Smokey and the Bandit

  • Directors: Hal Needham
  • Producers: Mort Engelberg
  • Writers: Hal Needham, Robert L Levy, James Lee Barrett, Charles Shyer, Alan Mandel
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Romance
  • Actors: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Mike Henry

As the movie begins, rich Texan Big Enos Burdette (Pat McCormick) and his son, Little Enos (Paul Williams), are trying to find a truck driver willing to haul Coors beer to Georgia for their refreshment. Unfortunately, due to federal liquor laws and state liquor tax regulations of the time, selling and/or shipping Coors east of the Mississippi River was considered bootlegging, and the truck drivers who had taken the bet previously had been discovered and arrested by “Smokey” (truck driver and CB slang for highway patrolmen). At a local truck rodeo, the Texans locate legendary truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) and offer him US$80,000 (US$270,000 in 2007 dollars), the price of a new truck, to haul 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas to the “Southern Classic” truck rodeo in Georgia – in 28 hours. Bandit accepts the bet and recruits fellow trucker Cletus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed) to drive the truck (Snow brings along his dog, a Basset Hound named “Fred”, for company). Bandit purchases a black Pontiac Trans Am, which he will drive himself as a “blocker” car to deflect attention away from the truck and its cargo.

The duo reach Texas ahead of schedule, load their truck with Coors, and immediately head back towards Georgia. Shortly thereafter, Bandit picks up professional dancer and apparent runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field), whom he nicknames “Frog” because she was “always hopping around”. However, by picking up Carrie, Bo becomes the target of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), whose handsome yet very simple-minded son Junior (Mike Henry) was to have been Carrie’s groom.

Despite near-constant police pursuit and several roadblocks, Bandit, Snowman, Frog and Fred arrive at the Southern Classic with a full trailer of Coors and ten minutes to spare, underscored by “Marching Through Georgia” as their vehicles roar into the grounds. Instead of taking their payoff, they accept the Texans’ new offer to drive to Boston and bring back clam chowder in 18 hours, double or nothing. As they are leaving for Boston in one of Big Enos’ Cadillacs (leaving him an even dozen), they see Justice’s badly damaged car on the roadside. Bandit calls Justice over the radio and describes himself as Big Enos in order to put him on a false lead, but then decides that Justice is “too good a man” and tells him, “Look over your left shoulder.” As Bandit and his friends drive off, Justice shouts defiantly that he isn’t finished yet and resumes his pursuit as pieces drag from his battered patrol car, while his son runs behind him, begging his father not to leave him behind.

Mrs Doubtfire

  • Directors: Chris Columbus
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Anne Fine, Randi Mayem Singer, Leslie Dixon
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
  • Actors: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein

Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) is an out-of-work . Miranda (Sally Field) has reached the end of her patience with their marriage due to his irresponsibility. Since Daniel has no steady source of income (as Miranda was the main breadwinner of the family), Miranda gets primary custody of their three children (fourteen-year-old Lydia, twelve-year-old Chris and five-year-old Natalie) and Daniel has visitation rights limited to Saturday evenings. The news is crushing to Daniel, who adores his children.

When Daniel learns Miranda intends to place an advertisement for a housekeeper, he requests to pick them up from school and spend time with them. The children are receptive, but Miranda nixes the idea. Daniel sabotages the ad Miranda wrote, changing the phone number, so that he is the only applicant. He calls Miranda several times, disguising his voice while pretending to be various unsuitable applicants. He finally presents the perfect applicant: a 60-year-old widow from England with years of experience, giving the name “Mrs. Doubtfire” after reading the news headline “Police Doubt Fire Was Accidental”. With the cosmetics skills of his brother (Harvey Fierstein), a makeup artist, his brother’s partner, and his own acting talent, Daniel goes to the Hillard residence as Euphegenia Doubtfire. He uses his knowledge of his family’s passions, bringing up storytelling to his youngest daughter Natalie and soccer to Chris, and so is quickly offered the job. As Mrs. Doubtfire, Daniel is able to see his children every day, giving him the opportunity to be the firm father figure that he wasn’t formerly. He initially has the children doing chores and homework, but still finds time to join them in their favorite activities, including reading stories, soccer, and bike rides. The difference shows in the children, and Miranda remarks that something about Mrs. Doubtfire is very familiar.

In family court, Daniel acts as his own attorney and confesses his need to be with his children, but the judge, although feeling sympathy for Daniel and realizing his need to be with his children, finds Daniel’s behavior somewhat disturbing, and custody is awarded solely to Miranda, which only grieves her even more. Furthermore, Daniel’s visitation rights are further restricted, as the judge only allows him to see his children with supervision from a court liaison. Miranda and the children all miss Daniel very badly, and one day they see Aunt Euphegenia’s House, a new children’s TV show starring Daniel as Mrs. Doubtfire. This evidence leads Miranda to renegotiate the terms of custody with Daniel and establish a joint custody arrangement. Miranda will not seek a housekeeper/caretaker while she is at work in the afternoons, instead arranging for the children to spend that time with Daniel. The film concludes with Daniel picking up his kids, and Miranda smiling while watching an episode of Aunt Euphegenia’s House, featuring advice to children of divorced parents, saying that no matter what type of family living arrangement children have, love will maintain the bond.

Forrest Gump

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch, Charles Newirth
  • Writers: Winston Groom, Eric Roth
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field

The film begins in medias res with a white feather falling to the feet of Forrest Gump, who is sitting at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia. Forrest picks up the feather and puts it in the book Curious George, then tells the story of his life to a woman seated next to him. The listeners at the bus stop change regularly throughout his narration, each showing a different reaction to his narration ranging from disbelief and indifference to rapt veneration.

His mother runs a boarding house in Alabama. One guest, a musician (later revealed to be Elvis Presley) picks up his own style of dancing from watching Forrest’s shaky movements caused by his leg braces. To get Forrest into a normal school, Forrest’s mother bribes the school’s Principal with sexual favors. On his first day of school, he meets a girl named Jenny Curran, a girl who is sexually abused by her father and who becomes his life’s love. One day after school, Forrest is being threatened by a group of bullies. Jenny tells him to run, and so he does, losing his leg braces in the process. His fast running ability becomes his favored method of travel, and during his senior year in high school, threatened by the same group of bullies, he runs through a football field and gets himself into college on a football scholarship playing for Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama. He excels at football so much that he becomes an All-American, and meets President John F. Kennedy.

Forrest’s core character and personality are also changed from the novel, among other things he is an autistic savant – while playing football at the university, he fails craft and gym, but receives a perfect score in an advanced physics class he was enrolled in by his coach to satisfy his college requirements.