I really don’t think there’s anyone out there in the world who would disagree with me when I say that Smokey And The Bandit is quite possibly the best movie of all time–at the very least the best Burt Reynolds/Jackie Gleason truck driving movie–but I will admit that there is at least one huge plot point that nearly ruins the film for me. And I mean one huge plot point besides the fact that anyone would go to such outrageous lengths to get a truckload of hot Coors delivered to their big outdoor party.
That point is this: Big and Little Enos want the Bandit to drive from Texarkana to Atlanta with 400 cases of Coors: he has 28 hours to make it to the Southern Classic without getting caught. Which–spoiler alert–he does, and ably, with the utmost skill and derring-do. A good time is had by all. But this is where my issues with what is an otherwise perfect film come into play. When you see Bandit and Snowman in Texarkana loading up the truck that is to haul the Coors, you see that the entire trailer is filled with pallets, from front to back. Yeah, you’re thinking, of course it is–they’ve got 400 cases of Coors! That’s a shitload of beer!
And you’re not wrong. That is a shitload of beer. But you see, I’ve been working in a warehouse now for nearly two years, and I can tell you that while 400 cases of beer is certainly a lot, it is not a lot to load onto the back of a tractor trailer. You could pretty easily get a hundred cases of beer onto a single pallet. And a trailer as loaded as the one you see in the movie would hold somewhere around 20 to 24 pallets, depending on how they’re loaded on the truck and the exact size of the trailer, meaning that instead of 400 cases, you might be looking at as many as 2400, if not more. This newfound professional expertise really takes me out of the viewing experience, is all I’m saying, which is probably how Stephen Hawking feels when he watches some dumb time travel movie.
Sally Field’s early roles in the TV series Gidget (1965-1966) and The Flying Nun (1967-1970) made her famous. She won best actress awards for Norma Rae (1979) and Places in the Heart (1984). But we’re here to celebrate her role opposite Burt Reynolds as the jean-clad Carrie in Smokey and the Bandit (1977).