Archive

ShareThis Page
The best of Burt Reynolds: 10 classic movies | TribLIVE.com
Movies/TV

The best of Burt Reynolds: 10 classic movies

by SHIRLEY MCMARLIN
| Friday, September 7, 2018 10:57 a.m.
BanditBurt
Universal Pictures
Burt Reynolds starred as The Bandit in 'Smokey and the Bandit' in 1977.
gtrLIVburt061617
Broken Twig Productions
Burt Reynolds in the 2017 movie 'Dog Years.'
AFP18W9GM
AFP/Getty Images
A picture of Burt Reynolds is seen on the TLC Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood walk of fame in Hollywood, California on Sept. 6, 2018. Best known for his roles in 'Deliverance' and 'Boogie Nights,' the 82-year-old actor, who was a huge box office attraction in the 1970s, died at a hospital in Florida.
1027970460
Getty Images
Flowers are placed on Burt Reynolds' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is seen on September 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. The actor/director passed away on Sept. 6 in Jupiter, Fla. at 82.

Burt Reynolds once said about the movie-going public, “They don’t think you’re as good as your last movie, they think you’re as good as your best movie.”

That was probably a good thing for him, as his long career had highs like the critically acclaimed “Deliverance” and an Oscar nomination for “Boogie Nights,” as well as lows like “Stroker Ace” and “Driven.”

Now that the actor — he of the twinkling eyes, ironic manner and iconic mustache — has passed away, it’s time to pay tribute to his best work.

With more than 60 films to choose from, it’s not an easy task, but here are 10 of our favorite Burt Reynolds movies.

Don’t @ us, as they say on Twitter. Take a minute to remember the 1970s heartthrob, talk show raconteur and erstwhile Playgirl model and make your own list.


1. Boogie Nights (1977)

Star Mark Wahlberg claims Reynolds “hated” Paul Thomas Anderson’s modern classic about a young man’s foray into the 1970s California porn industry. Still, Reynolds garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as adult film auteur Jack Horner.


2. Deliverance (1972)

A back-country Georgia canoe trip goes bad when four city dwellers, including Reynolds, run afoul of some locals who don’t welcome their presence. The suspenseful and disturbing classic is also known for the iconic “Dueling Banjos” scene.


3. The Longest Yard (1974)

Reynolds stars as a former pro quarterback and current prison inmate, forced by the warden to put together a ragtag football team to play against a group of brutal guards.


4. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

As trucker Bo “Bandit” Darville, Reynolds picks up a load of Coors beer in Texas and hightails it to Georgia for his pal Big Enos to drink at a truck show. Since it was illegal to transport Coors east of the Mississippi in 1977, the Bandit is pursued by Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason).


5. White Lightning (1973)

Moonshine runner Gator McCluskey (Reynolds) gets sprung from prison to help federal agents bring down a corrupt sheriff, whom Gator thinks is responsible for his brother’s murder.


6. Hooper (1978)

Sonny Hooper (Reynolds) is getting too old to retain his crown as Hollywood’s top stunt man, so he plans a last hurrah with his biggest stunt ever — which a young rival intends to top.


7. The Cannonball Run (1981)

Reynolds leads an all-star cast of ’70s celebrities playing eccentrics who will go to any lengths to win an illegal cross-country race. The cast includes Jackie Chan in one of his first American movies.


8. The End (1978)

With months to live and having no success reconciling with his family, Reynold’s character Wendell Lawson attempts suicide and ends up institutionalized. A wacky fellow patient (Dom DeLuise) decides to help him on his quest to end it all.


9. Gator (1976)

A sequel to “White Lightning,” Gator McCluskey is out of prison and leading a quiet life in the Okefenokee Swamp, when federal agents come calling to seek his help taking down a local crime lord.


10. Shamus (1973)

The Thrilling Detective website calls this one a “Burtsploitation” flick, as Reynolds swaggers about in “all his hairy-chested glory” as a pool hustler turned private eye with a taste for booze, broads and gambling.


And the top Burt Reynolds tribute-slash-impersonation has to be this one:

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.