Burt Reynolds was at the height of superstardom when he took on the now-iconic role of Bandit, a free-wheeling, fast-driving charmer, in this raucous hit, the directorial debut of stunt expert Hal Needham. The great Jackie Gleason co-stars as Sheriff Buford T. Justice, a letter-of-the-law good old boy who chases Bandit and his buddy Cledus (Jerry Reed) as they attempt to haul beer across state lines illegally.
Co-starring Sally Field, Smokey and the Bandit solidified Reynolds’s box office power (grossing nearly $60 million in 1977) and led to two 1980s sequels and almost certainly inspired TV series The Dukes of Hazzard.
The enormous box office success of the movie was surpassed that year by only three movies–and all three have become huge classics: Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Saturday Night Fever.
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, Mike Henry, Pat McCormick, Paul Williams,
Director: Hal Needham
Producer: Mort Engelberg
Original Story: Robert L. Levy, Hal Needham
Director of Photography: Bobby Byrne
Editors: Walter Hannemann, Angelo Ross
Composers: Bill Justis, Jerry Reed
Screenwriters: James Lee Barrett, Alan Mandel, Charles Shyer
Art Director: Mark Mansbridge
USA / MCA – Universal Pictures / 96 minutes / 1977