We’re sorry to see the passing of Burt Reynolds, a great American actor across many genres. Yes, readers here probably know him best for his car exploits… but a look at Boogie Nights, Dan August, or his extensive television career (including Gunsmoke) will help you understand his breadth and accomplishments better. He is an original, the likes of which we’ll never see again.
When it comes to what we’ve called Burt’s “car exploits”, most car movie enthusiasts will immediately think of Smokey and the Bandit… and that’s fair. But our personal favorite is White Lightning. The title refers to the moonshine, which of course is behind so many the great movies of this genre. Burt Reynolds is one of his classic roles, as a convicted felon released by the Government to track down a moonshine gang and a crooked Sheriff (in the classic “South”, is there any other kind?) played by Ned Beatty (who else?). He has to do it his own way… and that of course means lots of car chases – and crashes. And this film has one of the better ones, engineering by Hal Needham. Be sure to take note of the Ford Galaxy, equipped (of course) with a stock car engine.
And lest you think that Burt always drives stock cars, cop cars, and Trans-Ams, don’t forget that in The Longest Yard, Burt drove a Citroen SM. Burt driving a Citroen? How many of you knew that?
More information on the Driving Enthusiast network:
- CarMovieEnthusiast.com – our reviews of hundreds of car movies
- Driving Enthusiast Pinterest Board – Car Movie Enthusiast – our Pinterest site, with 120 Boards and 21,400 Pins