Smokey and the Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit Movie Poster

We realize that the original Smokey and the Bandit movie, arguably the best, was released in 1977, but we cannot forget that Smokey and the Bandit II was released in 1980, and then Smokey and the Bandit III in 1983.  These were all action comedies.  Focusing on the original, it starred Burt Reynolds as Bo Darville (the Bandit), Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Jerry Reed as Cledus Snow, and Sally Field as Carrie.  Although the movie received mixed reviews, it was a huge hit at the theatre box office.  The sequels featured the same cast, but mostly negative reviews.  The 1980 release was moderate success financially, but the 1983 version was a flop.

In the original movie, some rich guys from Georgia wanted to get their hands on a truck load of Coors beer from Texas, which at the time was unavailable in Georgia due to alcohol distribution permit issues.  Every other attempt had been thwarted by “Smokey” (the Highway Patrol).  They agree to pay Bo Darville (Reynolds) a large sum of money to make the run from Texas.  Darville hires his friend, Cledus (Reed) to drive the truck, while Darville drives around in a fast 1977 Pontiac Trans Am to draw police attention away from the truck.  After picking up a hitchhiker named Carrie (Fields), Darville ends up betting on the radar of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Gleason), since Carrie was to be wed to his son.

As they make their way from Texas to Georgia, they not only run into various troubles with the local fuzz, but they also get help from a cast of colorful local characters who want to see them succeed.  In the end, the boys make it to Georgia before time runs out, and then accept a new job for double or nothing to get clam chowder from Boston to Georgia in 18 hours.