Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

smokey and the banditSmokey and the Bandit (1977)

Directed by: Hal Needham

Starring: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed


I don’t know if there’s a movie that more appropriate sums up the 70’s than Smokey and the Bandit. It’s like the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure of its time. It perfectly encapsulates all the things that were popular at the time, and also it has a fat racist white guy who reminds you of your fat racist uncle who clearly watches this movie a lot and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Or maybe I just have relatives from Texas, I dunno. What was I talking about?

Burt Reynolds is a daredevil truck driver called The Bandit, and Smokey is his bear sidekick who tries to convince people to clean up after their campfires. Or wait, no, that was the dream I had the night after watching the movie. “Smokey” is the colloquial term for the police, led by Jackie Gleason as Sherriff Buford T. Justice, who acts as the cartoonishly hateful small-town cop who chases Bandit and his friend Jerry Reed’s truckload of beer across state lines where it’s illegal.

It’s pretty terrible in a lot of ways, and far too Dukes of Hazzardish for my tastes (which was clearly based on this movie, but whatever, the damage is done). Sally Field is pretty good as the crazy woman Bandit takes with him as his romantic interest, and… uh… there’s not a whole lot of Jerry Reed? That’s two good things I can say about it. Wow I’m so great, wow. Wow!


About Reid

Born in a dumpster, died in a fire. View all posts by Reid

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