How Smokey and the Bandit Put Texas In The National Spotlight
One of the highest grossing movies in the United States is the classic 1977 film, Smokey & The Bandit. Starring actors like Burt Reynolds, Sally Field & Jackie Gleason, it became a staple in the American film history. And of course it made the Pontiac Trans Am a classic for car lovers. In fact, one Texas city owes a huge amount of gratitude for including it in the movie.
If you've never seen Smokey & the Bandit, here's some classic scenes from the movie
What was Texas's role in Smokey & The Bandit
The main premise of the movie involves Bandit & Snowman taking 400 cases of Coors Beer from Texarkana to Atlanta Georgia to take part in a race, all while Burt Reynold's character is being chased a Texas county sheriff, Buford T Justice. The reason WHY they chose Texarkana was because it a very common place for bootleggers back in the days of Prohibition; making it perfect to include in the movie.
After the movie came out, it became a destination spot for Smoke & the Bandit fans
In 2007, a muscle car club in Texarkana called Bandit Run decide to start holding a reenactment OF the journey from Texarkana to Atlanta. The only requirement: you have to own a Pontiac Trans Am; it doesn't matter if it was the 79 model used in the movie or the 2002 model. As long as it's a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, you could take part in the Run.
Since then, it's become a local tradition to hold the Bandit Run in Texarkana. It was recently featured on The Texas Bucket List.
So if you ever had a dream of recreating Burt Reynold's look, or simply owning the car Bandit owned in the movie, now you have an excuse to do it.