Projections - Movie Reviews

Smokey and the Bandit

Burt Reynolds, CB and wild car chase fans will love Smokey and the Bandit.  Serious movie goers will find it shallow.

Burt Reynolds (who plays on his own character in the movie) uses the CB handle "The Bandit".  Bandit and his friend "The Snow Man" contract to haul 400 cases of illegal beer from Texas to Georgia in a limited time.  To do this they must break all speed records and, at the same time, all speed limits.  In doing so they are pursued by lawmen from every state they pass through.

The Bandit in his speedy new car (part of the deal to deliver the beer) runs interference for The Snow Man who drives the illegal truck load of beer.  Bandit draws off "The Smokeys" (CB for the state police) and in this film its mostly Jackie Gleason (Sheriff Buford T. Justice) who is in hot pursuit all the way to Georgia.

Sally Fields, the girl who literally hops in with Reynolds while running away from a wedding with Gleason's son adds a romantic interest for Reynolds.

Off they go, Fields and Reynolds into woods, through football fields, over broken bridges always one step ahead of the Smokies.

There is plenty of action, smashed cars (especially Gleason's), police cars in rivers and lakes and turned over on roadsides.  They smash into each other and generally look foolish.  The action is fine, but the dialogue is dull, dull and Gleason though not obscene in his dialogue is certainly vulgar.  Field's is uncomfortable as a silly teenager.  She is a little too old for that; Reynolds plays himself and is funny, particularly when he imitates Gabby Hayes (Roy Roger's whiskered sidekick).

The film has little merit other than some snappy country tunes and car chase scenes, but it probably will be enjoyed by most who see it.

Smokey and the Bandit

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