This week's [Celluloid Hero] is inspired by the Free Beer & Hot Wings show. During a conversation, it came up that Producer Joe had never seen "Smokey and the Bandit", and the rest of the guys wondered if it would stand the test of time and be as entertaining to someone now as it was when they first saw it. I had never seen it either, so both Joe and I went in fresh. Producer Joe did his review as part of "What Producer Joe Thinks", which you can listen to below my review.

Admittedly, I really had no urge to watch this movie. It was one I had heard people talk about, but nothing that I felt compelled to watch. I still think my life wouldn't have been any lesser for not seeing it, but it was interesting to see something that definitely influenced some of the modern comedies I enjoy.

The plot is insane but apparently based on a true law that prevented Coors beer from being transported east of the Mississippi River until the 1980s. The Bandit makes a bet to get 400 cases from Texas to Georgia in 28 hours. He recruits a trucker buddy named Snowman to carry the load while he drives ahead as a jammer to keep away the police.

I'm not really into "car movies", but it was still fun. Generally I don't care about whether the Bandit drove a Trans Am or a Mustang or a Charger, but some of the stunts and crashes they pulled off were awesome to watch. Obviously in 1977 they were using practical special effects, so if they needed to shear the roof off a car, they sheared it off. If they needed to jump a car over a broken bridge, they jumped the damn car.

As I started watching this, I realized the only movies starring Burt Reynolds I could remember seeing were Deliverance and Boogie Nights. Other than that, my entire image of him is just Norm MacDonald's Celebrity Jeopardy bits on SNL. After watching Smokey, I've decided I need to see more Burt Reynolds movies. Sally Field was a bit blah for me, but whatever she left me yearning for, Jackie Gleason more than made up for. Holy crap was Jackie Gleason fantastic. The most entertained I was during the entire viewing was during Gleason's scenes.

Produce Joe breaks the movie down in a more sequential way, and I can't say I disagree with what he said. None of the plot makes sense, or is really necessary. Just watching Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason was good enough for me.




On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Smokey and the Bandit" gets a 5 out of 10.


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