Review: ‘Smokey and the Bandit’

Burt Reynolds stars as a bootlegger-for-kicks who, with Jerry Reed and Sally Field, outwit zealous sheriff Jackie Gleason.

Burt Reynolds stars as a bootlegger-for-kicks who, with Jerry Reed and Sally Field, outwit zealous sheriff Jackie Gleason.

The plot is simple: rich father-son team of blowhards Pat McCormick and Paul Williams offer a reward if Reynolds will truck a load of Coors beer from Texas to Georgia; Reynolds and buddy Reed race to meet the deadline: Field complicates matters as a not-yet-bride who flees beau Mike Henry, son of outraged Gleason, who then chases them all across the southeast.

There is a parade of roadside set pieces involving many different ways to crash cars. Overlaid is citizens band radio jabber (hence, the title) which is loaded with downhome gags. Field is the hottest element in the film.

Smokey and the Bandit

Production

Universal/Rastar. Director Hal Needham; Producer Mort Engelberg; Screenplay James Lee Barrett, Charles Shyer, Alan Mandel; Camera Bobby Byrne; Editor Walter Hanneman, Angelo Ross; Music Bill Justis, Jerry Reed, Dick Feller; Art Director Mark Mansbridge

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1977. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Burt Reynolds Sally Field Jerry Reed Jackie Gleason Mike Henry Paul Williams

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