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Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)


Burt Reynolds
Sally Field
Jerry Reed
Jackie Gleason

Directed by Hal Needham

The movie starts well, and we are invested in the idea of these two trying to get alcohol from one state to another at a set time. The two are Bandit (Burt Reynolds) and his sidekick Snowman (Jerry Reed). Bandit was approached by a wealthy Texan and his son to bootleg 400 cases of beer for their refreshment in 28 hours, across states.
That was the initial idea the movie plants, then the whole suspense of that ride is buried in so much dust and car chases that you wonder if the suspense of the time element mattered at all. Add to that, me not knowing when the time starts and how much time was left, further removed the suspense of that.

When the two set off to accompany this feat and pocket $80,000, they had a set plan which was sidetracked. Snowman was driving the truck and Bandit a black Pontiac Trans Am. Since the truck was going to be speeding, Bandit was to use his speed car to serve as a distraction to the cops.
The sidetrack was Bandit being flagged down by a woman in a wedding dress. Carrie (Sally Field), the runaway bride hitches a ride with Bandit, and makes him a target of Sheriff Buford T. Justice.
The Sheriff and his son from another state are chasing her down.
Since she is in Bandit's car, the chase was now between the two men, with the Sheriff going beyond his jurisdiction to catch Carrie.
While all this car chasing is going on, the Bandit also has to keep a watch out and get the attention of the other officers on their route away from the speeding truck.

The comedy after a while losses its flair as it continues to recycle the same kind of scenes, with the Bandit getting into a close corner and being aided by other truckers. After a while it was expected.
Nonetheless, the movie has enough juice to keep you glued and you can easily guess that this was a B-movie, stretched to a mainstream one. As the movie touts car chases with unrealistic ends and stunts and with little plot substance and the story seem to take a back seat to the car chases.
The movie was a huge box office success making over 60 times its production cost, and many wasted attempt producing sequels that don’t meet up to this original.

I can tick this off my list that I have seen this movie, even though I do not see the reason it is highly rated.


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