I was scanning through Netflix on the iPad...

A couple of months ago I was scanning through Netflix on the iPad, as you do, when I came across an old movie called Smokey and the Bandit. This movie immediately resonated with me and reminded me of an old friend who sadly passed away in the past year. We went to primary a school together and we we're practically next door neighbours for the duration of our childhood. His name was Sen and he was a gas man. I remember him calling into the house one day saying "Mike I got this video in town. It's called Smokey and the Bandit. Come up to the house and we'll watch it." Sure enough, off I went. We didn't have a video player in our house yet so this was a real buzz for me.

We laughed at that film more times than I could count. It was the funniest thing ever. At least that's what I thought at the time. We managed to get our hands on the sequels too and games like Cops and Robbers became Smokey and the Bandit for quite some time.

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So I looked at the icon on Netflix wondering should I watch it. I thought it better not to. I felt it might be a bit too nostalgic to watch. However, the other day I spotted it again and I pressed play. I was immediately engaged in the movie. It has been many years since I watched it as a kid so characters and plot lines weren't fresh in my memory but I was intrigued by simple things such as my recollection of the actors. Burt Reynold's plays the bandit. He is very good. Perfect for the part as the cocksure Bandit. It's interesting that Burt Reynold's got offered the part of James Bond once. He turned it down saying that no American could ever play James Bond. Perhaps he isn't wrong but an Australian, George Lazenby, ended up with the part of Bond after that. Enough said.

Sally field plays the female lead and love interest Carrie. Sally is fantastic in the movie and gorgeous. Herself and Reynolds have excellent chemistry and it is no wonder that they two of them ended up in a relationship after.

The movie's plot is very basic. A car/truck chase across America. The bandit and his buddy Snowman are hired to go across America to bootleg Coors beer back to Georgia. Coors beer was prohibited in some parts of America at the time. Hence, a police chase occurs. One of the highlights of this movie is the sheriff in pursuit, Buford T. Justice, or "Smokey" as the Bandit calls him. Jackie Gleason plays the Sheriff and is perfect in the role. I doubt anyone else could have mastered the quips and mannerisms of Smokey better than Gleason and if you have seen the movie you will know what I mean by this.

Smokey and the Bandit is an innocent, feel good summer movie. They simply don't make them like this anymore. If you watched it as a kid, i recommend you return to it someday and enjoy bringing back those fond childhood memories of yours just like it does for me. Even watching it now in 2013, 36 years since it's first release, it doesn't feel dated. Some of the action set pieces are a little tongue in cheek alright but this only adds to the tone of the movie . A tone that encourages us to sit back, switch off and enjoy the ride.

Posted in Photograph Post Date 07/15/2017


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