The once-legendary Burt Reynolds, 80, is being honored tonight at the Key West Film Festival. A 6pm screening of Jesse Moss‘s Bandit, a tribute doc about the relationship between Reynolds and director Hal Needham, will kick things off, followed by a q & a between Reynolds and Moss, and then a reception at the Truman Little White House.
From my 8.6.16 piece titled “I Love Ya, Buddy — Now Kill My Career”: “Reynolds’ Achilles heel was his loyalty to Needham, a pal since the ’50s and a one-time roommate. His decision to star in a string of atrocious (if financially bountiful) Needham-directed drive-in flicks from the mid ’70s to mid ’80s cast a shitkicker pall over Reynolds’ image. It wasn’t all Needham’s fault, granted, but by ’85 or ’86 Reynolds’ heyday had come to an end.”
Reynolds’ heyday lasted for about 12 years, or from Deliverance (’72) to Cannonball Run II (’84). Between that high and low point he can be proud of his performance in the following: (1) Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (’72). (2) The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, (3) The Longest Yard, (4) At Long Last Love, (5) Hustle, (6) Nickelodeon, (7) Smokey and the Bandit, (8) Semi-Tough, (9) The End, (10) Hooper, (11) Starting Over, (12) Sharky’s Machine, (13) The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, (14) Best Friends and The Man Who Loved Women.