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Smokey and the Bandit II

Smokey and the Bandit II is a 1980 American action comedy film directed by Hal Needham, and starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, Jackie Gleason and Dom DeLuise. The film is the sequel to the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit.

The film was originally released in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and several other, mainly Commonwealth countries as Smokey and the Bandit Rides Again. Early video releases and TV broadcasts also used this title, but in more recent years most of them have reverted to the original U.S. title. It was followed by another sequel three years later, Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983), in which Reynolds only made a brief cameo appearance, and Sally Field did not appear.

The plot centers on Bo "Bandit" Darville (Burt Reynolds) and Cledus "Snowman" Snow (Jerry Reed), transporting an elephant to the GOP National Convention, with Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) in hot pursuit once again.

Plot

Big Enos Burdette is in a literal mudslinging campaign against John Conn for Governor of Texas. After a failed attempt to get the outgoing governor's endorsement, Big Enos overhears him on the phone ordering a crate in Miami to be delivered in nine days to the Republican National Convention in Dallas. Burdette schemes to earn the governor's endorsement and have the crate delivered to the convention in his name, and tracks down Cledus "the Snowman" Snow and offers him and Bo "the Bandit" Darville $200,000 to do the run. Cledus takes the Burdettes to make the offer to the Bandit himself, but the Bandit has become a heavy drinker since breaking up with Carrie ("Frog"), and is drunk when the Burdettes arrive and double the payoff to $400,000. Cledus accepts on the Bandit's behalf, but adds that Big Enos should give them half in advance, to which they agree. Cledus is ecstatic, but the Bandit begins to miss Carrie.

Cledus calls Carrie, who is back in Texarkana and again about to marry Junior when Cledus calls offering her $50,000 to help out; she agrees and again becomes a runaway bride. Though she still has feelings for the Bandit, when Carrie arrives she initially intones she is only in it for the money, and she and Cledus work on getting the Bandit off the booze and back into shape. She then trades in Junior's car for a new Trans Am. The three arrive at the pier in Miami only to find out the manifest is quarantined for three weeks. They return late that night to steal it, only to find the "package" is a live elephant (the G.O.P. mascot) which Cledus names "Charlotte" after his aunt. When the Bandit removes a splinter from Charlotte's foot, she takes a liking to him.

Soon after they start off for Dallas, they are accosted for the first of several times by Sheriff Justice, but the Bandit outwits him and they escape. En route, they stop at a remote fuel station and notice something wrong with Charlotte. Moments later, an ambulance pulls in with an Italian gynecologist in the back; "Doc" is initially reluctant to help, but when his ambulance driver speeds away unknowingly leaving him stranded, he asks to hitch a ride with them, agreeing to watch Charlotte.

Doc later finds that Charlotte is pregnant and due at any time, but the Bandit is determined to stay on schedule. Entering Louisiana, Doc says that Charlotte is almost in labor and needs to be off her feet. Cledus decides they all need a break and they go to a local nightclub where Don Williams is headlining. When Carrie sees the Bandit scribbling on a napkin a picture of Charlotte cradled by suspended netting to keep her off her feet, she angrily leaves, but not before telling the Bandit that she will only see him again when he likes himself again. Later that night, a drunken Bandit makes his drawing a reality, and Doc agrees that his idea will work.

Buford decides to call for help from his brothers Reggie, a Mountie Sergeant in Quebec, and Gaylord, an effeminate Texas State Patrolman. Later, as the Bandit and Cledus enter Texas, Buford lures the Bandit into a trap: a mass of 40 Texas Patrol and Mountie cruisers pursuing him across a desert basin. The Bandit orders Cledus to get to Dallas, but Cledus, with a large convoy of his trucker pals, comes to the rescue, wrecking nearly all of the cruisers while Doc and Charlotte watch from the sidelines. The two escape by crossing a makeshift trailer bridge with Buford and his brothers in pursuit. Two of the trucks pull away, resulting in Gaylord and Reggie's cruisers crashing in the ensuing gap before they can cross, but Buford is still in pursuit, though his cruiser is barely functioning.

Cledus begs the Bandit to stop at a safari reserve, where Charlotte finally gives birth. The Bandit is ready to load them both back up in the truck, but Cledus refuses and then knocks the Bandit down when he insults him. When he sees Charlotte in tears, the Bandit finally comes to his senses and apologizes.

The Bandit later finds Carrie and tells her that he likes himself now, and that he does not want to be without her. He then tells her that he has not yet taken Charlotte to Dallas, but they can still make it late. Carrie is overjoyed when she sees Charlotte's baby, and the Bandit asks Charlotte's permission for him and Carrie to get hitched, to which Charlotte trumpets her approval; Doc, now riding in the cab with Cledus and Fred, also voices his approval, and they all drive away with Charlotte and her baby in tow in circus carts, with Buford still in pursuit, now driving a Greyhound bus.

Cast

  • Burt Reynolds as Bo Darville ("the Bandit")
  • Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Gaylord Justice (credited as Ms. Jackie Gleason) and Reginald Van Justice
  • Jerry Reed as Cledus Snow (" the Snowman")
  • Dom DeLuise as Dr. Frederico "Doc" Carlucci
  • Sally Field as Carrie ("Frog")
  • Pat McCormick as Big Enos Burdette
  • Paul Williams as Little Enos Burdette
  • David Huddleston as John Conn
  • Mike Henry as Junior Justice
  • John Anderson as Governor
  • Brenda Lee as Nice Lady
  • The Statler Brothers as themselves:
  • Phil Balsley
  • Lew DeWitt
  • Don Reid
  • Harold Reid
  • "Mean Joe" Greene as himself
  • Mel Tillis as Fairground Owner
  • Joe Klecko as himself
  • Don Williams as himself
  • Terry Bradshaw as himself
  • Nancy Lenehan as Ramona
  • John Megna as P.T.
  • Chuck Yeager as Party Guest
  • John Robert Nicholson as Patient
  • 1980 Pontiac Trans Am as "Son of Trigger"

    Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise had worked together before and would star together again in The End (1978 film) and would work together again in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Cannonball Run, Cannonball Run II, and (in voice only) Don Bluth's All Dogs Go to Heaven. As he did in the first movie, Reynolds breaks the fourth wall after being reunited with Frog, by addressing the camera and saying, "She still loves me."

    Production

    Smokey and the Bandit II was filmed simultaneously with The Cannonball Run, in which Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise also starred. Football players Joe Klecko and Terry Bradshaw also appear in both films.

    It is the first film to feature director Hal Needham's "Blooper Reel Credit Crawl" at the end, in that a collection of bloopers and outtakes from the film showed on one side of the screen while the closing credits slowly scrolled up the other side. Cannonball Run, also directed by Needham, used this same technique.

    Buford's brothers were both portrayed by Gleason; "Reggie" was a Canadian version of "Reginald Van Gleason III", a popular character from Gleason's television show.

    The film was written and produced before it was announced that the 1980 Republican National Convention would be held in Detroit rather than Dallas.

    Many of the movie's scenes take place in northern Palm Beach County, especially at Burt Reynolds' ranch in Jupiter, Florida.

    Although the Bandit again sticks to a Pontiac Trans Am, this time a 1980 Turbo model with five color decals unlike 1981's single color decals, the Snowman switches to a 1980 GMC General, silver with blue trim with the same mural on the trailer as in the original film. This "new rig" suggests that the pair were successful in the "double or nothing" wager offered by the Burdettes at the end of the first film, where they were persuaded to drive from Atlanta to Boston and back in 18 hours to buy clam chowder.

    A world-record automobile jump was captured on film during the "roundup sequence", when stuntman Gary Davis jumped a 1974 Dodge Monaco over 150 feet. Davis suffered compressed vertebra as a result of a hard landing.

    The roundup sequence in the desert shows many new Pontiac Le Mans sedans decorated as police cars being destroyed. The cars were originally ordered by a car rental agency in Phoenix, who refused to accept the delivery when they discovered the cars were not equipped with air conditioning. Pontiac took the cars back and eventually gave them to the producers to be used in the film.

    Soundtrack



    Smokey and the Bandit 2: Original Soundtrack was released on vinyl, cassette tape and 8-track tape by MCA Records in 1980.

    Track listing

    Reception

    The film received almost completely negative reviews from critics who felt that that it suffered badly in comparison to the original. It received an approval rating of 17% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 6 reviews. Roger Ebert gave it a 1 out of 4 stars and stated that there was "[in 1980] no need for this movie. That's true of most sequels, but it's especially true of 'Smokey and the Bandit II', which is basically just the original movie done again, not as well ... how can I say it's lazy when it has 50 trucks doing stunts in it? Because it takes a lot less thought to fill up a movie with stunts than to create a comedy that's genuinely funny."

    Burt Reynolds later stated that he did not enjoy working on the movie at all, feeling that it was an unnecessary sequel put together by Universal purely for money-making reasons rather than to try making a good picture.

    It was the eighth-most-popular 1980 film at the United States and Canada box office earning $66,132,626. This box office income inspired a third film where Reynolds appeared only in a cameo appearance before the end credits, Field had no involvement whatsoever, and Gleason practically filled the film.