Smokey and the Bandit
But with Bandit blocking in a shiny new Trans Am and his partner behind the wheel of the big rig, the whole trip looks like it will be a breeze—that is, until Bo suddenly picks up a runaway bride (Sally Field, two years before she began collecting Oscars). Unfortunately, the jilted groom’s father (Jackie Gleason) is a Texas county sheriff, and this relentless, foul-mouthed lawman is determined to catch the Bandit at any cost. Shot on a shoestring budget yet brimming with old-school stunts and plenty of down-home humor, Smokey is still a hoot three and a half decades later.
Except for a few problematic shots marked by video noise and inconsistent film grain, the 1.85:1 HD presentation is clean and enjoyably detailed. The colors display a pleasing warmth, particularly the Bandit’s red shirt, although the blacks tend to be murky and vague. The movie certainly benefits from the 5.1-channel remix in DTS-HD Master Audio, with terrific bits like the front-to-back phasing of a truck driving over the camera or some surround-only action across the speakers as a car zips off behind us. The rumble of that Trans Am engine will make car buffs glad they have a subwoofer in their home theater. In one early scene, however, some dialogue exhibits an unpleasant distortion, likely owing to the age and/or poor storage of the original elements. Paying close attention to the audio, we also notice that a single actor apparently looped all of the incidental dialogue.
New for Blu-ray are the pocket BLU app for enhanced control and portable bonus content, and BD-Live access. The great mini-documentary with Reynolds, director Hal Needham, and many vintage clips is ported from the 2006 special-edition DVD, along with a fun trucker-term tutorial. In fact, that entire DVD is bundled in here as well, in addition to a Digital Copy.
Studio: Universal, 1977
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 96 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Hal Needham
Starring: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason