Smokey and the Bandit (1977 35mm)
Thursday, November 8th
6:30pm Doors || 7:30pm Screening
Director: Hal Needham
The movie that would make Burt Reynolds a superstar (and would go on to become his signature role), and kick off the citizens band radio fad of the 1970's.
Truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) is offered $80,000 to bootleg four hundred cases of Coors beer from Texarkana to the Southern Classic truck rodeo in Georgia within 28 hours. To do so, Bandit recruits fellow trucker Cledus “Snowman” Snow to make the journey with him. Acting as a spotter for Snowman’s rig in his Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, Bandit eventually picks up runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field) and becomes the target of the groom’s father, Sheriff Buford T. Justice. (Jackie Gleason).
Burt Reynolds is especially charming as a lovable rogue who has plenty of people willing to help him out wherever he goes.
Director Needham started in the industry as a stuntman. Later, he did stunt coordinating and second unit directing on films such as White Lightning, Gator, and The Longest Yard, all starring Reynolds whom Needham stunt-doubled for on several films. As a result, the stunt work in this movie is amazing and undoubtedly a main reason for the film’s success.
Everything in the film is enjoyable, from the interactions between the Bandit and Sheriff Justice and the chase between the two of them to the humor that the film delivers to its audience. At its core, the film is essentially one that’s meant to bring enjoyment to its audience and it succeeds spectacularly.