Cinema: Fun on the Farm

SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT

Directed by HAL NEEDHAM

Screenplay by JAMES LEE BARRETT, CHARLES SHYER and ALAN MANDEL

One of the surer signs of summer is the arrival of the annual Burt Reynolds country-and-western movie. Like their musical counterparts, these bumpkin epics (Gator and W. W. and the Dixie Dancekings) deal in broad comedy and simple emotions. Generally they just place their hero in one or more fast-moving vehicles while motivating one or more square characters to give chase to him. Between crashes, Reynolds is given a series of wisecracks that establish his basic screen character—shrewd, laid-back, a tad reckless and a devil...

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