Smokey and the Bandit--Part 3 (1983)

PG | 85 mins | Comedy | 2 September 1983

Director:

Dick Lowry

Producer:

Mort Engelberg

Cinematographer:

James Pergola

Production Designer:

Ron Hobbs

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

       The 28 Aug 1981 LAT noted that a second sequel to Smokey and the Bandit (1977, see entry), with the working title Smokey and the Bandit III, was being considered by Universal Pictures as a cable television movie. An article in the 5 May 1982 Var speculated that the modest budget of the proposed sequel would not accommodate the salary requirements of actor Burt Reynolds, who starred as “the Bandit” in the two previous theatrical films. The 22 Aug 1982 LAHExam estimated the budget at “under $5 million,” adding that actor John Schneider was rumored as a possible replacement for Reynolds. Two months later, the 20 Oct 1982 DV announced actor Jackie Gleason would play both “Buford T. Justice” and his adversary, “the Bandit,” in Smokey Is the Bandit. Principal photography began 25 Oct 1982 in Florida, as reported in the 27 Oct 1982 DV. The 15 Nov 1982 DV stated that Gleason appears in six scenes “disguised as Burt Reynolds.” The actor admitted to writing his own dialogue, but was not credited onscreen, although he was paid accordingly. Reynolds made a brief appearance in the film, retitled Smokey and the Bandit, III, according to the 26 Nov 1982 DV. He and Gleason improvised their dialogue on camera, and completed the scene in one day.
       The Summer 1983 Movie Magazine listed the film’s title as both Smokey Is the Bandit, Part 3 and Smokey Is the Bandit Part III. ... More Less

       The 28 Aug 1981 LAT noted that a second sequel to Smokey and the Bandit (1977, see entry), with the working title Smokey and the Bandit III, was being considered by Universal Pictures as a cable television movie. An article in the 5 May 1982 Var speculated that the modest budget of the proposed sequel would not accommodate the salary requirements of actor Burt Reynolds, who starred as “the Bandit” in the two previous theatrical films. The 22 Aug 1982 LAHExam estimated the budget at “under $5 million,” adding that actor John Schneider was rumored as a possible replacement for Reynolds. Two months later, the 20 Oct 1982 DV announced actor Jackie Gleason would play both “Buford T. Justice” and his adversary, “the Bandit,” in Smokey Is the Bandit. Principal photography began 25 Oct 1982 in Florida, as reported in the 27 Oct 1982 DV. The 15 Nov 1982 DV stated that Gleason appears in six scenes “disguised as Burt Reynolds.” The actor admitted to writing his own dialogue, but was not credited onscreen, although he was paid accordingly. Reynolds made a brief appearance in the film, retitled Smokey and the Bandit, III, according to the 26 Nov 1982 DV. He and Gleason improvised their dialogue on camera, and completed the scene in one day.
       The Summer 1983 Movie Magazine listed the film’s title as both Smokey Is the Bandit, Part 3 and Smokey Is the Bandit Part III. The article stated that Gleason performed some of his own stunts, particularly during a barroom brawl scene, in which the Bandit dispatches a number of assailants. Second unit director and stunt coordinator David Cass devised stunts with the intent of creating something more elaborate than audiences would see on television. One such stunt involved driver Rick Seaman plunging a car through the side of an oil tanker truck. While producer Mort Engelberg prohibited the stunt for excessive violence, he did allow Seaman to drive through a tanker filled with 2,500 gallons of milk. The film was scheduled to open 29 Jul 1983. A news item in the 19 Jan 1983 DV reported the completion of principal photography following nine weeks of production.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, filming took place in the Florida cities of Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Ocala. Locations included Silver Springs, the Leeward Air Ranch, the Castro Ranch, Hialeah Speedway, the Miami Seaquarium, the Sonesta Beach Hotel, and the Turnberry Isle Country Club.
       The 3 May 1983 LAHExam announced the new title of the picture as Smokey and the Bandit, Part 3, due for release “on or after” 12 Aug 1983. Beginning in early May 1983, new scenes were shot with actor Jerry Reed replacing Gleason as “the Bandit,” prompted by the reaction of preview audiences, who “were left confused and angry” at seeing Gleason in dual roles. The 27 Apr 1983 DV reported that Gleason was recovering from blood clot surgery at the time and would not appear in the new scenes.
      Credits open with the following statement: "Once upon a time, there was a famous Sheriff. It was not so long ago in our very own galaxy. . . . . . . ." End credits misspell the surname of stunt performer Cheryl I. Sweendy as "Sweeney."
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Nov 1983.
---
Daily Variety
20 Oct 1982.
---
Daily Variety
27 Oct 1982.
---
Daily Variety
15 Nov 1982.
---
Daily Variety
26 Nov 1982.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jan 1983.
---
Daily Variety
27 Apr 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 1983
p. 16.
LAHExam
22 Aug 1982.
---
LAHExam
3 May 1983.
---
LAHExam
5 Sep 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Aug 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Sep 1983
p. 6.
Movie Magazine
Summer 1983
pp. 10-11.
New York Times
17 Sep 1983
p. 30.
Variety
5 May 1982
p. 3, 27.
Variety
17 Aug 1983
p. 23.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Mort Engelberg Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
D.G.A. intern
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Dir of photog, 2d unit cam
Op, 2d unit cam
Op, 2d unit cam
Asst, 2d unit cam
Asst, 2d unit cam
Asst, 2d unit cam
Loader, 2d unit cam
Asst cam op
Asst cam op
Key grip
Elec best boy
Grip best boy
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Const coord
Const foreman
Scenic artist
Swingman
Prop master
COSTUMES
Men`s cost
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Sound-stage mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd eff ed
Foley by
Foley by
ADR ed
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
Jackie Gleason's make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Craft service
Prod asst
Transportation capt
Co-capt
Catering
Casting
Casting asst
Loc contact
Prod secy
Asst to Jackie Gleason
Asst to Mort Engelberg
Loc auditor
Asst auditor
Asst to the auditors
Extras casting
First aid
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters by Hal Needham and Robert L. Levy.
SONGS
Main title song, "Buford T. Justice," performed by Ed Bruce, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
"The Legend Of The Bandit," performed by Lee Greenwood, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
"Suzi Plastic," performed by Bill Summers, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
+
SONGS
Main title song, "Buford T. Justice," performed by Ed Bruce, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
"The Legend Of The Bandit," performed by Lee Greenwood, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
"Suzi Plastic," performed by Bill Summers, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
"The Bandit Express," performed by Lee Greenwood, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
"Ticket For The Wind," performed by John Stewart
"It Ain't The Gold," performed by John Stewart.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Smokey Is the Bandit, Part 3
Smokey and the Bandit III
Smokey III
Smokey Is the Bandit Part III
Smokey Is the Bandit
Release Date:
2 September 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 2 September 1983
New York opening: 16 September 1983
Production Date:
25 October--late December 1982
re-shoots early May 1983
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
85
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27100
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Portague County, Texas, Sheriff Buford T. Justice makes a long, rambling speech announcing his retirement. Millionaire “Big Enos” Burdette and his son, “Little Enos,” interrupt to remind the sheriff of his failure to apprehend Bo “the Bandit” Darville, a legendary truck driver known for defying the law. They offer him a wager, which he declines in favor of a quiet retirement in Miami, Florida. However, after several months of boredom, Buford contacts the Burdettes, expressing an interest in the bet. The father and son arrive in Miami, accompanied by a marching band. They challenge Buford to drive his police car to their Texas ranch by 5:30 the following afternoon, with a plastic shark, emblazoned with the logo of the Burdette’s seafood restaurant chain, attached to the roof. If Buford succeeds, he wins $250,000, but if he loses, he must surrender his badge. Buford accepts the challenge and sets off for Texas, accompanied by his slow-witted son, Junior. The Burdettes place numerous obstacles in Buford’s path, none of which halt his progress, so they hire truck driver Cletus “The Snowman” Snow to pose as the Bandit, and distract the sheriff from reaching his destination. Cletus embarks on his mission in the Bandit’s signature Pontiac Trans Am. Elsewhere, Buford comes to the aid of pair of African-American chicken farmers by forcing a truckload of Ku Klux Klan members to collide with a tar kettle, leaving the thugs covered in tar and feathers. Meanwhile, Cletus offers a ride to Dusty Trails as she escapes the employ of lecherous used car dealer “Skip” Town. Unencumbered by responsibility, Dusty eagerly joins ... +


In Portague County, Texas, Sheriff Buford T. Justice makes a long, rambling speech announcing his retirement. Millionaire “Big Enos” Burdette and his son, “Little Enos,” interrupt to remind the sheriff of his failure to apprehend Bo “the Bandit” Darville, a legendary truck driver known for defying the law. They offer him a wager, which he declines in favor of a quiet retirement in Miami, Florida. However, after several months of boredom, Buford contacts the Burdettes, expressing an interest in the bet. The father and son arrive in Miami, accompanied by a marching band. They challenge Buford to drive his police car to their Texas ranch by 5:30 the following afternoon, with a plastic shark, emblazoned with the logo of the Burdette’s seafood restaurant chain, attached to the roof. If Buford succeeds, he wins $250,000, but if he loses, he must surrender his badge. Buford accepts the challenge and sets off for Texas, accompanied by his slow-witted son, Junior. The Burdettes place numerous obstacles in Buford’s path, none of which halt his progress, so they hire truck driver Cletus “The Snowman” Snow to pose as the Bandit, and distract the sheriff from reaching his destination. Cletus embarks on his mission in the Bandit’s signature Pontiac Trans Am. Elsewhere, Buford comes to the aid of pair of African-American chicken farmers by forcing a truckload of Ku Klux Klan members to collide with a tar kettle, leaving the thugs covered in tar and feathers. Meanwhile, Cletus offers a ride to Dusty Trails as she escapes the employ of lecherous used car dealer “Skip” Town. Unencumbered by responsibility, Dusty eagerly joins Cletus on his road trip. When they encounter Buford on an interstate highway, Cletus climbs onto Buford’s car and removes the shark as Dusty steers. They pull ahead of the police car, prompting Buford to declare that he is in “hot pursuit.” A local sheriff joins the chase and radios Buford, ordering him to desist. Buford defies the sheriff and forces him off the road, then follows Cletus into a construction site. Assuming Cletus is the Bandit, the workers assist him by engulfing Buford’s car in sand. Cletus stops at a bar to buy a hamburger for Dusty, but is repeatedly ejected by local toughs. After violently subduing his attackers, Cletus emerges from the bar, hamburger in hand, to the applause of the other patrons. Continuing his pursuit, Buford attempts a short cut through an alley that is blocked by a moving van. As Buford and Junior guide the van out of the alley, a policewoman summons a tow truck to impound their car. Junior frees the car by removing its bumper, and the tow truck gives chase. Buford evades the tow truck, causing numerous collisions. That evening, he follows Cletus onto a racetrack, where they become inadvertent participants in a stock car race. Later, Cletus and Dusty stop for the night at a motel frequented by sexual fetishists. Buford and Junior recognize the Trans Am parked outside and enter the motel, intent on retrieving the plastic shark. They go from room to room, witnessing assorted acts of perversion, until they find the shark in the hallway. However, Buford is intent on arresting the Bandit, but accidentally handcuffs himself to a nymphomaniac named Tina, who joins them on their journey. As Buford nears the Burdette ranch, Little Enos shoots out two of the sheriff’s tires, allowing Cletus to steal the shark once again. Discouraged by this development, Buford admits defeat. Junior assures his father that he will continue to love him, despite the shame he has brought on the Justice family. Motivated by his son’s words, Buford disregards the flat tires and chases Cletus. The Burdettes detour the drivers to a lake, where a nudist society is holding a barbecue. After Junior repairs the damaged tires, they abandon Tina and drive toward the ranch. As the cars near their destination, Little Enos’s daughter, Baby Enos, detonates mines along the road, reducing the sheriff’s car to a motorized chassis. Cletus slows his pace, allowing Buford to catch him and retrieve the shark. Buford wins the prize money, but is compelled to arrest his adversary. He approaches the Trans Am and sees the face of Bo Darville, who explains that he and the sheriff are “kindred spirits” with a mutual need for each other. Buford realizes that imprisoning the Bandit would end his purpose in life, and he allows Cletus a five-minute head start before resuming the chase. Tina appears and pulls Junior Justice from the car, taking his place next to Buford. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.