CBs and the Bandit
May 20, 2011 | by: Lucinda Coulter
Shortly after ”Smokey and the Bandit” played at movie theaters across the nation, an image of an impassioned Burt Reynolds holding a citizens band radio led the 13-page CB Section in Overdrive‘s August 1977 issue. The photo was taken from a scene in the film, according to the magazine’s editors.
While CB radios have mostly been replaced with cell phones, “Smokey and the Bandit” remains untouched in movie classics and as loved, if not moreso, as when movie goers first hankered for their own Screaming Chicken hood decals.
Reynolds became a super-star for other roles, but he remains an icon among truckers for his Bo ‘Bandit’ portrayals in the movie, which premiered May 19, 1977, in New York and was released nationally later that summer.
Director Hal Needham described the movie’s success on its 30th anniversary, in 2007: ”I don’t think it made enough to pay the Rockettes, Needham told John Huffman, Edmonds Inside Line contributor. “So they jerked it out. I said to them [Universal Studios], ‘I made this movie for the South, Midwest and Northwest, basically. So why don’t we take the damn thing somewhere where it was made for?’ They took it down South, the Southern 13 states, and it went right through the roof.”
Overdrive reviewed the movie in its May 1977 issue and anticipated the film’s popularity among drivers in its August promotion: “It’s all about independent truckers who race against time. Sound familiar? Well, it’s a little different than the normal race the independent trucker experiences.”