A movie for the people, “Smokey and the Bandit” is more than a Trans Am


In the 1970s, car movies became the new westerns, and drivers and truckers were modern-day cowboys. Horses, gunfights, and wilderness gave way to cars, chases, and the open road. It was a shift evidenced by Smokey and the Bandit, a film about fast cars (and Coors beer).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/11/23/smokey-and-the-bandit-movie-review


One correction; the cop cars were not Bonnevilles, but were LeMans’s, which were fairly popular as real life police cars. We had three of them here in my own hometown.


When I worked for Pan Am back in the day, you couldn’t buy Coors because it had to be refrigerated. I visited a high school buddy out there and bought 4 cases back to JFK on United. On the way home the throttle cable on my 63 Volkswagen broke on Southern State Parkway. I pulled off, walked to a house and asked an older lady to borrow 15 feet of twine. I was dressed in a suit and tie, so I guess she thought I wasn’t a creep. Tied the twine to the throttle, passed it through the air slits on the engine cover, closed the cover, ran the twine under and over the tubular bumper. Got in the car with twine in hand outside the drivers side window and I was in business. Pull the twine for throttle, release to slow down. Interesting since I was already doing clutch, brake, steering etc. But I got the beer home.


Absolutely one of my favorite “car guy” movies of all time! We even paid full ticket price to go to the theater recently to see it on the big screen for one of the anniversary showings. Admittedly never a huge Burt Reynolds fan, he was the PERFECT actor for the film, or is it the other way around and it is the perfect role for Burt Reynolds?
Quite honestly, I also never go to see a movie based on the recommendations of “the critics”. 99.999% of the time the movies that they give “four thumbs up” to are the ones where I want those two or three hours of my life back AND the money that I spent for popcorn! (They also panned “The Blues Brothers”, “Airplane”, “Caddyshack”…)


Enough with the “Screaming Chicken” references, it’s insulting. It’s a Phoenix, not a chicken. I don’t care if your intention is not negative, for many people, when they use that term, they do mean it in a negative way and have for a long time.


Four+ of the best scenes from this movie: the part where Bandit tells Frog he shows off for a living, Snowman tells Bandit after the beer/BBQ joint/gas station altercation that as usual he lost the fight in there after running over the motorcycles, camel toe blue jeans, and any scene where the T/A is hauling tail.