We’re fairly certain that Smokey & the Bandit was the film that began the romance between trucking and Hollywood. It had some real talent on the marquee, some amazing stunt work, a breezy attitude and, of course, memorable music. The film’s theme song, East Bound & Down was sung by Burt Reynolds and Sally Fields’ co-star Jerry Reid and remained a popular country hit well into the 80s.
The story surrounds a simple premise – two rich guys want beer that isn’t sold in Georgia yet (Coors, to be exact WTF?) so they propose to pay legendary law dodger and smuggler Bo “Bandit” Darville to bring a whole payload of it to them for $80,000 (about the price of a new Class 8 tractor back in 1977).
Along the way, Bandit accidentally picks up a runaway bride who was to marry the local sheriff’s son, which puts more heat on the operation than they planned for. After that, the entire movie is basically a 55 minute chase scene. 1970s America didn’t mind, however. Bandit was the second-highest grossing film of the year, behind Star Wars. It was all spectacle and slapstick in 77.
Have a look at one of the big car chases between Bandit’s 77 Pontiac Firebird and the sheriff’s scooped Dodge Fury.