March 10, 2021

Midweek Mention... Smokey and the Bandit

Midweek Mention... Smokey and the Bandit
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"We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run."

You must remember this one, surely? The whole movie is essentially a car chase from start to finish. It's 1977 and The Bandit (Burt Reynolds) accepts a bet from Big Enos Burdette and his son Little Enos who say he can't go to Texarkana, Texas and back to Atlanta, Georgia in a big rig with 400 smuggled cases of some of America's worst beer, Coors, in under 28 hours. Reynold's is 70's coolness personified and has great chemistry with Sally Field and Jerry Reed but it's racist Texas Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) who steals the show alongside the iconic black Pontiac Trans Am with the Firebird decal.

Big sideburns, big laughs you might think but actually it's the vehicle scenes which persist in stunt-man turned director Hal Needham's debut movie, and of course there's that unforgettable theme tune, East Bound and Down,  written and performed by 'The Snowman' Jerry Reed which handily runs down the entire plot in case you're hard of thinking.


Smokey and the Bandit

Sidey:time for a midweek mentioned, pay part of your nominations. There was a huge, and I mean, huge amount of flummoxing about getting a film chosen for this week. What did we end up going with?

Pete:it was narrowed down to like, About five films that anybody could get access to because you guys don't seem to have any kind of like resources or intelligence, but eventually we settled on what was my third choice and I'm not even sure that I chose this. I

Sidey:So pleased.

Pete:So this was actually a film that when I was growing up, I had probably about three.

Like videos, like cassettes that or like the ones that weren't under my bed anyway. And the, one of them was the burbs are, and one of them was this film,

Reegs:God, I wish we'd watched the burbs.

Pete:yeah, I, I, we can go back and watch it and not do this if you want. No, there was smokey and the bandit, which was one, as I say, I've watched it.

Probably in the region of, of like 30 times, at least in my life. Albeit not for the last, at least like 30 years, I'd say so. It was originally released in 1977, which I think was the year you were born Daniel.


Pete:It was. Yep.


a, a terrible year in many, many senses both in filmmaking in.

Dan:Elvis died

Pete:Oh, there we go.

So yeah, it was, it was a dreadful,

Reegs:Elvis died, but Dan emerged.

Dan:Yeah. Well, you know

Pete:Never been seen together. I think we,

Dan:is there a relation we don't know.


Sidey:I don't think I had seen this before. I thought I had, but watching it last night, nothing seemed familiar to me. And something this fucking catastrophic Wang you think would would stick out in your mind,

Pete:see the thing is, is like you've, you've already kind of given the game or in terms of your feelings on this.

Reegs:Why? Why does he think he enjoyed it?

Pete:No, I would be interested because obviously I can't. I can't like unsay it from my childhood. So again, this, this like this, this was a real sort of nostalgia Fest for me. And I couldn't, I don't think I could watch it,

Sidey:it's okay to admit that you're wrong as a child.

Pete:no, because you know, we, we all liked things as a child that we'd now don't like,

Sidey:Well, you

Reegs:I ain't no sex.

Pete:mine was fingering. Yeah.

Sidey:this is horse shit. This fucking film is complete and utter shit.

The plot is so fucking


Pete:where you chose it. Like actually, if you think

Sidey:needed to pick something and I hadn't seen it. So I thought I'll have back in


Sidey:but Reynolds was good in boogie nights. So

Reegs:basically about moving some of the worst beer that has ever been made from Texas to

Sidey:some guy wants him to get him a beer. That's the plot is so fucking weak. It's a beer run to get some fucking cause.


Sidey:Oh, can you get me some beer? It has to be because, and, Oh, it's so fucking dodgy. Cause you have to take it across state lines, which is technically bootlegging. It's the only reason they couldn't take it across state lines is cause it wasn't pasteurized.

What a fucking shit concept. Fucking bullshit. It just fucking some twat in a hat, in a car with Sally field. I don't fucking like her either.

Pete:Whoa. Whoa, Whoa,

Reegs:the duct


Pete:on, hang on. You, you can, you can have a go at the band-aid right? Like Bo whatever, whatever, but you're not having a puppet Burt, Reynolds, Siri,

Sidey:well, there's nothing to like about it with this film.

Pete:other than he's fucking heart.

Sidey:He's got a strong mustache. Obviously I've got a mustache. I appreciate seeing another mustache. I like to see myself represented on screen, but that's all he had. Like, this was bollix.


per each

Pete:same, hit him, him and Cletus Cletus. The snowman both have the same trousers as Dan still

Sidey:Yeah. We know where we know we're in the South because there's a guy called

Dan:vintage. They are.

Sidey:South there should be way more racism. There's none of that. There's

Pete:Th there's there's there's, there's some, there's some racism. There's, there's the bit where the there's another sheriff who crashes into a ravine or beef. It T justice, like nudges him into a ravine. And then when he says, I want to speak to the,  I want to speak to the sheriff and he says, I am the sheriff.

And he kind of turns around to his son and says, I'll what's the world coming to. So there's some, some like some fairly obvious racism. There's definitely, I mean, he references like punching his, his, like his son's mama in the mouth and stuff like this. So there's definitely like you know forgotten what the

Dan:some old fashion view.

Sidey:well, speaking of women battery, there's a celeb fan of this movie, which was quite surprising. Do you want to

Pete:Well, Sean Connery, I'm going to go right.

Reegs:staid called him more.


Pete:Oh, Jeff boycott,

Sidey:I've tarnished this guy


Pete:w hang on. I'm going

Sidey:any evidence.

Pete:pull gas going

Sidey:No Alfred cock

Reegs:Well, he did these used

Sidey:he was just mean to women on the set, I

Reegs:He was here.

Sidey:But apparently, yeah. His daughter said that he was a huge fan of smoking the bandit, which took me by surprise, took me surprise anyone to be a fan of this fucking horse shit.

Pete:Well, I'll tell you what, the nine year old me was a massive fan of, of this and the sequel.  not a fan at all of the third one, because it didn't even have Burt Reynolds in it, like just a spoiler alert. And I know that you don't like these especially done like close your ears, but the snowman becomes the bandit in the third one because they couldn't afford Burt Reynolds anymore.


Dan:yeah, cause there's, this kind of got some traction despite Sidey, really not liking it and me

not getting around to

Pete:that this is, this just goes to show how wrong side he is, because star Wars was the highest grossing film of that year inside. He doesn't like that for some reason. Because, and this whilst we're doing numbers, I know this is usually your gig side, but did you look up the numbers of this film?

Reegs:Yeah, but it's heavily disputed about the amount of money that it

Pete:Wikipedia is, is absolutely the single source of truth here. And when you say widely disputed, it's claiming that it made $300 million. Are you saying that only made like three or something?

Reegs:I'm saying that I read a few things that said that that figure was disputed.

That's all I'm saying.

Pete:could have been 299 million,

Reegs:Well, I think they've been saying it wasn't quite the success that they people make it out to

Sidey:I mean, it was successful enough to get a sequel. More's the pity.


Reegs:we really need to talk about is the fact that the bandit, who is the Moby Dick to be foods Ahab is actually a real menace. In this movie and it's threatened the lives of many people, especially the lore officers. The band is essentially a blocker for an illegal shipment of beer because of money and glory.

And it's only by sheer luck that most of the stunts that the bandit pools doesn't result in multiple fatalities.


Reegs:he's a menace. Get

Sidey:one at the football stadium. Did you read about that?


Sidey:You know, they, they crashed through the fence and they go on to the,

Reegs:did see that scene. Yeah.

Sidey:they didn't know, but the ground was all wet. And so the stunt went badly wrong and nearly wiped out the whole team. And that was completely unplanned biased.

And they would, would've made the film more interesting because there was, fuck what else going on?

Reegs:I think what does persist in this movie, but you know, what's his name was it. I need to call him Bruce Campbell was his name, Burt Reynolds. He has a kind of cool effortless job that he's got in this. And this, the stunts are really good. The movie was written and produced and directed by a stunt man called Hal Needham.

And the car chase is still hold up by and large. There's some really excellent driving in this and there's a

Dan:The camera angles

Reegs:cool Pontiac Trans-Am with the chicken on the front.

Pete:Check in. So you telling me right for park, everything else then like the, I, even after all these years, I was still, I'd say tittering probably is about as far as I go. About the, like the, the dynamic between beef, Fitzy justice and his son and his general treatment of him. Like every time he opens his mouth, it's like, shut up you shit.

Like before he's even got to the end of the sin before he got to the end of the sentence that still made me laugh. And I don't even think for like nostalgic reasons. It was, it was just amusing.

How much of an asshole he was

Dan:did it have any of the the wacky races in this? Was this kind of

Sidey:Mister said it reminded of the wacky races.


Pete:Yeah, there was a bit of that. I've really still wish we'd watched Cannonball run, which is amazing.

Sidey:I mean, much better character development in wacky races that in this.

Dan:Yeah, well, they had Penelope pitstop. You

Reegs:the comedy enacting in this is, is universally pretty bloody awful. Yeah, even Buford T justice is, is basically just a stupid Southern stereotype or you're not supposed to take very seriously.

Pete:Thing. That's the whole point. Isn't it.

Reegs:I don't know. I mean, basically I sort of think that anybody who isn't put off by the idiotic titles should listen to their instincts and avoid this because it's really just for children or infant.

All adults.


Pete:I F I feel like, I dunno, talk talking of infants are adults. I felt like, how are we going to like this?

Sidey: He can chime in on Twitter and

Reegs:On Twitter.

Pete:yeah, sure. But who did watch this as a, as a kid? You, so you didn't side, did you watch this as a


Reegs:Yeah, I did. Yeah.


Pete:And did you like it as a kid rigs?

Reegs:I did remember liking beef at T justice and his son. Yeah, I did enjoy that.

Pete:Right, but you didn't, you didn't, you didn't see like much of yourself in the bandit. Okay. Yes.


Sidey:guy not strong enough.

Reegs:How about that song? Eastbound and down.

Pete:Well, it started off. Hang on, hang on. It started off with westbound and done. Cause obviously they, they were heading in. A westerly direction initially. And then they cleverly flip that for the return journey and th they got there very quickly. I guess there weren't as many japes and scrapes on the way there, I'm assuming this was like an actual documentary of the, of their journey.

But yeah, East

Sidey:is if you'd like that song.

Reegs:I did.

Sidey:Quit saying because they played at 7,000 times. If you're not such a huge fan, like me you were just fucking clawing your eyes out. It's just

Pete:I would say there was one song that there's the bit where they

Dan:You want to close?

Pete:I mean, country and Western music is, is fucking ghastly the best of times. Right. But when they slow it down, It's it's even worse. And there's the, the S the whole, I remember as a kid, fast-forwarding like the shit sceneries, like driving through a meadow and a forest, and it's got like, like a slower kind of more romantic song.

And then they like kiss on the bridge. And even as a kid, I knew Sally field was, was, was an attractive, like now retrospectively gray Asper. Other than that, she's not she's not a siren or a. You know, and then again, Cannonball run like the jumpsuits, the birds in the Lamborghinis with the jumpsuits and shit.

Like, please, I wish we'd watch that. And it's all your fault that we didn't. So think

Sidey:nominations. Sandy failed was in this because, but Reynolds girlfriend,

Pete:No, she, they, they started seeing each other as a result of this film. Not, not

Sidey:there was two other films where they were. In together and an item in presumably he didn't want anyone else coughing off with his Mrs.

Pete:was one of them smoke in the band at two.


when was that? These.


Sidey:No, there was hope it was 1978 smokey and the bandit ride again, 1980 and the end.

Pete:Yeah. So these were all after this. Now she wasn't in the film because she was already Burt. Reynolds got a shit. They, they, because I've read about it on Wikipedia again, like it made 300 million

Sidey:focus with the bogus box office


Dan:Pete's come here with his facts. All wrong. He's coming with some weeks. Suggestion. See is, is, is literally out of his depth here. I hope for the future, he, he can see what he's done here and come, come back stronger.

Pete:think, I think you'll find, I've never learned from any of my mistakes. So there'll be, there'll be certainly none of that. No, they, they, they became an item during the filming of this film. That's a fact ask Bert. Oh, you can't ask Sally.

Sidey:Okay. Even bigger idiot than you though is Jackie Gleason, because he was offered a choice of a percentage of the gross box office or a straight salary.

Pete:Well, he, he knew that Wikipedia was going to be lying all those years

Sidey:he took, he took the celery and

now he's got egg on his

Dan:Jay's Elisha. Elisha had some Lacy had some nice

Pete:some strong cheese that he needed. He needed to cleanse his palette afterwards.

Sidey:I would sooner eat a fucking whole bunch of salary. Then watch his film again. You'd know how I feel about

Pete:Yeah, I do. I'd like to see that actually.

Sidey:I was just talking about big. I would, I would watch this before I ate celery. I, sorry. I was being a really big politics there. No, this is shit fucking horse shit. I think I'm going to say it's the worst film I've ever seen.

Certainly the

worst one I saw this week.


Dan:is a good start, but it's a good start where some boy in rock is this the

Sidey:Oh, that's good. That's a good point.

Pete:Right. Okay. Can I, can I

Sidey:worst film since Brian rock.


Pete:can I just remind,

Dan:a lot of movies

Pete:I'm going to remind everyone, like, listen, I protected your identity for, for, for the, for the main feature of the last episodes. What happened in this as a, can I remind you side that you recommended?

Sidey:I didn't recommend

Pete:Yes, you did. I said, I gave you, I gave everyone a first choice and none of your brother tried to find that I then said Cannonball run and you

Sidey:Which I looked up and wasn't available.

Pete:right. This as an alternative. So I went, yeah, let's go for that.

Sidey:well, we had 24 hours left. And so because of your daily dallying, I had to enjoy this fucking nonsense.

Pete:I'm not, I'm not carrying the cans for this one.

Sidey:You're wearing the cab. You are a can

Pete:The thing is, it was like, again, I, it was one of like the burbs is, is like, will stand up forever in, in my mind whether right. I should have recommended that. But again, you, you probably can.


probably couldn't find that either.

Dan:I suggest Pete for the next time? I think you'll probably be in about three to four weeks time. You'll get another stab at this. And I think you should get your house in order.

Sidey:Right. I'm going to end it there. Right. That was the most. Hated film that I've seen while it's certainly the most hated film since Brighton rock, but you know, brighter things are awaiting us. I'm sure don't forget to tune in on Friday because Pete nominated a horror film and that's always fun to talk about.

All that remains for tonight is to say Saturday is signing out.

Dan:That's gone.