Thursday To-Do: Argenta Film Series: 'Smokey and the Bandit' | Rock Candy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thursday To-Do: Argenta Film Series: 'Smokey and the Bandit'

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 9:35 PM

"Smokey and the Bandit" screens at Argenta Community Theater Thursday night.
  • "Smokey and the Bandit" screens at Argenta Community Theater Thursday night.

7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. Free.

This month, the Argenta Film Series pays tribute to Arkansas native and film legend Hal Needham. The stuntman auteur passed away last month, so AFS will screen one of his greatest gifts to the world: "Smokey and the Bandit."

The fourth-highest grossing film of 1977 (behind only "Star Wars," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Saturday Night Fever"), "Smokey" was basically a 90-minute car chase with the ever-charming Burt Reynolds smirking his way across the South in a Trans Am on a mad-dash round-trip bootlegging jaunt to smuggle 400 cases of Coors from Texarkana to Georgia in only 28 hours. (Apparently it was illegal to sell Coors east of Texas back in the day; its regional scarcity must've had some sort of inverse effect on the actual taste of the stuff. Nowadays people smuggle much better stuff out of Colorado).

Along the way, Reynolds picks up a bride-to-be (Sally Field) who doesn't want to marry the son of Buford T. Justice, a pugnacious Texas sheriff played by Jackie Gleason. They high tail it across several states to get the beer back to Georgia in time for a big party. That's about it for the plot, and really, it's all you need. So just take off your thinking cap, put on your killer-car-chase-appreciating cap, crack open a cold smuggled-in Coors and enjoy!

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