Taglines: Smokey’s back! And the Bandit is at it again!
Big Enos and Little Enos have opened a seafood restaurant and want to promote it in their usual fashion. The Bandit is unavailable this time, though, so they enlist Buford. “Trigger” is brought out of mothballs, a large fish is strapped to the roof of the car, and the new Bandit is on his way on another wild cross-country run. But where there is the Bandit, there is Sheriff Buford T. Justice.
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 is a 1983 American action comedy film and a sequel to Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), starring Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Paul Williams, Pat McCormick, Mike Henry and Colleen Camp. The film also includes a cameo near the film’s end by the original Bandit, Burt Reynolds. With a budget of a television movie, which was around twice the budget used for the 1st part, many action and comedic scenes are rehashes of scenes from the previous two Smokey and the Bandit films.
About the Story
As is the case with the two preceding Smokey and the Bandit films, Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 begins with Big Enos (Pat McCormick) and Little Enos (Paul Williams) offering a sizable wager on one’s ability to transport a shipment a large distance in a short period of time. Offering a slight twist, however, the offer is this time made to a retiring Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), betting $250,000 against his badge on his ability to transport a large stuffed fish from an eatery in Florida to Texas.
Unlike the two earlier films, Big and Little Enos this time seem to be quite active in their desire to see Buford fail in his goal. After Buford dodges their many traps (especially after he destroys their milk truck, which drenches them and disables their engine), they then go so far as to actually attempt to hire the Bandit (as a distraction) to stop him. Deciding that the Bandit is too egotistical and hard to manage, they hire Cledus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed) as his replacement. Enthusiastic at the opportunity to portray the Bandit, Cledus parks his Peterbilt 359 and climbs behind the wheel of a black and gold 1983 Pontiac Trans Am.
He later picks up Dusty Trails (Colleen Camp), who quits her job as a “bookkeeper” for a used car dealership, but not before attempting to wreck her boss’ business (a seedy used car dealership) by badmouthing him in the middle of broadcasting a live TV commercial.
The scene of Cledus picking up Dusty in the middle of the road is almost an exact repeat of how Bo picked up Frog in the 1977 film. Cledus manages to catch up with Buford on an interstate, where he then lassoes Buford’s fish off of the Justices’ police cruiser; Buford needs the fish to retrieve his $250,000. Buford then begins a hot pursuit of Cledus, with another local officer who attempts to take charge of the situation. Not long after the local officer is disabled, Buford becomes disabled as well when sand is dumped on his squad car.
The pursuit quickly resumes as Buford catches up to the duo after Cledus and Dusty stop at a redneck bar to pick up some food. The chase resumes as they enter a local town, where mass chaos comes with their entry. Cledus escapes when an 18-wheeler blocks the alleyway Cledus ran through. While trying to get the truck out, Buford’s car is hitched to a tow-truck. After unsuccessfully pleading with the traffic officer to release his car, he sends Junior out to unhook it. Unable to wait, he angrily reverses the car and escapes.
The tow truck operator chases him in pursuit, with Junior dangling on the hook, spinning freely. Eventually, Buford manages to make the truck flip over, sending the truck and Junior flying. A number of cars continue to crash into the pile-up. The next scene comes sudden as the Bandit and Justice are in the Mississippi fairgrounds. Buford continues to pursue on two wheels after driving on an incline with Cledus letting the fame get to his head.
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)
Directed by: Dick Lowry
Starring: Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Paul Williams, Pat McCormick, Mike Henry, Colleen Camp, Burt Reynolds, Sharon Anderson, Silvia Arana, Ava Cadell
Screenplay by: Stuart Birnbaum, David Dashev
Cinematography by: James Pergola
Film Editing by: David E. Blewitt, Byron ‘Buzz’ Brandt, Christopher Greenbury
Costume Design by: Linda Benedict-Pierce, Andre Lavery
Set Decoration by: Don K. Levy
Art Direction by: Ron Hobbs
Music by: Larry Cansler
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: August 12, 1983