How “The Bandit” Cruised Straight right into Our Hearts

Filled through intense automobile chases and plenty the action, Smokey and the Bandit captivated millions when it was released on may 27, 1977.

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that maintains its iconic standing today, and also is still a beloved movie by many.

Country fans have always felt a strong attachment come the film, i m sorry stars country music legend Jerry Reed in one of the key roles. The film additionally came equipped v a detailed soundtrack, which functions a couple of contributions from Reed, including the track “East Bound and Down.” The song reached the second spot top top the country chart, and is considered to be Reed’s signature piece.


The film’s all-star cast also includes Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and Jackie Gleason. Together, the cast, plot, and soundtrack created a standard film that has actually kept world entertained for decades.

Since it’s so popular, we’re sure you’ve checked out Smokey and also the Bandit a couple of times. Yet there’s a couple of facts around the film and its actors that you may not have known before. We have some that them to share through you right here! simply head down below to discover all about them!

1. Producer Weren’t Interested In The Film

Previously well-known as a stunt man, Smokey and also the Bandit director Hal Needham made his directorial debut with the film. He likewise came up with the story behind it, which he had a lot of faith in.

However, no one else seemed to feel the same. as Needham confessed in a contributing write-up for Fortune, no one seemed keen top top the idea of that directing a film. Yet everyone adjusted their tune once Reynolds was carried into the picture.

As the greatest movie star at the time, everyone want to produce a film of Reynolds’. Needham chose to sector the film as a Reynolds project, and it worked. Global Studios available to ago the project for $5.3 million.

We’d say that decision paid turn off for everyone involved!

2. Jerry Reed to be Originally actors As Bandit

Long before Needham obtained the backing indigenous Universal, he had actually someone various other than Reynolds in mind for the certification role. That who else to be Reed, who was walking to take it on the lead function when the film’s spending plan was just $1 million.

But once Reynolds agreed come take part in the film, Needham elevated him to the certification role. Reed was re-cast in the role as Bandit’s friend Snowman, and also excelled in ~ it.

Imagine how various the film would have been v Reed as Bandit…and no Reynolds at all!

3. Burt Reynolds Helped actors A Dog

Everyone who watched Smokey and the Bandit instantly fell in love through Snowman’s pet Basset Hound called Fred. Although the dog was playing the component of Reed’s pet, Reynolds was in reality the one responsible for spreading the canine.

Apparently, the dog in the film was personally picked by Reynolds. The factor why he worked out on that specific dog? because it refuse to follow any commands!

Interesting means to go around casting, yet it appears to have worked. Don’t know if the exact same would be the situation for human being actors though!

4. Jackie Gleason Improvised many Lines

Cast as Sheriff righteousness in the film, Gleason proved why that was among the best actors that his era. Believe the or not, most of the currently Gleason recites in the movie were completely improvised!

It take away a an excellent deal of talent to have the ability to make material up top top the spot favor that. Yet Gleason to be a pro at it, and also his performance benefited together a result.

5. The Cars might Hardly operation By The End

Smokey and the Bandit was responsible for presenting two new generations that the Pontiac Trans am to the public. Surprisingly, the cast and also crew only had actually to use three Trans to be cars transparent the entire film.

However, the cars weren’t in the finest of shape by the moment they were wrapping up. As Needham admitted in a DVD documentary about the movie, the cars might hardly run by the finish of the whole thing.

You would never ever guess that watching the finished product though, would you?

6. Burt Reynolds to be Promised A auto If The Movie Hit that Big

On the very same DVD documentary, Reynolds revealed the a senior executive at Pontiac had promised him a free car if the movie was a success. Specifically, the executive readily available to provide him a infectious diseases world fashion Am like the ones provided in the film.

As we now know, Smokey and the Bandit to be a huge box office success. After the film’s release, the 1977 T-Top trans Am began selling choose wildfire.

However, part time passed and Reynolds never got a call from the Pontiac executive about the vehicle he promised him. Reynolds didn’t want to seem prefer someone begging for free stuff, but he eventually determined to call Pontiac after a few months had actually passed.

Luck wasn’t on Reynolds’ side. Together he learned, the executive, management he talked to previously had retired. The new executive refuse to honor his predecessor’s promise, and Reynolds to be left without a car. Ouch!

7. Jerry Reed composed “Eastbound and Down” In only Hours

When it come time to put the soundtrack together, Needham knew the it needed a layout song. Wanting to utilize Reed’s talent together a nation music singer and songwriter, Needham asked him if he could write the movie’s theme.

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Reed was happy come oblige, and also came earlier to Needham in a matter of hrs with the song that came to be “East Bound and also Down.”

Acoustic guitar in tow, Reed began playing “East Bound and also Down” for Needham, that was blown far by what that heard. He quit Reed in the middle of his performance, do Reed think that Needham hated the song. That even available to re-write the totality thing!

Needham’s an answer was priceless. “If you adjust one note, I’ll kill you!” that said. Reed didn’t readjust a thing, and “East Bound and also Down” ended up being his signature song.

Which of these 7 facts surprised you the most around Smokey and the Bandit? let us know why you love the film down in the comments!