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Smokey and the Bandit Academy Award Nomination! 

By Tom Keogh

It's easy to assume this is just another dumb redneck comedy from Burt Reynolds's years of underachievement. But it's not bad as a dumb redneck comedy at all. Directed by career stuntman Hal Needham, Smokey and the Bandit is just a goofy chase starring a bunch of Reynolds's Hollywood cronies. New to the job as film boss, Needham brings a silly but energized sensibility to the production and an action man's need to see things moving. But he also has a distinctive feeling for relationships, and he's good with a joke. Put all that together, and Smokey is, at the very least (and unlike its sequels), a simple and original pleasure.

Academy Awards

Smokey and the Bandit received an Academy Awards nomination for Film Editing (Walter Hannemann, Angelo Ross).

Share Your Memories!

Is Smokey and the Bandit one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Smokey and the Bandit #1 is the absolute greatest movie of all time. [Editor's note: Step aside Citizen Kane and Seven Samaurai!] I was 10 years old in 1977 when the movie was released and I have seen it many, many times since then. I actually got to see some of the movie being filmed live in my hometown of Jonesboro, Georgia in the summer of 1976. There was a huge crowd of onlookers on North Avenue where Jerry Reed (Cletus Snow and his family) lived in the big white house (which has since been torn down). The Trans Am was sitting on the ramp on the back of the truck for a long time while they filmed Burt and Jerry discussing which CB channel to use. Then they filmed the car burning rubber and driving down the street. I believe Burt Reynolds was actually driving. Anyway, the 1977 Bandit Pontiac Trans Am is one of my favorite cars and I would love to own one. Much of the movie was filmed in and around Jonesboro, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta. Texarkana, Texas, in the film, is actually downtown Jonesboro. The racetrack at the end of the movie is the old Lakewood Fairgrounds (now an Amphitheater)."

--Anonymous

"I wish there was a Smokey and the Bandit Pt.lV. I would like to thank Burt Renolds, Sally Fields, Paul Williams and Jerry Reed for splitting my side in all three Smokey and the Bandit movies"

--Tic

"Outstanding movie! I have to take this oppotunity to refute the claims that this movie caters to less than intelligent people. Here's an insight that might help these people out: It's funny! There is no deep, hidden meaning or lesson to be learned! It's just fun! Leave it alone. Also, I have never met a real car guy who didn't like the movie. Maybe that is a required trait to fully appreciate the film."

--Ken

"As far as I'm concern SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT is the best movie of all times.It may not be up there with the big movies but it always be the greatest. Burt and Jackie made a chemistry that will never be made again."

--Christina Aguillera

"This movie is probably the greatest car genre movie of the Super70s. The black Trans Am is now synonymous with the movie, and in 1978, sales of Pontiac Firebirds almost doubled. The movie would have been the highest grossing movie of 1977 if it were not for the anomaly-like success of "Star Wars." There has never been a movie of its caliber in this genre since then."

--Anonymous

" Smokey and the Bandit is Burt Reynolds best picture. I have seen almost everyone of his movies and this is by far his best, to me Burt will always be the "Bandit""

--BigAL79

"I have seen the movie for the first 2 times at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville, VA in the year 1979 while I was there for Work Adjustment. I got a BIG thrill and a kick out of it! I now have a phonograph record of the music from Smokey and the Bandit's soundtrack. I have seen the movie several times at home on television, and have a video copy of the movie which I ordered through a video dealership in late 1985 after I got my first VCR. I certainly love being able to play and watch that movie anytime."

--Anonymous

"The coolist part of the movie was when the Bandit picked up Frog and took off. The T/A left an awesome set of tire marks as it hit second gear."

--TennTrooper

"Driving to Canada with my Dad on an overnight trip, we were entertaining ourselves by sharing Smokey and the Bandit dialogue and laughing ourselves silly. There's just something about hearing your own dad say "...now that the mutual bull**** is over, where are you, you sumb****!" and then laughing so hard he swerves the car off the road, particularly since my Dad really didn't laugh that often. It turned into a great fishing trip."

--Anonymous

"If you grew up in the Super70s, ever had a CB or just like running from the police, this is a must see!"

--snowman

"I have seen this movie several times both for enjoyment, and because I am a bit of a car buff. I am convinced that the car Burt Reynolds was driving was a standard unlike most 6.5 litre Y code Trans Ams of the day. I say this because in several scenes you can see Burt working his right arm as if shifting gears. This was particularly evident when he stops in front of a road block (the one where the police Sgt says " I have eyes don't I"). Before Burt takes off again you can see him look down to his right, select first gear, and take off. During the scene just before the bridge jump there is a shot of the interior of the car and the clutch pedal is clearly evident in the shot. Anyone else have any insights on this issue? Burt, Sally and Jerry were good, Gleason was great, but the star of the show is that black Trans Am."

--Anonymous

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Hal Needham

Stars: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Paul Williams

Released: May 27, 1977

Availability: DVD VHS


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