That’s right friends. This past weekend was the 40th Anniversary of the Smokey and the Bandit movie that came out in 1977. Do you remember the basis of the movie? This is what it says on the IMDB webpage:
Big Enos (Pat McCormick) wants to drink Coors at a truck show, but in 1977 it was illegal to sell Coors east of the Mississippi River without a permit. Truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) agrees to pick up the beer in Texas and drive it to Georgia within 28 hours. Cledus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed) drives the rig while the Bandit helps make his path. When Bo picks up hitchhiker Carrie (Sally Field), he attracts the attention of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). Angry that Carrie will not marry his son, Justice embarks on a high-speed chase after Bandit.
Knowing the story line, you now know that some of the movie is based in Georgia, home sweet home to this oinker. And downtown Jonesboro (less than five minutes away from the Hotel Thompson) held its 40th Anniversary over the weekend. The big rig came rolling in on Main Street followed by the famous Pontiac Trans-Am. And not only was the rig and Trans-Am present, so was the sheriff’s car that was driven by Sheriff Buford T. Justice (played by Jackie Gleason).
And of course they had a re-enactor that was playing Burt Reynolds character… who just happened to get arrested by our finest here in Clayton County, Georgia.
Nah, not really. It was all for show but doesn’t that guy look just like Burt Reynolds years ago in the movie?
He was a great guy for getting arrested and hanging out with everyone… and mom said not bad on the eyes whatever that means.
Burt Reynolds did show up to the festivities. This is him in the picture next to the Trans-Am. What an awesome time it was for everyone in attendance.
Did you know some of this trivia that we read on IMBD?
• A senior executive at Pontiac promised Burt Reynolds a free Trans-Am if the movie became a hit. It did and the 1977 T-Top Trans-Am became one of the hottest selling cars of the year. When the movie became a hit, Reynolds expected the executive to come through with his promise. But the Trans-Am never came. After a few months, Reynolds, (who was afraid of looking like one of those pretentious stars looking for freebies), finally called Pontiac. As it turned out, the executive that made the promise had retired and the new executive refused to keep the promise that was made, by the previous Pontiac Trans Am executive.
• Jackie Gleason would often ask his assistant Mal for a “hamburger,” which was code for a glass of bourbon.
• In Jonesboro, GA (YAY close to us here at the Hotel Thompson) where a lot of the film was shot, Snowman’s house and the warehouse where the Coors beer is picked up (in Texarkana, TX) are actually only about a half a mile away from each other.
• The line of Jackie Gleason’s dialogue printed on the movie’s poster is incorrect. The quote on the poster reads “What we have here is a total lack of respect for the law.” In the movie Gleason actually says “What we’re dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law.”
Credit to IMBD web page for information on movie. Credit to Scott Stubbs for pictures.