Smokey and the Bandit is a 1977 movie starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, and country singer Jerry Reed, who also sang the film's theme song "East Bound and Down". It is the Trope Codifier of the "Moonshiner on the run from Corrupt Hick cops" movie. The plot revolves around truck driver Bo "Bandit" Darville (Reynolds), who is offered $80,000 to bootleg four hundred cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas to the Southern Classic truck rodeo in Georgia within 28 hours. The Bandit recruits fellow trucker Cledus "Snowman" Snow (Reed) to make the journey with him, with the Bandit's Pontiac Firebird Trans Am acting as a spotter for Snowman's rig. On the journey back, the Bandit picks up a Runaway Bride named Carrie (Field), making him the target of the jilted groom's father, Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Gleason). Hilarity and a chase across the South ensue.Smokey was the second highest-grossing movie of 1977, beaten to the #1 spot by Star Wars: A New Hope, and established Burt Reynolds as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the late '70s and early '80s. Two sequels were made, Smokey and the Bandit II in 1980 and Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (sans Reynolds and Field) in 1983. They did not end up doing as well in competition with the respective Star Wars films at the box office.
Breaker, breaker, Bandit Lister, this is Trope Reader, what kinda tropes ya haulin'?
Smokey and the Bandit
Actor Allusion: "Soon as I get home, first thing I'm gonna do is punch yo mamma in the mouth". Is your wife's name by any chance Alice, Sheriff?
The Alleged Car: Buford's police cruiser becomes this as it gets smashed to hell.
Aluminum Christmas Trees: In 1977, it was indeed illegal to ship large amounts of Coors beer east of Texas due to state alcohol laws at the time. Since at the time the company still produced all of its beer in Colorado, it didn't bother to seek state licenses for parts of the country outside of a comfortable shipping range.
Artistic License - Geography: Supposedly Texarkana Texas is 900 miles from Atlanta, whereas in the real world it's only 650 even avoiding interstates. Turning the "impossible" 28 hour round trip into something that is completely doable even obeying the speed limit. The Sequel hook of going from Atlanta to Boston and back in 18 hours though is completely impossible save by plane.
Aside Glance: The Bandit gives one after hiding behind a building from the cops.
Bowdlerise: The TV edit replaced "sum'bitch," Buford's Catch Phrase, with "scum bum". This phrase wound up becoming quite popular with children at the time. Years later, when Hot Wheels released a '70s Firebird Trans Am toy car, it had the word "scum bum" on the back as a reference to the TV edit.
Bizarrely, much of Buford's dialogue in the TV Edit was redubbed by Henry Corden, whose most famous character Fred Flintstone was inspired by Gleason's most famous character Ralph Kramden.
More likely an intentional Shout-Out than something bizarre.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Bandit does this when he smiles at the audience after eluding a cop on the way to Texarkana.
California Doubling: The movie was mostly filmed in Georgia, which not only appears as itself, but is also used to represent four other Southern states. The scene where they drive through the Shell gas station was also filmed in Ojai, California.
Well, Sheriff Buford T. Justice is treated as one of these, even though the titular Bandit is breaking the law left and right.
Buford has no idea that The Bandit is hauling illegal beer, which would have justified the pursuit at least within his jurisdiction—if not for the fact that he leaves said jurisdiction almost immediately. His pursuit is entirely for personal reasons and thus qualifies as being corrupt. Neither party comes to the plot with clean hands.
Cyclic National Fascination: This film, along with the CW McCall song "Convoy", helped to kick off the CB radio and trucker fads in the late '70s.
Actually, both Smokey and The Dukes can be seen as ripoffs of a 1975 film called Moonrunners...which even has some of the same characters as the latter show!
Dukes was less a rip off and more of an adaptation of Moonrunners, as several of the creators and actors were directly involved in both... even the first five episodes of Dukes, filmed on location, were tonally similar, making them Early-Installment Weirdness compared to the series as a whole.
This is actually an aversion, as the entire point of The Bandit's car is to draw Smokey's attention away from the tractor-trailer he is escorting.
Snowman's rig, in one film, is pulling a trailer with a large custom-painted mural on the side, which is very out of place for someone ostensibly trying to blend in with the hundreds of other 18 wheelers on the highway hauling plain white trailers or ones with less-conspicuous industrial graphics.
An early scene has Bo and Cledus heading back and are in Arkansas. A shot framing the back window of Bo's car clearly shows a Georgia state highway sign.
Motorcycle Dominoes: After Snowman gets beat up by bikers because his dog supposedly bit one of them, he stumbles outside and sees their bikes lined up. So he gets in his semi and runs over the entire line of them on his way out of the parking lot.
Informed Flaw: Bandit, with regards to alcoholism, or at least being out of shape for drinking too many beers. Somewhat averted when he has to go through the Hard Work Montage to work it off, but even beforehand he still looks in pretty good shape.
Absentee Actor: Both Burt Reynolds and Sally Field opted out of this one, although Reynolds does appear in a brief cameo toward the end when Buford confronts Cledus, who's taken on the Bandit role, and hallucinates that he's the "real" Bandit.
Driving Into A Truck: A speeder calls for help to a trucker hauling a empty car carrier when being pursued by a state cop. The trucker agrees. With some fancy driving the speeder loses the cop by driving aboard the car carrier... or so he thinks. The speeder unexpectedly gets a tap on his window, and the cop is there asking him for his license and registration. (Its implied that the cop has driven aboard the car carrier also.) The speeder gets out of the ticket because the truck hasn't stopped, and they all cross a state line, so the cop is now out of his jurisdiction.
For the Evulz: Big Enos and Little Enos. While the other two bets (well, three) actually had reasons behind them, the one they foist onto Buford in the third film is purely to alleviate boredom.
And possibly to get Buford to turn in his badge (which was Buford's end of the wager, should he not complete the run successfully) to remove his interference with future deals.
Panty Shot: Colleen Camp (the film's Sally Field expy).
What Could Have Been: The infamous "Smokey IS the Bandit" story. Supposedly, Jackie Gleason was going to play a dual role. The most readily available proof that the film was originally shot this way is a trailer in which Gleason as Justice addresses the audience directly and declares that he has literally stepped into the Bandit's shoes in the new film.