Sunday, March 4, 2012

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Synopsis: Burt Reynolds reminds us that reckless driving and resisting arrest are time-honoured traditions in America’s Deep South.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “[Burt] Reynolds is the Bandit, a king-of-the-road trucker who accepts the ultimate challenge: pick up a truckload of Coors beer in Texarkana – the closest place it can be legally sold – and haul it cross-country to Atlanta in 28 hours. The reward? $80,000! The result? The wildest series of car crashes ever filmed!”

What Did I Learn?: Folks in Georgia will pay top dollar for 400 cases of lukewarm piss-beer.

Really?: 1) I had a hard time believing a Mississippi state trooper would accept a profanity-laden tongue lashing from a Texas sheriff 700 miles outside his jurisdiction, and then allow him to continue driving a vehicle that isn’t road-worthy. 2) Ok, I can see the Bandit as a folk-hero for the CB radio crowd, and maybe some of them could assist by providing information and diversions, but who was that Japanese guy who screamed “Banzai!” and then smashed Jackie Gleason’s car door off its hinges? That was just silly.

Rating: Smokey and the Bandit isn’t a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it is fun if you put your brain on ‘pause’ and enjoy the banter and car crashes. 7/10 stars.


  1. Hang on. So he delivers 400 cases of beer for $80,000? This math can't be right. Without any costs, that's $200 a case of beer. Is this just a stupid bet or what? How many cases of beer would fit into a truck? I'm confused.

  2. Hey Joel:

    Good questions. My answer would be:

    A) Big Enos (the guy who hires the Bandit) is portrayed as an extravagant, rich buffoon with far more money than common sense; and

    B) The cost of the beer is a minor expense (the Bandit is given some cash up-front to buy the Trans-Am and pay for the beer, although he never actually does), and you're correct: the $80,000 payment is really just a stupid bet. According to the film, an Atlanta-Texarkana run had never been done in 28 hours, and it was considered bootlegging to haul Coors beer west of the Texas border. Big Enos wanted the beer for some auto racing event, but his stronger motivation was to see if the Bandit could pull off the job.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.