Why Burt Reynolds Was Missing in “Smokey and the Bandit Part 3”

People often say that “good things come in threes,” but those folks obviously never watched the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy. The series started off on the right foot in 1977, defining “cool” for an entire generation of moviegoers. However, the sequel in 1980 fell short, lacking laughs, charm, and impressive stunts. The disappointing reception of the second movie led to director Hal Needham declining to take part in Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983), with star Burt Reynolds only agreeing to a brief cameo.

A Shift in Focus

With Reynolds stepping back, the spotlight shifted to Jackie Gleason’s bumbling Sheriff Buford T. Justice. Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 attempted to make Justice the protagonist, but it lacked the anti-authoritarian energy of the first two films. Conflicting creative visions during production led to expensive reshoots that forced the filmmakers to piece together the movie in the editing room. The result was a lazy and unfocused final entry that coasted on cruise control.

A Misfit Character

The plot of Part 3 didn’t help matters. Despite Justice serving as the protagonist, the writers recycled the same story from the previous films, tasking the retired police officer with transporting valuable cargo for a hefty sum. This premise might have worked for the outlaw character Bandit, but it felt like a square peg being forced into a round hole with Justice. His motivation in the earlier movies was primarily ego-driven, not materialistic.

Production Woes and Cheap Imitations

The movie’s production woes were evident with the introduction of Bandit’s sidekick, Cledus Snow. Originally, the plan was for Gleason to tackle a dual role as both Sheriff Justice and the Bandit. However, test audiences disliked this version, leading to last-minute re-shoots with Jerry Reed’s involvement. Reed’s portrayal of Bandit came across as a cheap imitation of Reynolds, lacking the amusing absurdity seen in other imitations. These production issues contributed to the disjointed and muddled nature of the film.

See also  Why Is White Smoke Coming from My Car's Hood?

Silver Linings

Although Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 fell short, it did improve on its predecessor in pacing the action. While the stunt work relied on slow motion to heighten the excitement, the film still delivered on automotive destruction. Additionally, the soundtrack featured original tracks from country music heavyweights, adding to the film’s overall experience.

The Legacy

Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 failed to recapture the success of its predecessors. With a disappointing box office performance and a budget that didn’t break even, the franchise fizzled out. However, the Bandit character made a comeback on the small screen years later, but that’s a story for another time. As for the lost “Smokey is the Bandit” footage, fans can only hope it sees the light of day, as the promotional image of Gleason dressed up as Reynolds remains funnier than many of the jokes in Part 3.

5 WS

*Note: This article is based on the original piece by Corner Store Cinema.

The 5 Ws and H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information gathering or problem solving. 5ws.wiki will best answer all your questions

Related Posts

Why Do People Stick Their Tongue Out in Photos?

Why Do People Stick Their Tongue Out in Photos?

When someone is attracted to you, they often try to flirt with you through their words or gestures. While words are a common way to flirt, some…

Why Glue Doesn’t Adhere to the Tube

Video why super glue doesn’t stick to tube It’s a question that may sound like the setup to a Jerry Seinfeld joke, but it’s actually quite intriguing….

Why Romeo Associates Juliet with the Sun

Act 2, scene 1: Romeo’s Perspective in the Balcony Scene Romeo expresses these sentiments during the famous balcony scene, where he observes Juliet leaning out of a…

Why Does My Dog Watch Me While I'm Asleep?

Why Does My Dog Watch Me While I’m Asleep?

Most dog owners have experienced the adorable sight of waking up to find their furry friend staring at them. While it’s endearing, it can also be puzzling…

Why Won’t My Dog Sit Beside Me?

If you’ve noticed that your dog seems to prefer sitting far away from you, you may be wondering why and what you can do about it. In…

Why Is My Cat Acting Afraid of Me?

Why Is My Cat Acting Afraid of Me?

While cats are famously difficult to understand, there’s nothing more baffling to cat owners than when their once beloved companion suddenly becomes afraid of them. Cats make…