‘Smokey And The Bandit’ Is Speeding Back Into Theaters To Honor Burt Reynolds

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There’s no better way to honor the late Burt Reynolds than to watch a Burt Reynolds movie. And while it’s lovely that Smokey and the Bandit — his biggest-ever hit, which made near-Star Wars money back in 1977 — streams on Amazon Prime, watching it alone on a computer is nothing like seeing it with an amped-up crowd cackling as Jackie Gleason, as Sheriff Buford T. Justice, repeatedly screams out the word “sumb*tch.”

So huzzah to AMC who, as per Variety, are bringing the rip-roarin’ trucker classic back into theaters for a nine-day run. From September 12 through September 20, you can take in one of the 1970s mightiest money-gobblers, and all for an extra-low $5.

For inflation nerds, though, that’s still more than one would have paid 41 years ago. Even if you use the average city movie ticket price of $15, that would have been a mere $3.63 then. What a rip.

Reynolds passed away on September 6 at the age of 82. He had not filmed scenes for what would have been his latest comeback role, in Quentin Tarantino’s next film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In the 1970s, he was arguably the biggest movie star Hollywood could offer — a mostly reliable box office magnet who wasn’t above posing in the buff, blasting a big Cheshire grin, for Cosmo.

Smokey and the Bandit cruised into theaters at the height of his powers. In the first of a trilogy, Reynolds played a trucker and speed freak hired to smuggle Coors across state lines, back when transporting the beer east of the Mississippi was actually a crime.

That’s no longer true, but the movie still plays, with its combination of daredevil stunts and good ol’ boy yuks, plus a very game Sally Field as the woman who falls for Burt, on-screen and off-. Also, there’s nothing like hearing Jerry Reed’s song “Eastbound and Down” blaring out of modern day movie theater super-speakers. See if you can smuggle in a Diablo and Dr. Pepper.