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Smokey and the Bandit

Where to Watch Smokey and the Bandit


Smokey and the Bandit is a 1977 action-comedy film directed by Hal Needham and produced by Mort Engleberg and Robert L. Levy. The movie boasts a charismatic ensemble cast featuring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, and Jackie Gleason.

The film takes viewers on a high-speed adventure through the American South, as mesmerizing as the '70s spirit itself. It revels in the fun, freedom, and thrill of endless highways, fast cars, and a never-ending supply of Coors beer.

Burt Reynolds plays the Bandit, a fearless, daring, and charming goods smuggler revered in the Southern United States. Known for his iconic Pontiac Trans Am Firebird, the Bandit is no simple courier, but a legend of the highway. His risky and thrill-loaded business is not simply a means of livelihood but a way to feel truly alive, a lifestyle of speed, excitement, and inevitable danger.

Accompanying Reynolds as Bandit's sidekick is Jerry Reed, fondly known within the fast-paced world of illegal goods delivery as Snowman. The on-screen chemistry between the pair breathes life into the film, making their antics and dialogues more believable and fun.

Edward ‘Smokey’ Justice, charmingly portrayed by Jackie Gleason, is a troublesome Texas sheriff hell-bent on catching the Bandit. He also provides an array of comic relief throughout the movie with his bumbling yet steadfast attempts to apprehend the Bandit.

Sally Field introduces romance to this speedy world as Frog, a dancer running away from her stifling life and the shackles of an unwanted marriage. Her character lightens up the film and adds a refreshing spin to an otherwise pure adrenalin-filled, macho movie. That's where the chemistry between Reynolds and Field takes center stage, giving the audience timeless romantic moments amid all the chaos and amusement.

The premise of the film is set around a seemingly impossible errand: smuggling 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana to Atlanta in 28 hours. This serves as the background for the grand chase between Smokey, the relentless lawman, and the Bandit, the rebellious antihero. It's a challenge that weaves together hilarious hijinks, tense standoffs, spectacular car chases, and dramatic close calls.

The film brilliantly showcases the '70s Southern car culture and CB (citizen's band) radio use, which become central elements to the film's plot and charm. The film blurs the lines between 'the law' and 'the outlaw' entertainingly, focusing more on freedom of spirit and daring adventure than moralizing law enforcement.

Smokey and the Bandit is a good-humored, high-speed journey that redefined car-chase movies for the coming generation. The fantastic performance of Reynolds and the rest of the cast, combined with the thrilling plot, made it an epitome of road films and shaped a whole genre in the following years.

Director Hal Needham's background as a stuntman manifests itself in his thoughtful choreography of car stunts and quick-paced action sequences. Coupled with Bill Butler's splendid cinematography, the resulting spectacle leaves the audience at the edge of their seats, itching to experience the racy thrills and irrepressible charm for themselves.

Music plays an integral and irresistible part in the film. It not only creates nostalgia for the time period but also often serves as a narration of the onscreen events. Jerry Reed, apart from putting on a memorable performance as the Snowman, also contributes to the film's unforgettable soundtrack, featuring songs like "East Bound and Down".

In the end, Smokey and the Bandit is a lively rollercoaster ride of action and humor set against a backdrop of 1970s American car culture and CB radio atmosphere. Its rich blend of comedy, action, romance, and music makes it not only an enjoyable film from start to finish but also a timeless classic that still holds up more than four decades later.

While it's fundamentally a movie about illegal Coors beer transportation, fast cars, wild stunts, and witty one-liners, it's also about camaraderie, romance, adventure, and the individual freedom that shapes America's spirit.

Smokey and the Bandit is a Action, Adventure, Comedy movie released in 1977. It has a runtime of 96 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.0. It also holds a MetaScore of 50.

How to Watch Smokey and the Bandit

Where can I stream Smokey and the Bandit movie online? Smokey and the Bandit is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Netflix, Peacock Premium, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Smokey and the Bandit for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Hal Needham
Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Mike Henry (football)
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