The iconic film gets a fresh take in this brand new documentary featuring the movie star and one of his closest friends – the director, Hal Needham.
Burt Reynolds became an American icon through his impressive acting and heartthrob look in the 1970s. One of his most famous and notable career moves was his appearance in the 1977 low-budget film, Smokey & The Bandit.
Originally pegged as a low-budget B-rated flick, Reynolds was not scheduled to appear in it, but rather heard about the project from his close friend who was directing it. Once he read the script, he agreed to star in it. At that point in time, Reynolds was the top box office star worldwide. Due to his participation, Needham’s film got a boost from Universal Studios who bankrolled the budget for more than five times what he had planned.
In a new documentary on the story of how Smokey & The Bandit came to be, Reynolds relives all of his old glory days with his pal Needham, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, and many others.
The new film, The Bandit, includes rare behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, photos, and much more that many people may have never seen.
An exclusive clip of the movie that will premiere on CMT shows some of these treasured clips and interviews, and has Reynolds reminiscing on his longtime friendship with Needham – which ultimately lead to the original film becoming such a hit.
“If he’d been a woman, we’d have had a great marriage,” Reynolds, now 80, says of his best friend, roommate and stunt double.
The film became Needham’s debut as a director after the industry refused to recognize him as such due to his longstanding reputation as a talented stuntman.
Watch this clip from the upcoming documentary, The Bandit, below and let us know what you think in the comments!