Movie Review: Smokey and the Bandit


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!


Wow, I guess I really need to watch this one again.  The good news Jonathan is that my wife and I finally got an HDTV (read a good reason to stay home and watch more movies).  So stay tuned for some short reviews, as it tends to be my style.  Glad to see you're posting on a fairly regular basis.Cheers,

Definitely a great time waster! Glad to hear of the move to HDTV - you won't regret it. Esp. if you watch HD television. Check out the Planet Earth series - simple spectacular pictures (HD TV has a better picture than standard DVD). Next move is to hi-def DVD, but I'm not sure which format yet, and the dual format LG is over US$1000.

Planet Earth is awesome!  I had seen clips at friends' houses before, but my wife and I just watched our first full episode this weekend.  Amazing!  I set our TiVo up to record every showing of PE.As for the next DVD format, I'm waiting for a winner before I plunk down any money.  My standard DVDs look great upscaled to 1080.  Especially the newer ones.

Yeah, I too am reasonably happy with standard, upconverted DVDs, but seeing PE on HD-DVD (narrated by the original narrator, David Attenborough) has me sorely tempted...

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on May 8, 2007 5:28 PM.

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