What we’re dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law…

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RELEASED IN THE SPRING OF 1977, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT WAS THE SECOND HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE OF THE YEAR. BESTED ONLY BY THE SCI-FI BLOCKBUSTER STAR WARS. BURT REYNOLDS PLAYS BO “BANDIT” DARVILLE. A LEGENDARY TRUCK DRIVER THAT ACCEPTS AN $80,000 CHALLENGE TO DRIVE FROM ATLANTA TO TEXARKANA AND BACK WHILE TRANSPORTING 400 CASES OF ILLEGAL COORS BEER. ALONG FOR THE RIDE IS BANDITS’ PARTNER IN CRIME CLEDUS SNOW OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “SNOWMAN” PLAYED EXPERTLY BY SINGER/SONG WRITER JERRY REED. ON THE WAY TO TEXAS BANDIT PICKS UP A RUNAWAY BRIDE IN SALLY FIELD WHO RECEIVES HER “HANDLE” OF FROG BY THE WAY SHE JUMPS AROUND THE CAR. IN HIGH SPEED PURSUIT IS JACKIE GLEASON IN RARE FORM AS SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE.

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THIS MOVIE IS A PERFECT STORM OF CINEMA, FROM THE CASTING OF BURT,JACKIE AND SALLY TO AN EXCELLENT SOUNDTRACK WITH JERRY CONTRIBUTING MOST OF THE SONGS. EXPERT CHASE SCENES AND CRASHES ARE COURTESY OF STUNT MAN TURNED DIRECTOR HAL NEEDHAM, AND A NEW FOR 1977 BLACK AND GOLD PONTIAC TRANS AM PLAYS THE HERO CAR THE LIKES UNSEEN SINCE STEVE MCQUEENS GREEN MUSTANG IN BULLITT. I’VE LITERALLY SEEN THIS MOVIE A 100 TIMES SINCE I WAS A LITTLE BOY AND THAT’S SAYING A LOT CONSIDERING I WASN’T EVEN ALIVE WHEN THIS MOVIE ORIGINALLY CAME OUT. BUT NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I WATCH IT, BURT IS JUST AS MACHO, SALLY IS JUST AS HOT, JACKIE IS JUST AS FUNNY AND THAT BLACK TRANS AM IS JUST AS COOL TODAY, AS THE DAY IT HIT THEATERS. I CAN’T RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE ENOUGH TO ANYONE WHO LOVES CAR MOVIES AND OR CAR CHASES. THE ONE WORD YOU CAN USE TO DESCRIBE THIS MOVIE IS “FUN” AND THERE’S LOADS OF IT TO BE HAD, 400 CASES TO BE EXACT.

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BEST SCENE: THE CHANCE MEETING BETWEEN THE BANDIT AND SHERIFF JUSTICE AT THE ROADSIDE RESTAURANT IS PURE CINEMATIC GOLD. 

THE CAR ACTION NEVER REALLY LETS UP BUT ONE OF THE BEST SCENES DEALS WITH A CERTAIN BRIDGE BEING DEMOLISHED AND BURT AND SALLY TAKING THE TRANS AM AIRBORNE.

RATING: *****

 

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