What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Smokey and the Bandit is a mid-1970s car-chase comedy with a classic set of antiheroes outwitting bumbling law-enforcement officers on highways from Texas to Georgia. Likable characters break the law with abandon (and humor). Cars crash, roll over, and fly through the air throughout the film, but there are no injuries or deaths. One character is beaten up in a bar and appears battered afterward, and a dog is threatened. Almost everyone swears ("bitch," "s--t," "goddamn," "ass"); there are insults ("dummy," "fag," "turd,"); and sexual banter is used as a source of humor ("knockers," "I'd like to jump you," "poontang"). A romance results in kissing, but sexual activity is implied and not shown. Coors beer plays a prominent part in the story.
- Families can talk about all the comic car accidents in this movie. Why is awareness of the real consequences of such accidents important, particularly to kids and teens?
- Clowns make wonderful villains in some comedies. In what ways is Sheriff Buford Justice a clown? How is he different from real police and law-enforcement officers?
- In this movie the heroes constantly break laws, and it's all in fun. Do you think that may influence a younger viewer's attitude about laws and following rules? How can parents help clarify the issue?