First, it’s a funny movie. You’ve got Burt Reynolds (the #1 box office star of the time), Jackie “the Great One” Gleason and Sally (ain’t she just too cute) Field in a silly car chase movie that works every time if you’re looking for a good time.
Second, it brings back tons of great memories. Here’s one – my now deceased brother-in-law, loved Smokey and the Bandit. Randy could do a hilarious impersonation of Jackie Gleason as Bufford T. Justice. If you could have been there the night he ordered a Diablo Sandwich and a Dr. Pepper and “make it fast cuz I’m in a gol-darn hurry” — we, along with the waitress couldn’t stop laughing… which of course just encouraged him to continue.
And here are my three favorite Smokey and the Bandit facts with my thoughts…
It was Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite movie. I find this hard to believe, but if true, I’d loved to have had the chance to watch and then discuss Smokey and the Bandit with him!
It was based on real life. I’d read before that Sherriff Buford T. Justice’s name was based on a real police officer’s name. Can you imagine?
It beat Star Wars at the box office. The caveat is that this was just for one week and Smokey and the Bandit was in over ten times as many theaters. But, still it did win for the week. (And I actually prefer Smokey and the Bandit to Star Wars!)