Events

Smokey and the Bandit playing at the drive in

Smokey and the Bandits screens at the drive in through June 25. {Graphic Provided}

ESTILL SPRING — Who would have ever imagined that a movie whose plot revolves around bootlegging Coors beer across the southeast would become a classic American film? But that’s exactly what happened with the 1977 American road comedy, Smokey and the Bandit.

The film’s a quaint nods to a bygone time of CB radios and souped up muscle cars, and follows two friends – Bo “The Bandit” Darville and Cledus “The Snowman” Snow – as they take off on a 28-hour run from Atlanta to Texarkana and back again to bootleg 400 cases of Coors beer.

It’s a plot line that is – interestingly enough – based on a true story. Famous Hollywood stuntman, Hal Needham, directed the film and once lived in Burt Reynold’s pool house. As he and Reynolds worked on the set of the comedy film, Gator, one of the driver captains keep sneaking cases of Coors onto the set. Neddham learned that due to archaic beer laws in was illegal to sell Coors east of the Mississippi River and thought, “that would make an cool plot to a movies” … and so a classic was born.

The film stars Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, and a hilarious Jackie Gleason, who steals every scene he appears in. It managed to be the second highest grossing film of 1977 behind the original Star Wars and legend holds it was one of Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite films.

Smokey and the Bandit screens through June 25 at the Montana Drive In in Estill Springs. It plays on screen 2 at 8:30 p.m. followed by Fast and Furious. Both films are rated PG. For more information, check out the Montana’s website or Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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