on 27 March 2007
What a film! They don't make films like this anymore, wow this film is so cool! Yeah! When the Bandit (Burt Reynolds) and the Snowman (Jerry Reed) take on a big money bet to bring illegal bootleg beer from Texas back to Georgia in 28 hours it almost seems too easy. However once the Bandit picks up runaway bride Sally Field along the way and they start getting pursued by Sheriff Buford T Justice and his hilarious son, things start getting a lot more interesting. Luckily thanks to their CB radios they pick up a lot of help on the way from Hot Pants Hilliard, Little Beaver, Foxy Lady, Sugar Bear and many more. Reynolds is never better than here in this wise-crackin', fast drivin' performance, Jerry Reed's laugh is awesome and Fred the dog shines amidst all the thrills. Expect high speed chases, hilarious one liners, severe breaches of the highway code and loads of truckin' fun. And what a soundtrack. Left us wanting to watch the sequels. Wow! Beats Flubber out of the park.
Smokie and The Bandit was the first of many sequells, and this one shines out for me out of all of them. The bootleggers (Renyolds and Reed) are amazing, funny and keep the action rolling. I think it has a lot to do with their high spirit and the will to beat the sherrif (amzingly played by Jackie Gleason).
The Bandit is racing, when he's given the big challenge, 28hrs - bring back some Coors beer from Texas to Altanta in Georga. This is illegal, it's bootlegging, but this isn't going to stop the bandit! The task is daunting - but The Bandit wants to do it. The Snowman is not so enthuastic, but he soon becomes enthrauled in the action. The Snowman takes the 18 wheeler, and The Bandit gets a Trans An. The race is on, but a few complications lead this movie onto a high speed ride trans-state.
This film is harmless fun - Reynolds is funny, and Gleason works well with him too. There's no bitter hate, the boys are having healthy competitive fun and there's no guns, something which you have to admire. You could easily sit down with the family and enjoy this movie. I do think it's a bit dated, but the fun element and the banter on the CBs makes this a classic that should really be in your DVD collection.
At this low price, who could refuse?
Smokey and the Bandit is directed by Hal Needham and the screenplay is collectively written by James Lee Barrett, Charles Shyer and Alan Mandel; from a story by Needham and Robert L. Levy. It stars Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed and Mike Henry. Music is by Bill Justis and Jerry Reed and cinematography by Bobby Byrne.
He does what he does best-shows off.
Bo "Bandit" Darville (Reynolds) accepts a, illegal job/bet offer of delivering a truck load of Coors Beer from Texas across the states to Georgia. The job must be completed within 28 hours or he will not pick up the $80,000 payment for his services. Enlisting his buddy Snowman (Reed) to drive the truck, while he acts as a decoy in his Pontiac Trans Am, the Bandit must avoid capture by the Smokey (police). When he stops to pick up runaway bride Carrie (Fields), this makes him the target for one particularly vindictive laws enforcer, Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Gleason), whose son Junior Justice (Henry) is the jilted intended of Carrie.
You sumbitches couldn't close an umbrella!
The best of the "CB Radio" movies, Smokey and the Bandit makes up for what little it has in plot, with unadulterated fun via car pursuits, stunts and wonderfully colourful characters. Essentially one long chase movie, it was a massive box office success on it release, becoming the second biggest earner in 77 behind a certain Space Opera from George Lucas. Cashing in on Burt Reynolds popularity, and the new found interest in CB radio on the highways, film went on to influence similar films and TV shows further down the line. The memory of the poor sequels and the inferior similar films of its type has somewhat led to many people forgetting just what an entertaining movie it is.
There is no way, no way, that you could come from my loins. Soon as I get home, first thing I'm gonna do is punch your momma in the mouth.
Hal Needham uses his knowledge as an ex-stuntman to great effect, setting up a number of inspired sequences that sees cars jumping, crashing or going for a swim! Wisely letting his actors ad-lib where possible, film has a natural flow that's hard to dislike. The chemistry between Reynolds and Fields is warming, due to the fact that it was off screen real, while Gleason steals the movie with a hilarious portray as the manic, cussing and determined Buford. The bumpkin based music is perfectly in keeping with the mood, and the various locations used make for an appealing backdrop to the carnage and speedster thrills.
Not quite as Punk Rock anti-establishment now as it seemed back then, but still utterly delightful courtesy of a damn fine cast and some special motor vehicle mayhem. 8.5/10
‘Deliverance’ will always be the film that I associate with Burt – a great movie. That was 40 years ago now; when Burt was in his prime. Five years later in 1977 we have his biggest hit - Smokey and the Bandit. Latterly in 97’, after a long lean run, he achieved his first acting awards with Boogie Nights, but the comeback faded away again. Perhaps Burt was never a great actor but his film credits are amazing, as is the money he must have earned!
I can’t say I think this is a great film in any way, but it was a huge financial success and cemented Burt as one of Hollywood’s top assets. At that time he was worth zillions – how sad that we now read he is about to lose it all – he could even end up homeless?
This is just a fun movie. It may be totally ‘cheesy’ but I’m giving it four stars for pure entertainment and hammy comedy value. It’s a simple enough tale but the action comes thick and fast and how people love those car chases don’t they?
In summary, Burt has had a great career; yes, he’s been in some real duffers, but there are a few, like this one, where it’s nice to catch up with him again, and of course, he looks just great. I just wish he'd looked after his money better?
Few major superstars ever made as few good pictures as Burt Reynolds, but the original Smokey and the Bandit was certainly one of them. An enjoyable combination of good ole boy car chase movie and 30s screwball comedy, it sees his showoffish truck driver and sidekick Jerry Reed (who was originally pencilled in for the lead before Reynolds expressed an interest) taking a bet to illegally transport 400 cases of beer from Texarkana to Atlanta in 28 hours only to pick up Sally Field's runaway bride en route and find himself relentlessly pursued by her would-be-father-in-law, Jackie Gleason's foul-mouthed and uncouth Texas Sheriff Buford T. Justice and his idiot son Mike Henry. While it would set the template for the increasingly lazily made comedies that would help kill his career, here both star and director Hal Needham put in genuinely good work, the former stuntman-turned-director excellently showcasing the plentiful car chases and crashes without letting the comedy fall into the "Well, we're having fun even if you aren't" self-indulgence of his latter efforts and the star enjoying doing what he does best - showing off. It's a great fun summer movie, so it's no surprise that the only film that did better at the US box-office that year was Star Wars or even that it was one of Alfred Hitchcock's favourite films, but it's never really been given its due on DVD or high-def.
The Region 2 PAL DVD has a decent but unexceptional fullframe transfer (the film was 'cropped' widescreen, so the fullframe print added detail at the top and bottom of the image) with only a trailer as extra, while the Region 1 NTSC special edition has a decent 20-minute making of featurette and a shorter one about CB radio (but no trailer, an unimpressive widescreen transfer and, like the widescreen Blu-ray, a soundtrack that badly overemphasises the sound effects to drown out the dialogue), while the European Blu-ray has an underwhelming transfer and no extras - possibly because the sight of Burt Reynolds' disconcertingly shiny Fu Manchu facelift'n'Botox combo in the making of featurette would just be too terrifying in high-def (though these extras plus the trailer are included on the region-free US Blu-ray). Yet if none of the releases are satisfying and Reynolds' box-office fortunes have fallen so far that a decent remastered special edition is just wishful thinking, the film itself is more than enough easygoing fun to justify a look. Just steer clear of the sequels...
on 7 October 2015
This is one of those films so fondly remembered from a childhood spent in the 80's.
As a child it was thrilling for the car chases and it was funny as the hapless but hilarious Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) was always just one step behind the self-assured Bandit (Burt Reynolds).
Laden with (PG-rated) mild profanity and ludicrous situations the plot sees the Bandit and Snowman (Jerry Reed) joined by Carrie (Sally Field) as they smuggle a truck load of beer across state lines.
Watching this again years later it's reassuring to be laughing at the same silly things for the same reasons. I don't think this film was never meant to be anything more than a buddy film full of stunts, poor jokes, bell-bottomed jeans and massive cars but it had a strong and funny cast who obviously enjoyed making this film.
The BluRay version is superb and this 1977 film looks far, far better than any old VHS taped memories.
If you were a child of the 80's you need to see this film!
on 12 August 2015
A good film, with the late, great, Jackie Gleason as 'Sherif Buford T Justice' stealing the film with a great comic performance. Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and the late Jerry Reed are also good in their roles too. There's some great car chase sequences, plenty of action, the running time of just over 90 minutes goes pretty quickly. I think I wore my VHS copy of this film out as a kid!
on 24 August 2001
This is a great film, if you aint looking for a plot.. Seriously, its one long car chase with the mission to smash up as many police cars as possible. Excellent performances from Burt Reynolds as The Bandit but even better is Sherrif Buford T. Justice played by Jackie Gleason. To blame for most things, he is never wrong and his jibes are aimed at everyone from his dithering son (Junior) to the other road users. As a comedy, this will have you laughing and the action is good old smash up action - if you like that, you'll love Smokey and The Bandit
on 31 March 2015
I've always loved this movie.
Sally Fields should have gotten an Academy Award for NOT laughing when
Burt Reynolds removes his cowboy hat to reveal his [obviously BAD] toupee.
Burt---with a "rug" as good as William Shatner's---could have been a bigger
Of course, in THIS type of movie, the REAL stars are the STUNTMEN!
1977 was a great year for cinema, largely because it was when ‘Star Wars’ was released to worldwide acclaim. However, what few people seem to remember is that the ‘runner up’ at the Box Office was an equally fun (and just as far-fetched as an epic space opera!) little film called ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’
As with many of the best films, the plot is extremely simple – an outlaw driver, aka ‘The Bandit’ (played with perfect cool by Burt Reynolds), has to escort a truck filled with contraband across America. However, a certain ‘Smokey’ (slang for state trooper/lawman) is not going to make it easy for him and vows to catch him at all costs. Smokey and the Bandit is possibly the most perfect example of a ‘cat and mouse’ chase ever put to film.
It’s basically a chase movie, filled with high-speed stunts and one car chase after the other. It doesn’t always have to be believable to be fun. It just has to entertain. And it does. Obviously it’s Burt Reynold’s flick and he carries it with charm and uber coolness. You can’t help but root for him, while, at the same time, also having just a little soft spot for – technically – the ‘baddie.’ Perhaps what makes the relationship work is that you can root for both the ‘hero’ and the ‘villain’ (the long-suffering police officer who’s desperately on Bandit’s tail).
The film also spawned two sequels and it’s worth noting that neither are regarded as highly as the first. To really appreciate the magic of the original, you have to see what they did with the sequels. They’re both overblown. The car chases cause too much damage and it’s hard to believe that if any ‘bandit’ caused that much carnage, he wouldn’t be on the FBI’s ‘Most Wanted’ list. Also, the jokes get silly in the two sequels. Yes, even in the first film the characters are a little ‘cartoonish,’ but there’s just enough believability in them to make them seem real. In the sequels they’re either ‘too dumb’ or ‘too cool.’
But, those are problems with the sequels. If you’re into car chase films, Burt Reynolds, or generally light-hearted action with plenty of comic moments, you’ll do worse than riding along with the Bandit.