We’re Eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin’ as we pay tribute to movie legend and cultural icon Burt Reynolds with a special big screen presentation of his classic 1977 action/comedy, Smokey and the Bandit! A massive hit (second only to Star Wars at that year’s domestic box-office), Bandit spawned a whole generation of trucker comedies, paired Burt onscreen for the first time with his true love, Sally Field, and transformed the actor into the biggest movie star in the world! Enjoy a selection of vintage Burt Reynolds TV and film clips before the feature, AND we’ll be handing out FREE MUSTACHES to everyone in attendance (while supplies last)! That’s a big 10-4, good buddy!
“Smokey and the Bandit is an unexpected good time, a playful, wisecracking and curiously revealing example of All-American escapist entertainment.” – Gary Arnold, Washington Post
In Smokey and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds fully unleashes his signature good old boy charm and puts the pedal to the metal as The Bandit, a fearless, fun-loving car racer who takes on a bet to transport a truckload of bootleg Coors beer from Texas to Atlanta, crossing state lines where the beer isn’t permitted. With the help of his big-rig trucker pal Cledus (country singer Jerry Reed), Bandit drives his hot black Pontiac Trans Am straight into a whole mess of trouble, and along the way picks up runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field), incurring the wrath of her would-be father-in-law, the bad-tempered Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). With that, director and top Hollywood stuntman Hal Needham (who later went on to direct Burt in the hits Hooper and Cannonball Run, among others), lays out the automotive hijinks with one thrilling car chase after another, as Sheriff Justice and his dim-witted son, Junior, take it on the chin and eat Bandit’s dust. Free-wheelin’ good times and corny jokes abound in this wildly popular action/comedy that spawned two sequels, a host of imitators, and still serves up some of the best car stunts ever put on film. (Dir. by Hal Needham, 1977, USA, 96 mins., Rated PG)