1977, Universal, 96 min, USA, Dir: Hal Needham

“Smokey” was ’70s trucker slang for the Highway Patrol, a frequent adversary of knights of the road - especially when said knights try to haul Coors beer illegally from Texas to Georgia. But Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) is no match for “The Bandit” (Burt Reynolds), whose speed and skill behind the wheel is the stuff of local legend. Longtime stunt coordinator Hal Needham was ideally suited to direct this hit action comedy, which costars Sally Field as a runaway bride and country singer Jerry Reed as Reynolds’ partner in crime.

1963, Warner Bros., 88 min, USA, Dir: Ralph Nelson

Steve McQueen and Jackie Gleason star in this military buddy comedy as Sergeants Eustis Clay and Maxwell Slaughter, the former a country bumpkin and the latter an aging career soldier with his glory days behind him. Tuesday Weld co-stars as dizzy teenager Bobby Jo Pepperdine.

1961, 20th Century Fox, 135 min, USA, Dir: Robert Rossen

Paul Newman is unforgettable as pool shark Eddie Felson, who shakes his loser persona when heartless gambler George C. Scott teaches him the psychology of winning. Eddie realizes too late that obsessive victory over the unbeatable Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) is empty, since the cost is the destruction of his crippled alcoholic lover (Piper Laurie), in this intense, back-alley poem by director Robert Rossen.

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