"Smokey and the Bandit", have you looked at it?
Main Character names:
The Bandit, (also known as the Legend)
Cledus “Snowman” Snow (with Fred – his dog)
and Sheriff Buford T. Justice
and Jackie Gleason
The meeting in the diner
Bandit laughing at Big & Little Enos
Do you know the name of Sheriff Justice's son in the movie?
*** The Bandit could never turn down a challenge and the film starts off with him being given a very large challenge. He gets Cledus to be in on it with him. To reach Texas and get a truckload of beer and bring it back across state lines by a certain time - which he accepts. They reach half of the challenge and are on their way home and it all seems to be going well until they run into a [former] bride-to-be (Sally Field, later nicknamed Frog). From then on every time they look up there is the Texas sheriff, (Jackie Gleason), following them through every state out of his jurisdiction! The big problem is that nobody knows why or who he is, except his name. The Sheriff's police car is a total wreck by the end of the film.
The Bandit makes it through all of the road blocks, etc. At the end the Snowman makes himself known and together they meet the full challenge and head for home but still have one Smokey on their tail (Sheriff Justice). So when they reach the home site, they ask for their pay and instead get the Cadillac from Big Enos and Little Enos and intend to leave but get another offer for a challenge which is double or nothing. On the way out the Bandit tells Sheriff Buford T. Justice who he is, and what they are doing next (getting shrimp from Maine), so they can have some more fun with the sheriff. ***
The Bandit's main pursuer in the movie
What did you enjoy most about the film?
I was intrigued from the beginning of this film to the end by its comedy. The jokes are hilarious, especially since most of them are one liners. Used throughout the movie are facial expressions which are another feature of the pleasant humor. I also believe that they have placed the jokes, etc., in the right locations all through the film to keep you smiling from beginning to end. Even the soundtrack is something to smile at.
I think that all of the characters have good, solid roles which they play very well. I have lost track of how many times I have seen this film – I still do not know it by heart – nor do I know how many more times I will watch it before I get bored of it. I used to listen to Jerry Reed sing “Eastbound and Down” (which is from the soundtrack) on country stations. I almost knew all of the words to it at one time.
The "bears" are out to get him while practically everybody else is rooting for the Bandit. They hear about him on the CB radio supposedly stirring up a lot of trouble, warn him about roadblocks and so on. He gets help from a convoy and hides as the smokey passes him.
It is basically a comedy movie but it also has quite a bit of action. Perhaps you admire action such as 'The Bandit' jumping bridges, but my favorite action in the movie was seeing 'Snowman' in his rig. Plus just (slightly) a couple of minutes of romance. I was also captivated by the action. I am not really into romance but the way that it was done in this movie was not really noticed as romance.
When this movie came to the screen it was rated ‘R’, but I believe that the TV version is a family movie that is interesting for all. The only exception is if you have children which you feel are too young for the language, but in the TV version I think they have cut some of that down from what was on the screen.
Jerry Reed sings the theme song, "Eastbound and Down".
Jerry Reed profile
I like Jerry Reed:
Your favorite star might have been Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason or maybe even someone else but my favorite in "Smokey" was Jerry Reed. Sure, he starred in "Smokey and the Bandit I, II & III" but I also saw him in other movies. I enjoyed watching him in the other films which I saw him in. I have also enjoyed listening to his singing on the country music stations and where ever else I heard his voice that I heard it, it was a pleasure to hear.
Did you know that his birth name was Jerry Reed Hubbard - which was also the name he used to write the songs on the soundtrack in "Smokey and the Bandit"?
He was born in Atlanta, GA, on March 20, 1937, and he died in Nashville, Tenn. on Sept. 1, 2008 - he was 71 years of age.
He was both a musician and a songwriter and enjoyed country and rockabilly on his guitar. It was not the only song but he wrote, and sang, "Eastbound and Down" for "Smokey and the Bandit" You may know him best for his acting.
Cledus got hungry:
At one point in the film Cledus went into a choke & puke to refuel for three (himself, Fred and the truck). He told the head guy what food he wanted and then he phoned his wife. Fred ran (or walked slowly) free. After Snowman had been talking to his wife a while, a biker said, “Hey, your dog bit me.” Snowman argued with them about the biting and got thrown outside after fighting. He paid for the food and gas and got Fred & himself back into the rig to leave. When he was ready to leave they shot him from the front as he got a big grin on his face and ran the bikes flat.
Other films which I recall seeing him in
W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings
Behind the scenes:
Hal Needham produced the movie and it was originally planned by him as a low budget ‘B’ movie only costing one million to produce. Plus he was planning on placing Jerry Reed as the Bandit. Once Burt Reynolds, Needham's friend, had read the script Burt told Hal that he would star in the film. After that the film was pointed at a more common release because Snowman, who was played by Reed, was Bandit’s friend (in the course of time Reed would play the Bandit in Smokey and the Bandit Part III).
It was because on that occasion Burt was the top movie star on the map the world over. Smokey and the Bandit cost Universal Studios a total of five point three million because they decided it was a good chance to take. Since Universal had sent a so called “hatchet man” to Needham in Atlanta and informed him that one million was going to be cut off of the budget. Now he had a problem because Burt’s salary was one million, which took off two million leaving him with only $3.3 million to make the movie with. He needed help and who showed up but none other than the assistant director David Hamburger. Then together with Needham they both revised the shooting schedule by spending 30 hours on it and doing nothing else.
Reynolds’ father was at one time a Chief of Police - from Riviera Beach, Florida – and he (the father) happened to know a real Highway Patrolman from FA, whose name was none other than, “Buford T. Justice”. Because his father also used the word sumbitch so often himself he suggested it for the film.
I did not know myself that most of the film was shot in Georgia and they basically only used three cities – McDonough, Jonesboro and Lithonia. Even the Texarkana scenes were shot in Jonesboro, GA plus the area which surrounds it. A lot of the chase scenes we saw were on Highway 54 within Fayetteville and Jonesboro for most of them. An exception was the scene in and out of the Shell gas station since it was shot in Ojai, California (on the corner of Ojai & El Paseo).
Do you remember the scene at the racetrack? Of course you do. Lakewood Speedway was where that was filmed on the south side of Atlanta at the old Lakewood Fairgrounds. The Greyhound was the roller coaster which was used but it may not have been recognized because it had been repainted for the movie. There was one other area which was used. When they blew the door off of the car of Sheriff Justice it was filmed on GA 75, 3 miles north of Helen.
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Author: Kevin - ©2013
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