Smokey and the Bandit

Movie of the Year Runner-up 1977

The first, and by far, the best of the Smokey and the Bandit movies, and the only of them that deserves a place in this Movie of the Year website. I kind of wish that this movie had been made in a year without an epic movie like Star Wars, so that Smokey and the Bandit could have gotten the title Best Movie of the Year.

For their amusement, Big and Little Enos offers the Bandit (Burt Reynolds) a huge amount of money to go to Texas and pick up a truckload of bootleg beer and be back in 28 hours. To do this, the Bandit needs a speedy car – a black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – to drive ahead of the truck and watch for Smokey (police).

The Bandit persuades his friend Cledus (Jerry Reed) to help him. Cledus, who has the handle Snowman, will drive an 18-wheeler trailer, with the company of his dog Fred, while the Bandit drives the Trans Am.

On the way, the Bandit picks up a beautiful hitchhiker, Carrie (Sally Field), who is a bride escaping from her own wedding. Carrie is also called Frog, for her legs. The groom, Junior (Mike Henry), is the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), who will not give up chasing the Bandit, even if it means leaving his jurisdiction.

Music in Smokey and the Bandit

The movie has some great country music written by Dick Feller and Jerry Reed, and sung by the country singer Jerry Reed, who also plays Snowman in Smokey and the Bandit. The songs are East Bound and Down, Bandit and The Legend.

Jerry Reed – The Legend
Jerry Reed – East Bound and Down

Smokey and the Bandit was Oscar nominated for Best Film Editing. The movie deserved to be nominated for the music as well. Not to actually win the Oscar, but a nomination would have been nice, and well deserved.

Sit back, enjoy and put the pedal to the metal, because we’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

Smokey and the Bandit trailer