Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
"Smokey," aka Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), is the prospective father-in-law of unwilling bride Carrie (Sally Field). The Bandit (Burt Reynolds), a maverick racecar driver, makes an 80,000-dollar bet that he can transport a shipment of Coors beer from Texarkana, TX, to Atlanta within 28 hours. It's important to note that in 1977, it was illegal to sell the Coors brand east of the Mississippi River without a permit; if we don't note that, then the plot won't make sense at times. Already in danger of arrest from redneck lawmen like Buford T. Justice, Bandit furthers his chances at a stiff jail term when he offers a ride to Carrie, who hopes to escape her unwanted wedding to Justice's boy. The rest of the film is one long chase; not quite as subtle as a Road Runner/Coyote cartoon, not quite as restrained as a Three Stooges comedy. Universally panned by critics upon its first release, Smokey and the Bandit reportedly pulled in just under $126 million and led to two sequels. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Smokey and the Bandit
There is a parade of roadside set pieces involving many different ways to crash cars.
Despite a thin premise for an action-comedy road chase, the film's enthusiasm makes up for its lack of ideas.
[A] half-forgotten little curio for later generations to study with puzzled delight.
The movie benefits from some excellent vehicular stuntwork, an apt role for Burt Reynolds, the introduction of Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down," a bright turn by Reynolds' real-life girlfriend Sally Field, and Jackie Gleason at his hammiest.
Bandit has a pronounced Southern charm and smash-em fervor that aids in the digestion of an otherwise overly silly enterprise that's way too permissive with its on-screen talent.
A raucous blast with plenty of great lines. Gleason is an absolute riot.
Gleason is the real show here, but it made Burt a huge star.
Good, stupid fun, but a precursor to some awful copycats.
Audience Reviews for Smokey and the Bandit
"Smokey and the Bandit" is one of those fun movies that you can easily watch over and over again without ever getting tired. It's a movie to relax with a movie to party with, and a movie to just simply laugh with. I had a blast watching "Smokey and the Bandit," and for any country music fans out there, the soundtrack to this film is just awesome. As a man known as the Bandit is asked to import 400 cases of Coors Light Beer, the county sheriff is on a high speed chase for almost 900 miles to take him and his partner down. It is a hilarious film filled with jokes and surprisingly a few emotional/touching moments. I really really liked this film!More
I can't even begin to sit here and defend this movie. Like a lot of people, I grew up watching this movie on TV and VHS. It's definitely not a masterpiece, but yet, it is on its own terms (especially when you look at the bile-inducing sequels). Smokey and the Bandit is, to me at least, the greatest guilty pleasure of all time. Anyone that says that they hate this movie and they mean it, well I don't try to continue having a conversation with them. This is just pure fun, and that's all there really is to it. The plot is full of holes, the sound work is full of obvious overdubs and the performances aren't all that great at times. The one performance that still stands out to this day is Jackie Gleason's Buford T. Justice, which he should've been nominated for an Oscar for. I'm not quite sure why this movie's appeal has lasted over the course of the last 35 years, but one thing's for sure: this will continue to be watched on late night TV until the end of the world.More
This has proved to be one very popular film, especially where I come from. Even though I do kinda like this, I really don't think it's all that great, and I hope that people from back home don't find out, because I'd never hear the end of it.
This film, which doesn't really have a strong plot, is basically one long chase movie about a rebel who is tasked with going on an epic booklegging run from Texas to Georgia in 28 hours or less. On the way he picks up a runaway bride, and incurs the wrath of a Texas sheriff who is hell bent on stopping him. Unbeknownst to our hero is the main reason why the sheriff is after him: the runaway bride stood his son up at the altar.
Despite being a fun, funny, and entertaining chase movie, there's really no tension and suspense. Had Bandit known Sheriff Buford T. Justice's motive, then maybe there'd be a lot more to work with. Also, the audience could have used a better sense of how much time was left at various points during the movie. That also would have helped build up suspense.
Those are big flaws, but even then, there's something very likeable about this movie, even though it's pretty vacant. Burt Reynolds is charming and sly as Bandit, Jackie Gleason is an absolute riot as Justice. Sally Field may not be a supermodel or anything, but she's a good lookin' woman, and that's pretty evident her, especially since this was her in her (relatively) younger years.
I like silly, stupid, bonehead movies, but I was expecting more from this, especially since it seems to be so revered. It doesn't quite live up to its reputation, but I didn't totally hate it, and I'm glad I finally saw it. It is funny, and the cars and trucks are awesome, but this seems to take the easy way out and isn't what it could have been.
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