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Ten Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Smokey and the Bandit

Watching Smokey and the Bandit is possibly the most fun you can have in an hour and 36 minutes. Chances are, you’ve probably watched it more times than you can count. This movie has everything from car chases, crashes, and more buffoonery than you can imagine. But we bet you a case of Coors beer there are several things you didn’t know about the movie. Come with us as we get east bound and down and look at some fun facts about Smokey and the Bandit.

Get Me A Burger!

Jackie Gleason was known for his love of scotch. While on the set, when he wanted a drink, he would tell his assistant to get him a “hamburger”.

A Feeling of Déjà Vu

If you think the Bandit’s Pontiac Trans Am doesn’t sound like…well…a Trans Am, you’re not mistaken. The 1955 Chevrolet Custom that was used in Two Lane Blacktop and American Graffiti was actually used for the Trans Am’s sound effects in the movie.

Look Ma, No Hands!

For many of his driving scenes, Jerry Reed wasn’t actually driving the big rig. The truck was loaded on a low-boy flatbed trailer and towed around by another 18-wheeler.

It’s a Dog’s Life

Fred, the Snowman’s Basset Hound, was picked by Burt Reynolds because he did not obey commands very well.

Rocket Man

A booster rocket was placed on the Trans Am to help it make the jump over the bridge. This is the same style rocket Evel Knievel used during his attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon.

Good Evening

Smokey and the Bandit was Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite movie. He was known to watch it again and again.

Take It Back

Due to the success of the movie, Burt Reynolds was promised a new Trans Am every year by the president of General Motors. When he did not receive one, he inquired with General Motors to find out what happened. Reynolds was told by GM that the president that made that promise passed away and that the current president would not maintain the agreement.

Just The Good Ol’ Boys

Ben Jones (Cooter), Sonny Shroyer (Enos), and John Schneider (Bo) from The Dukes of Hazzard were used as uncredited extras in the movie.

Don’t Mess With Texas

The Bandit and the Snowman actually didn’t drive to Texarkana, Texas to pick the load of Coors beer. The movie was filmed mostly in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area. In fact, Jonesboro, Georgia was used to recreate the city of Texarkana.

Rocky Mountain High

Hal Needham, the creator and director of Smokey and the Bandit got the idea for the movie while filming Gator with Burt Reynolds in Georgia. At the time, Needham was Burt’s stunt double in the movie. Word is, Needham and Reynolds liked to drink Coors beer and kept some in their hotel room. To their dismay, the hotel maids would steal the beer while they were away. This is what gave Needham the idea to create a movie about bootlegging Coors beer.

Of all the movies that cashed in on the CB radio craze during the mid-1970s, Smokey and the Bandit is probably the most popular. It was also the second highest grossing movie in 1977, behind Star Wars. It took Burt Reynolds’ career to new heights and catapulted sales of the Pontiac Trans Am practically overnight. And it’s one of those rare movies where the actors appear to really be having a good time during filming. Go dig out your old copy and watch it again!

Photo credit: Universal Studios Entertainment

16 Comments on Ten Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Smokey and the Bandit

  1. Randy Davis // April 17, 2020 at 2:35 pm // Reply

    Re: Smokey and the Bandit- the Old Hickory House in Atlanta is gone- but there is one left in Tucker Ga.- It Still sells the Diablo sandwich-which was added to it’s menu because of the movie.


  2. RIP Bandit – Died on this day in 2018


  3. "Hank" Donny Loudermelk // November 12, 2020 at 11:04 am // Reply

    I live in Taylorsville NC. Home of Harry Gant. I went to High school with Harry’s daughters. Wonderful man and Family.


  4. Great fun movie


  5. In the second movie did snowman do most of the driving.


  6. Why is the song “eastbound and down” played from the beginning, when they actually were traveling westbound to Texarkana ?


  7. Lynn G Kennedy // November 23, 2021 at 11:53 pm // Reply

    This is great, all the background info makes me want to see it again. Maybe I can find a copy on ebay. I still play dvd’s at my house. My hobby is muscle cars and I tell beginers that Firebirds are the best car for the price to keep and restore.


    • I read Burt’s bio he wrote. Made want to watch all his movies again. Deliverence was really interesting once I read the story about filming it.


  8. Kay Where's the beef // December 4, 2021 at 4:21 pm // Reply

    Get a later model DVD. Plenty of cursing from Buford T. He’s a classic comedian. Natural I love the rest especially those calves. They’re not really that fat


  9. My dad was a guard at Lakewood fair grounds before during and after the film, we got to watch the filming and all stunt preps and meet all cast,I was only 15 and amazed at it all

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Burt should have gotten that car deal in writing, never know when someone will die and some jerk takes over and Will not honor something from a previous person that had the right to make the decision!!


  11. I was 7 years old when the movie came out in 1977, and I am 52 years of age now and still enjoy watching, ” Smokey and the Bandit”, and own all three on DVD, and I also own all of the seasons of the, ” Dukes of Hazzard, ” too.


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