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Smokey and the Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - Directed by Hal Needham

"We ain't never not made it before, have we?"

Burt Reynolds, one of the worlds greatest actors, a man with the perfect combination of charisma, talent, and mustache, died on September 6, 2018. He was set to star in the new Taranino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but wont now, sadly. However, his memory will live on and so will his films like Boogie Nights, The Longest Yard, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. But how can I talk about Burt Reynolds without mentioning what may be his most iconic film, Smokey and the Bandit?

This carsploitation cult classic directed by stuntman Hal Needham is a high-speed cat-and-mouse chase between a charming and legendary trucker and an obsessive county sheriff. Not only does he make a bet with a rich man to bootleg beer all the way to Georgia, but he ends up picking up a woman who left the sheriff's son at the altar!

The movie doesn't have a large story to it, which may be enough to knock off nearly a full star. This is even more jarring when one realizes that the characters don't have any development whatsoever.

Depsite that, the characters don't always feel flat. When you have Burt Reynolds behind the wheel, you can always expect a wonderful performance as the suave, sophisticated wisecrack with a mustache he's so good at playing. His chemistry with the flying nun herslef, Sally Field is wonderful, and between characters there are oftentimes enough quotes to fill a manual. And the movie is only more entertaining when Jackie Gleason is never too far behind on the road or in talent. His role as the obsessive and crude sheriff on hot pursuit gives a lot more than the role itself had to offer.

But the biggest attention-getter is the constant road action happening between the Bandit in his iconic black Trans-Am and the countless cops on his tail on multiple occasions. And the element of the Bandit's reputation added an element of surprise when the viewer gets to see so many truckers offering to help the Bandit on his times quest! That's charisma right there.

Smokey an the Bandit is a movie I've been wanting to see for years, and as usual, I was busy. This review is my special honor to Burt Reynolds for sharing his talent with the world. I think I'm gonna check out the other two sometime, despite the reviews. They won't change the fact Smokey and the Bandit is a classic.