Smokey Bites the Dust (1981)

PG | 89 mins | Comedy, Romance | 30 October 1981

Producer:

Roger Corman

Cinematographer:

Gary Graver

Editor:

Larry Bock

Production Designer:

Franchesca Bartoccini

Production Company:

New World Productions
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HISTORY

       An item in the 19 Nov 1980 HR reported that the film’s working title was Follow That Car. It also noted that actress Sally Kirkland was cast in the film, but Kirkland does not appear in onscreen credits.
       According to the 4 Nov 1981 Var review, the stunts and crashes in the film were reportedly scenes “lifted” from producer Roger Corman’s previous films Eat My Dust (1976), Grand Theft Auto (1977) Moving Violation (1976) and Thunder and Lightning (1977, see entries). New footage was shot to match the existing footage from these films.
      End credits of the print viewed by AFI were mostly illegible, so the film’s credits are incomplete and may not accurately reflect the onscreen ... More Less

       An item in the 19 Nov 1980 HR reported that the film’s working title was Follow That Car. It also noted that actress Sally Kirkland was cast in the film, but Kirkland does not appear in onscreen credits.
       According to the 4 Nov 1981 Var review, the stunts and crashes in the film were reportedly scenes “lifted” from producer Roger Corman’s previous films Eat My Dust (1976), Grand Theft Auto (1977) Moving Violation (1976) and Thunder and Lightning (1977, see entries). New footage was shot to match the existing footage from these films.
      End credits of the print viewed by AFI were mostly illegible, so the film’s credits are incomplete and may not accurately reflect the onscreen credits.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1981
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
3 Nov 1981
p. 4.
Variety
4 Nov 1981
p. 22.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Follow That Car
Release Date:
30 October 1981
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 30 October 1981
Copyright Claimant:
Brent Walker Film Productions, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
24 March 1982
Copyright Number:
PA131525
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
89
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Sheriff Turner and his officers chase Roscoe Wilton, a high school student and car thief, but the teen outmaneuvers the officers. As the sheriff’s car crashes, Roscoe drives into the high school parking lot and runs away before another officer arrives. Roscoe joins his friend Harold Kane on the football field to watch a rehearsal for the Homecoming Weekend ceremonies. The sheriff’s daughter, Peggy Sue Turner, will be crowned Homecoming Queen. The sheriff and his officers look for the owner of the stolen car. Football player, Kenny, asks Peggy Sue for a date, but Sheriff Turner stops to threaten Kenny. Harold Kane will be Peggy Sue’s chauffeur during Homecoming, and he gives Roscoe a ride in the black convertible on loan for the occasion. At the police station, as moonshiner Lester sits in his cell, he informs Deputy Bentley that an Arab named Abu Habib Bibubu wants to buy Lester’s moonshine recipe and Lester told Habib to call him at the sheriff’s office. At the Homecoming football game, Harold Kane is dressed in top hat and tails, ready to drive Peggy Sue. Roscoe points to the stands where Harold’s mother holds a balloon featuring a hand-drawn picture of her son. As Harold races to stop his mother, Roscoe changes into a tuxedo jacket, dons a top hat, and drives the convertible to pick up Peggy Sue. As he speeds off in the wrong direction, she wonders if she is being kidnapped or rescued. Roscoe insists it is her choice, but declares he will hold her until she decides to like him. Sheriff Turner and Deputy Bentley ... +


Sheriff Turner and his officers chase Roscoe Wilton, a high school student and car thief, but the teen outmaneuvers the officers. As the sheriff’s car crashes, Roscoe drives into the high school parking lot and runs away before another officer arrives. Roscoe joins his friend Harold Kane on the football field to watch a rehearsal for the Homecoming Weekend ceremonies. The sheriff’s daughter, Peggy Sue Turner, will be crowned Homecoming Queen. The sheriff and his officers look for the owner of the stolen car. Football player, Kenny, asks Peggy Sue for a date, but Sheriff Turner stops to threaten Kenny. Harold Kane will be Peggy Sue’s chauffeur during Homecoming, and he gives Roscoe a ride in the black convertible on loan for the occasion. At the police station, as moonshiner Lester sits in his cell, he informs Deputy Bentley that an Arab named Abu Habib Bibubu wants to buy Lester’s moonshine recipe and Lester told Habib to call him at the sheriff’s office. At the Homecoming football game, Harold Kane is dressed in top hat and tails, ready to drive Peggy Sue. Roscoe points to the stands where Harold’s mother holds a balloon featuring a hand-drawn picture of her son. As Harold races to stop his mother, Roscoe changes into a tuxedo jacket, dons a top hat, and drives the convertible to pick up Peggy Sue. As he speeds off in the wrong direction, she wonders if she is being kidnapped or rescued. Roscoe insists it is her choice, but declares he will hold her until she decides to like him. Sheriff Turner and Deputy Bentley rush to their police car and follow. When Kenny realizes Peggy Sue is with Roscoe, he joins the chase in his truck. Glen Wilson, owner of the homecoming convertible, orders Harold Kane to get the car back. Cindy, a member of homecoming court, is handed the queen’s tiara. She wants to get it to Peggy Sue and leaves with Harold. Turner instructs Bentley to radio Lester at the jail and tells him to have officers set up a road block. However, Lester refuses because he is not a deputy. Turner deputizes the moonshiner over the phone, and Lester leaves his cell to make the call. Roscoe drives off the road and hides behind a tree. After his pursuers race past, Roscoe speeds down a different street. Peggy Sue insists she needs to use a bathroom, so they stop at a hotel. At the reception desk, a suspicious-looking guest demands a room with a view of every highway, then steps aside to get a soda from a nearby vending machine. The manager tells the teens they can use the bathroom in room 102 and awakens the elderly porter, who grabs the suitcases by the desk and leads the teens to the elevator. As the elevator doors close, the mysterious guest notices his luggage is missing. The porter leads the teens into room 729, which is occupied by a sleeping man wearing a gorilla costume. Peggy Sue goes into the bathroom, changes into an outfit hanging on the door, and looks for a way to escape Roscoe. In the room, the oblivious porter unpacks the luggage and Roscoe notices the suitcase is full of money. He starts to pocket the cash, but the suspicious guest enters, brandishing a gun. As the man retrieves his suitcase and leaves, Roscoe hears the bathroom window break. Peggy Sue escapes and when Roscoe finds her outside, she insists on returning home. Roscoe gives her the car keys, but as she starts to leave, her father and Bentley arrive. Peggy Sue returns for Roscoe and as they speed off, she tells Roscoe she likes being with him. Peggy Sue leads this new chase, during which Sheriff Turner crashes. Realizing they need to change cars, Peggy Sue pulls into a car wash. While she distracts the owner, Roscoe steals another car. As they speed off, she is surprised at her actions but knows her father will keep them out of jail. However, Roscoe informs her that they have driven into the next county. Meanwhile, Deputy Bentley is trapped inside Turner’s overturned car. Sheriff Bleed and his men arrive to inform Sheriff Turner that he is out of his jurisdiction, but Turner directs them to help Bentley. While their attention is turned to the deputy, Turner steals one of Bleed’s cars. Sheriff Bleed and his men leave Bentley to chase Turner. Wilson searches for his convertible from a helicopter, sees that the teens have changed vehicles, and alerts Sheriff Turner. Kenny sees Turner driving in the opposite direction and he turns around, races past the sheriff, and blocks the road. Kenny declares his plans to rescue Peggy Sue and marry her, but the sheriff insists that Kenny will never marry his daughter. At the sheriff’s office, Lester receives a call from Habib and they agree to meet at Snake Lake for the exchange. As the chase continues, car wrecks pile up and a farmers’ market is destroyed. Kenny’s truck overturns, and he steals a doctor’s car. As Harold Kane and Cindy realize they like each other, their car overturns. While they kiss in the wreckage, Harold reveals that Roscoe always stops to eat at the Snake Lake truck stop and they can find him there later. As the chase continues, Turner and Kenny challenge each other. Kenny crashes the doctor’s car and has to hitchhike. Bentley crawls from the crashed car and attempts to stop passing vehicles, but everyone ignores him. Turner wrecks Sheriff Bleed’s car, but when Bleed catches him, Turner gloats that they have crossed back into his county and now Bleed has no jurisdiction. Sheriff Turner steals another car, driving off with its passenger. Roscoe and Peggy Sue arrive at the Snake Lake truck stop and attempt to steal a big rig truck, but the drivers chase them. As they are about to steal another car, a young girl leaves the diner and asks why they are taking her father’s car. She offers to give them the keys in exchange for ten packs of cigarettes. Moments later, Turner arrives and takes the cigarettes from the girl. He asks if she has seen Roscoe and Peggy Sue, but she will not give him information until he returns the cigarettes. He gives in, and she sends him after the teens. In the ensuing chase, cars drive through a gas station, crashing into the pumps and causing an explosion. Turner’s car breaks down and a female officer stops to help him. He steals the officer’s vehicle, and drives off with her female partner. Roscoe’s car is slow and, as they attempt to steal a faster vehicle, the sheriff catches up with them. More police officers join the chase, and more vehicles crash. Turner follows the teens’ car across a beach, but he drives into the ocean, and they race away. Turner steals yet another police vehicle and rejoins the pursuit. Meanwhile, Lester awaits Habib at the Snake Lake snack shack. Deputy Bentley arrives and collapses at Lester’s table. Excited at evading their pursuers, Roscoe and Peggy Sue arrive at Snake Lake, intending to steal a boat and go to New Orleans, Louisiana. Habib and his men arrive and Lester leads them to a private area for their meeting. Lester has the moonshine recipe, but the Arabs double-cross him and prepare to behead him. However, they are interrupted by the arrival of everyone involved in the chase. Mayhem ensues until Bentley and Habib recognize they are brothers, Harold and Cindy kiss, and two female officers snare Kenny and Lester. Roscoe and Peggy Sue jump into the lake, promising to stay together. Turner surfaces between them, handcuffs the couple together, then hugs the teens. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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