Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Smokey and the Bandit is a 1977 American action comedy film starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Pat McCormick, Paul Williams and Mike Henry. It inspired several other trucking films, including two sequels, Smokey and the Bandit II, and Smokey and the Bandit Part 3.
There was also a series of 1994 television films (Bandit Goes Country, Bandit Bandit, Beauty and the Bandit, and Bandit's Silver Angel) from original director/writer Hal Needham loosely based on the earlier version, with actor Brian Bloom now playing Bandit. The three original films introduced two generations of the Pontiac Trans Am. The film was the second highest-grossing film of 1977.
Smokey and the Bandit II (1980)
Smokey and the Bandit II is a 1980 comedy film released on August 15, 1980 in the United States. It is the sequel to the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit. The film stars Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, Jackie Gleason, and Dom DeLuise. Like the first film, it was directed by Hal Needham.
The film was originally released in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and several other, mainly Commonwealth countries as Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again. Early video releases and TV broadcasts also used this title, but in more recent years have reverted to the original U.S. title. It was followed by a sequel three years later, Smokey and the Bandit Part 3, in which Reynolds appeared only in a brief cameo appearance, and Sally Field was absent completely.
The plot centers on Bo "Bandit" Darville (Burt Reynolds), and Cledus "Snowman" Snow (Jerry Reed), transporting an elephant to the GOP National Convention with Sheriff Buford T. Justice, played by Jackie Gleason, in hot pursuit once again.
Smokey and the Bandit III (1983)
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 is the (1983) sequel to Smokey and the Bandit and Smokey and the Bandit II starring Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Paul Williams, Pat McCormick, Mike Henry and Colleen Camp. The film also includes a very brief cameo near the film's end by the original Bandit, Burt Reynolds.
With a budget of a television movie, many action and comedic scenes are rehashes of scenes from the previous two "Smokey and the Bandit" films.
When Smokey and the Bandit first aired on American network television in the early 1980s, censors were faced with the challenge of toning down the raw language of the original film. For this purpose, they overdubbed dialogue deemed offensive, which was (and remains, to an extent) common practice. The most noted change made for network broadcast was the replacing of Buford's often-spoken phrase "sumbitch" (a contraction of "son of a bitch"; usually in reference to the Bandit) with the nonsense phrase "scum bum". This phrase achieved a level of popularity with children, and the 2007 Hot Wheels release of the 1970s Firebird Trans Am has "scum bum" emblazoned on its tail. The TV prints of the first two Bandit films are still shown regularly on television, although a few TV stations aired the unedited version in recent years as some of the phraseology (i.e. "(son of a) bitch", "ass", etc.) became more acceptable on TV.
The theatrical release itself had a few lines deleted, including a creative edit in which Sheriff Justice tells a sheriff's deputy to "fuck off." His expletive is obscured when a passing big rig sounds its horn. At the time, using the 'F' word would immediately require an R rating which the producers were looking to avoid. This clever self-censorship allowed the film to avoid this rating and reach a much larger audience.
In 2006, a DVD re-release was issued of Smokey and the Bandit featuring a digitally-remastered audio track with 5.1 Dolby-compatible surround sound. It should be noted however that many of the film's original sounds were replaced. For instance, the diesel engine start and run up sequence in the opening sequence of the film was completely dubbed over with a totally new sound. A few other examples of "sound effect replacement" occur when Bandit takes off after managing to get a reluctant Cledus involved in the bet, and after he comes to a screeching halt on a roadway moments before picking up Carrie. Some of the original sound effects (such as Cledus' dog Fred's barking) and music (such as the final chase to the Southern Classic) were removed and not replaced. (Note: earlier DVD releases of the film have the original soundtrack intact.)
Major portions of the audio 'background' have been modified with different engine sounds or tire squeals from the original film. The updated version of the film features sounds inaccurate for what would be produced by the Trans Am or the numerous other Pontiac vehicles in the film. The original film had correct sounds that were usually recorded live as the action took place.
A television series was aired in 1994. The car featured is a Dodge Stealth.