Today and Monday The Savvy Screener remembers Burt Reynolds with a sampling of his best and most popular film and television titles – and how you can stream them.
In part one, we consider some of his top movies.
Based on the James Dickey novel, Lewis (Reynolds) and his friends Drew (Ronnie Cox), Bobby (Ned Beatty) and Ed (Jon Voight) escape the city for a canoe vacation in the remote Georgia wilderness. There, they run afoul of some unfriendly locals. Lewis’ crossbow skills provide the film’s turning point.
Burt’s cinematic immortality was cemented with Deliverance, which was added to the US National Film Registry in 2008. And mere mention of the film’s title can trigger a dueling-banjo ear worm.
The Longest Yard (1974)
Reynolds is Paul “Wrecking” Crewe, a former NFL quarterback who leads police on a car chase (a staple of Reynolds comedies) and winds up in prison. There, he puts together a team of inmates to take on the guards in an exhibition football game. The cast includes Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter and Hill Street Blues’ Michael Conrad.
Reynolds was also in the 2005 Longest Yard remake, starring Adam Sandler. Reynolds took over the role Conrad played in the original. In a March 2018 USA Today interview, Reynolds said he had not seen the remake despite having appeared in it.
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Arguably his most popular comedy, Smokey and the Bandit was Reynolds at his easy-going, wise-cracking best. Burt, in his black Pontiac Trans-Am, is the Bandit, hired to help escort a truck of bootleg beer over state lines. Along the way, he picks up a runaway bride (the real love-of-his-life, Sally Field) and outfoxes a blustering, outraged father-in-law, Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). Jerry Reed is the trucker and former Tarzan Mike Henry is Gleason’s jilted, dim-witted son.
Former stuntman Hal Needham directed, marking one of several collaborations he had with Reynolds, including Hooper (1978), Smokey and Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and Cannonball Run II (1984). (There was a third Smokey film, but Needham wasn’t involved and Reynolds had only a cameo.)
Hooper and The Cannonball Run are currently unavailable to stream. You can rent Smokey and the Bandit II starting at $2.99 from Fandango Now and other providers. Cannonball Run II can be streamed for free on Vudu, with ads; or rented uncut for $2.99 and up from Vudu and other sources.
Boogie Nights (1997)
Reynolds received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his turn as pornography producer Jack Horner.
Set in the 1970s and 1980s, Boogie Nights features Horner as the head of an extended porn-filmmaking family that includes Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) who goes onto become known as “Dirk Diggler,” an industry star.
The cast also includes John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, William H. Macy and Luis Guzmán. Paul Thomas Anderson wrote and directed.
Check back Monday for a look at Burt’s television work.
- Pluto TV En Español - May 5, 2021
- Siblings’ Bad Road Trip - May 3, 2021
- Time-bending Spycraft - April 30, 2021
- Troubled Siblings and Murder - April 28, 2021
- ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Film on PBS - April 23, 2021
- Chicken, Statue on Peacock - April 21, 2021
- ‘Midsomer Murders’ Season 22 - April 19, 2021
- ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Binge - April 16, 2021
- AMC+’s Cold War Thriller - April 14, 2021
- ‘Pray, Obey, Kill’ Docuseries - April 12, 2021