolds George Reynolds ... Branford
Macon McCalman ... Mr. B
Linda McClure Linda McClure ... Waynette
Susie Ewing ... Hot Pants (as Susan McIver)
Laura Lizer Sommers Laura Lizer Sommers ... Little Beaver (as Laura Lizer)
Michael Mann ... Branford's Deputy
Lamar Jackson Lamar Jackson ... Sugar Bear
Ronnie Gay Ronnie Gay ... Georgia Trooper
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Storyline

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 <jgp3553@excite.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"What we have here is a total lack of respect for the law!" See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bandit See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,728,060, 30 May 1977, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$126,737,428

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$300,000,000, 31 December 1977
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A majority of the lines and quotes spoken by Jackie Gleason character, Sheriff Buford T. Justice were improvised. See more »

Goofs

Sheriff Justice is from either Montague County (based on the logo on his car door) or Portague County (per the end credits). His collar badges, however, read "CCS", which would be the first initial of the county, followed by the initials for County Sheriff. The collar badge should, therefore, read either "MCS" or "PCS". See more »

Quotes

Mr. B, Tanker Truck Driver: Bandit? This is Mr B., and I'm gearjammin' this rollin' refinery, you got another smokey on the rubber?
Mr. B, Tanker Truck Driver: Come ahead, Bandit. We'll slip you into the rockin' chair, play a little hide-and-seek.
Mr. B, Tanker Truck Driver: The welcome mat is out, and you're comin' home.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Legend
By Jerry Reed
Sung by Jerry Reed
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Smokey bacon!
9 June 2003 | by Henrik NamelessSee all my reviews

"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 one 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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