Burt Reynold Recalls Scariest Moment Filming Smokey and the Bandit
Smokey and the Bandit is an American road action comedy film from 1977 that starred the late, great Burt Reynolds. The film is about two bootleggers who attempt to illegally transport 400 Coors beer cases from Texarkana to Atlanta, Georgia. It was a hit film that earned $300 million, with only Star Wars grossing more that year.
The greatness of Burt Reynolds will never fade, and a clip has re-emerged about a harrowing experience while filming Smokey and the Bandit that was centered around a classic 1977 Trans Am, which Detroit Muscle paid homage to with their own Trans Am Tribute build. According to Burt, there was a scene involving a woman who doubles as Sally Field. He added, “she was capable and handy with everything but her hand on the car.”
“It’s petrifying when you think about it.” The Trans Am went over a wall and landed in a little league baseball game, and all of the kids’ parents were attending this game. The woman who was driving immediately panicked, which he said he’d never seen before. “I was riding with her so we could get a camera up close on the right side so you wouldn’t know it wasn’t Sally.”
As the terrifying moment continued, Burt recalls how the kids “completely disappeared” in front of the car. “I waited for the ‘thud, thud’ as we went right over them.” When he looked over, two mothers had fainted, and at that moment, he knew this was something with the potential to be devastating.
When the two were taken out of the car, they were both in complete and total shock. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Burt describes that he didn’t need to say anything to the woman because she was already beating herself up. He ran back and spent the rest of the afternoon with the mothers to apologize and then took them to dinner.
The kids were laughing and asking to do it again, and the mothers were at ease. Burt knew this had the potential to end his career. “It wasn’t supposed to be that way.” Although things turned out in his favor, it was a frightening moment that might have been a stain on an otherwise brilliant career.
Smokey and the Bandit is a classic film with, arguably, one of the greatest actors of all time. It’s a movie for the ages that still garners attention today. We know that Burt was the star of the show, but his ’77 Trans Am gave men and women dreams of owning the sports car with seemingly endless horsepower.
If you’re a Smokey and the Bandit fan and you want to hear more about Burt’s reaction when he saw the iconic Trans Am, be sure to watch the first episode of Detroit Muscle.