Another weekend movie was that oldie but goodie, Smokey and The Bandit. Oh man, did I go see this a bunch of times in high school! I recently picked up a copy of the Special Edition DVD and was anxious to revisit old times. We were looking for some easy on the brain, and Smokey is certainly that!
In this classic "Good Ol' Boy" comedy (Billy Bob Thornton goes so far as to say, in the South, it is considered a documentary:-), The Bandit (played with wonderful insouciance by Burt Reynolds) is hired by Big and Little Enos to run a truckload of Coors beer east from Texas which, back in the 70s, was illegal for some reason and considered bootlegging. So the Bandit teams up with Cletus and his dog Fred, with a brand new Trans Am to bring the truckload back. Along the way, he picks up Carrie (Sally Fields, in one of her first movie roles), an escaped bride, who is tracked by Sheriff Buford T. Justice, ad-libbed from beginning to end by Jackie Gleason. Many hijinx, car crashes and lovin' later, the beer arrives and a new challenge begins.
Ah, what a wonderful piece of nostalgia and it still holds up fairly well. Hal Needham, the long time stunt director, put this together as his first film and everyone seems to be having a great time. The Making Of featurette is a lot of fun, with plenty of interesting nuggets (like how Pontiac Trans Am sales went up 500% after the movie came out and they gave Burt Reynolds a new one every year in gratitude). Even the music, mostly by Jerry Reed (who also played Cledus), is full of life and humor. I can't, however, believe that it has a PG rating, given Sheriff Buford T. Justice's foul mouth. I was thinking I might watch this with the girls, but now I don't think so!