From the opening frames of the film showing the stark twin silhouettes of Bandit’s smokestacks to the freeze frame at the end of the film and we hear Jerry Reed singing about going East Bound and Down, Hal Needham’s story of outlaw trucking is one of the most enjoyable stories of trucking ever put to celluloid.
The film centers on Bandit, played by the dearly departed Burt Reynolds, being contracted to bootleg 40 cases of beer across state lines for Big Enos “Because he’s thirsty, dummy!”
But Bandit cannot drive the nearly 2000-mile round trip by himself in 28 hours. So Bandit convinces his friend Cledus “Snowman” into assisting (so long as Snowman can bring his dog along). Snowman is tasked with driving the truck while Bandit runs the scout car to take the heat off Snowman.
Were you inspired to become a Professional Truck Driver after watching this film? If so, you are not alone. It is not hard to figure out why this film inspired so many to become road warriors. Not only is the movie hysterical and is full to the brim with excellent stunts, but it genuinely making being a Truck Driver look like the most fun job imaginable.
Every frame of this film is dedicated to Truck Drivers and the world they live in. With phrases like Choke and Puke, Smokies, Gumball Machines, Mobile Gas Station, and Ears this film adores everything about being a Professional Truck Driver. Share some of your favorite phrases and quotes from this movie with us on our Facebook page!
Whereas Convoy was focused on the fight against renegade police officers and government overreach at large, Smokey and the Bandit is focused on how fun and outrageous being a Truck Driver can be. Essentially, Convoy wants to discuss politics and the cultural climate around the era and Smokey and the Bandit just wants to have fun.
Granted, much of that fun is not DOT approved and would certainly ruin your CSA score. We do not encourage or endorse any of the stunts or driving habits in this film. As the tagline of the film states, “What we have here is a total lake of respect for the law!”
We also do not suggest that you live load anything the way Bandit and Snowman load the beer they are tasked with hauling.