The Little Rock Film Festival will close this year with a special, outdoor showing of the 1970's mustaches-and-fast-cars epic "Smokey and the Bandit" at Riverfest Amphitheatre, with the film's writer/director Hal Needham in attendance. Needham, a former stuntman who directed other motorhead classics like "Cannonball Run" and "Hooper," was born in Memphis, but mostly raised in Arkansas.
The screening, sponsored by the LRFF and Movies in the Park, starts at dusk on Sunday, June 5. Admission is free.
Also scheduled to appear that night: What might be the world's most film-accurate recreation of the black 1977 Pontiac Trans Am from the original "Smokey and the Bandit" movie. Owned by North Little Rock businessman and movie memorabilia collector Mark Osborne — who also owns a page from the talent contract for "Bandit" signed by Burt Reynolds, and an early version of Needham's script in which the Bandit drives a Ford Mustang — the Trans Am features a rare t-top option, an even-rarer factory CB radio, the gold firebird on the hood, a Georgia flag plate on the front and a whip antenna, exactly like the car from the film. We're almost positive he's got an 8-track of Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down" hanging around somewhere, too. Gonna be a fun night.