Bandit down

Autographed copy, sailors

Burt Reynolds gone, at 82. One of the greats. He was everywhere when I was a kid, and I've unironically loved him ever since. The stars were so much brighter way back then. RIP

Everyone's going to justifiably point out Smokey & the Bandit, the Cannonballs, and the critically accepted opinion is that his best moments were Boogie Nights and Deliverance. Hard to argue with that. Unquestionably underrated as an actor, there's more variety in his career than you'd think. Some of it deliciously weird. I maintain he's worth watching in anything but I'll highlight three of my own favourite moments that are laced with an edge of something a little off-piste. One great, one fan service, and one trainwreck.

  • The End : Burt directs, wherein he attempts a knockabout slapstick in which he plays a terminally ill man institutionalized after trying to commit suicide. Some days, I count this as my favourite movie. Has Sally Field, and Dom DeLuise to make up the seventies Burt holy trinity.

  • His X Files episode: Yup, that's right. Long after everyone had stopped watching the X-Files, he gets a custom-written episode. He plays God, against agent Doggett. Doggett knows underappreciated too.

  • Mad Dog Time: A movie so questionable, Roger Ebert gave it zero stars. I was lucky to catch this bomb on it's tiny cinema run, and I loved how incomprehensibly strange it was. Gangster satire? Spoof Noir? Situationist Prank? Yellowism? I was enthralled.
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