Smokey and the Bandit: Fans Ride to Georgia for Film’s 40th

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They had a long way to go and a short time to get there, but hundreds of fans in Trans Ams have put the hammer down and made it to Atlanta to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Smokey and the Bandit.”

About 350 cars this week retraced actor Burt Reynolds’ wild ride from the Texas-Arkansas line to Atlanta in the movie that roared into pop culture in 1977.

“Every town we drive through, people come out to film us, take pictures and wave as our convoy of cars comes through – it’s like being in a huge parade,” said organizer Dave Hall of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Truckers and others also took part in “Snowman’s Run,” a road trip that raises money for wounded veterans in the name of the late actor and musician Jerry Reed, who played the trucker Snowman in the movie.

All of them have gathered in Jonesboro, Georgia, the town 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Atlanta where much of the movie was filmed.

This weekend, they plan to recreate some of the movie’s memorable scenes, including a stunt driver’s attempt to jump 150 feet (45 meters) through the air in a Trans Am. Also planned: A Burt Reynold’s look-alike contest.

Reynolds himself will also be in attendance, and will take part in a question-and-answer session in a city park, Jonesboro City Manager Ricky Clark Jr. said.

“People are coming from all over the U.S. and other countries,” Clark said. “I got a message from someone from Switzerland who is flying over for this event.”

Smokey and the Bandit was among the first big-budget movies to be filmed in Georgia, paving the way for more recent films such as “The Hunger Games” movies and TV shows such as AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

See more at US News

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