Saturday, April 21, 2012

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

This is an okay movie. Legendary driver Bo "Bandit" Darville (Burt Reynolds) and his truck driver friend Cledus "Snowman" Snow are hired to move 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas, to Georgia, at a time when it was illegal to cross state lines with the drink. During the trip, Bandit picks up runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field). The groom's father is Texas Sheriff Buford T. Justice who chases after Bandit in an effort to stop him. Bandit receives help from other truck drivers who communicate with him through CB radios. The sheriff becomes increasingly angry as his police car is damaged through various mishaps.

The film was the fourth highest-grossing of 1977 and there are two sequels. Texarkana, Texas, is located in a dry county and Coors was not legally sold there, and the trip is actually only 1260 miles. The movie was filmed primarily in Georgia in the cities of McDonough, Jonesboro, and Lithonia. The film made use of four modified black 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am "Special Editions." The bridge, though no longer used for traffic, was still intact prior to filming. The middle section was demolished specifically for the jumping stunt. The Bandit Run is a reenactment of the journey portrayed in the film. The first reenactment took place on May 15, 2007 and has become an annual event.

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