by David Koon
To close the Little Rock Film Festival this year, the LRFF and Movies in the Park will present a special outdoor showing of the 1977 fast-cars-and-mustaches epic "Smokey and the Bandit," starting at dusk on Sunday, June 5th at the Riverfest Amphitheater. As with all Movies in the Park events, admission is free.
The screening will feature an extra-special guest: legendary Hollywood stuntman Hal Needham, who wrote and directed "Bandit," and directed other 1970's motorhead classics like "Hooper" and "Cannonball Run." He also reportedly lived in Burt Reynolds' poolhouse for 12 years, which is — in itself — kind of bitchin'. Born in Memphis, Needham was mostly raised here in Arkansas.
Here's a podcast of radio host Adam Carolla talking to Needham about his life, his stunts, and the making of "Smokey and the Bandit." You can also brush up for your brush with greatness by buying Needham's new memoir: "Stuntman!: My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life."